When you pay for a Costco membership, it is a given that you want to get the most out of it. We all know that there are certain perks to members-only warehouses. You just need to do your grocery on a Saturday to see how many people are filling their shopping carts to the brim. Mind you, it is not always a good idea to do that even though you assume that you are getting the best deals. If you want to score the best bargains, these are the things that you have to keep in mind.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Laundry Detergent
You can indeed save money by buying Kirkland laundry detergent, but what else can you get out of it? In the end, the savings will just go to new clothes because it ruined the others. It is not just bad news for your wardrobe, but it might also cause allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems. If that is not enough to convince you, maybe the fact that it is bad for the environment will. You should just stick to your regular brand and ditch this one!
Buy- Maple Syrup
You should be ready to pay a lot of money if you are looking for maple syrup. Most breakfast restaurants end up using a corn syrup mixture, which does not have anything on the real thing. If you are unsatisfied with this alternative, you should buy the Kirkland Pure Maple Syrup, which is not only big but also cheap!
Don’t Buy- Books
It is not a good idea to do anything more than browse at the book aisle at Costco. There is no need to fill your cart with any books from there. The store offers lower prices than other stores, but you are going to save more money by shopping at Amazon. If you want even bigger savings, you should check out stores with used books!
Buy- Toilet Paper
The first thing that you should know about those 30-roll packs of toilet paper would be that it takes up a lot of space. However, you should know that the savings are worth it! We hope that you have some to spare in your storage space. Trust us, you will be able to make room for it when you see how cheap it is.
Buy- Olive Oil
Olive oil can be used in just about any cuisine, so it is always a good idea to have some in the kitchen. It is a good idea to buy the big ones from Costco. This way, you do not need to fear running out and save cash as well. They are not just organic, extra-virgin, and high-quality but are also easy on the wallet!
Don’t Buy- Ground Coffee
In our honest opinion, coffee should be at the top of the food list. A lot of people cannot function if they had yet to drink a cup of java. Even though you will have more savings by going for a big container, the taste is going to suffer in the long run. Coffee beans get exposed to the air as soon as they are grounded, which makes them lose strength and flavor if they are unused for a long time. If you want to have freshness as a priority, you should skip the big jars and buy the small ones.
Your membership is still going to be useful even when the warehouses are closed. After all, the gas stations offer amazing prices! You should definitely take advantage of this and fill up the next time you go to the store. Just make sure that you do not forget to bring your Costco card when you intend to fill the tank.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Light Beer
Most people like to drink beer brands such as Budweiser, Corona, and Guinness. Your best bet is to get these trusted brands instead of the Kirkland Light Beer. After all, you are probably going to find this variety sub-par. There is a good chance that you will just return it, so you might as well get better ones.
Buy- Frozen Fruits
These items will take up a fair amount of your fridge space, but you will save money in the long run. Frozen produce is going to stay fine for a long time, so it is a great idea to buy them in bulk. Frozen fruit is always going to be a good idea, but you should not forget to stock up on vegetables either!
Don’t Buy- Fresh Fruits And Veggies
This one is trickier than the rest. Even though you might think that it is a good idea to buy fruits in bulk, you should do your shopping at a different store. This is especially true if you are looking for veggies and fruits that are not in season. The local grocery store is going to offer better deals on these items!
Don’t Buy- Spices
Spices, like ground coffee, do not have the longest shelf life. Even though they will not really go bad or expire, the flavor is going to get weaker with time. If you tend to cook for only two to four people like most people, the small jars are going to be better. Unless you run an Italian restaurant, skip the big jar!
Even though spices tend to have less flavor after some time, this rule does not apply to vanilla. This is the reason you should buy the big bottle of vanilla at Costco! Bakers are going to be happy to hear this.
Don’t Buy- Tissues
For the occasional sneeze, you are not going to need anything more than a regular pack of tissue. However, it is better to have heavy-duty ones if you are dealing with a runny nose. Even though you will save more money by getting big packs at Costco, the quality is not going to be the best on the market.
You will not only get summer and winter tires at low rates, but you will also enjoy high-quality service! Many people like to go to Costco’s Tire Centre when they need new treads. As a matter of fact, even folks without a membership like to go here when it is time to replace their old ones!
Don’t Buy- Soda
We can see why you would want to buy your soda while you shop for the rest of the pantry. But if you are looking to save some money, the local grocery store is the place to go. We bet that you will see sale stickers all over the soft drink shelves over there.
Don’t Buy- Diapers
Anyone who has a child can explain just how expensive it is to be a parent. You will have to pay a fortune for diapers alone! Even though it makes sense to get them in bulk, the box is pretty heavy. You will also finish them in no time. The best thing to do is to buy them on Amazon. You will not only get huge discounts for bulk orders, but the free delivery is also very convenient!
Buy- Breakfast Cereal
There is no way that you can go wrong with cereal. Costco has earned a reputation as a great place to buy this breakfast staple. After all, the warehouse store offers big boxes of popular brands such as Post and Kellogg’s. You do not need to worry about the shelf life of cereal since it is not going to spoil for a very long time. However, you should probably finish them not long after opening if you like it crunchy!
Buy- Plastic Wrap
Treat yourself to plastic wrap when you are at Costco. You are going to find brands such as Vitawrap and Kirkland over there. If you get them in bulk, you will find that these things will be good to use for many years. They are not only going to work on most surfaces, but the prices are also hard to beat.
Don’t Buy- Shampoo Or Soap
Shampoos and soaps, like soft drinks, seem to always be on sale at the local grocery store. There is no reason to pay for them in full. We are sad to report that there is not a lot of discount on these products at Costco. We recommend going to a different store when there is a sale instead!
Are you planning to buy oatmeal? If so, the best thing to do is to buy the 60-packet ones that Costco offers. You can save as much as $10 when you opt for this one instead of whatever the local grocery store has for sale. The only downside to this is that you need to leave some space for the huge box.
Buy- Healthy Bite-Sized Snacks
We are sure that most people would be eating healthier if it is cheaper. The good news is that you can find cheap stuff at Costco! You can even get 32 bites of Aussie Bites for only $12. What a great deal!
Nuts seem to be expensive no matter where you go! If you are trying to save some money, the best thing to do would be to buy in bulk. The reclosable lid that Costco offers is a great way to ensure that the cashews will remain fresh for a longer span of time.
Don’t Buy- Condiments
Condiments like mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup do not have a proper shelf life. They are going to stay tasty and fresh for a very long time. However, you should keep them in the fridge as soon as you open them. We do not recommend getting the big bottles from Costco since the fridge space is sacred!
Don’t Buy- Salsa
If you are looking for a party size jar of salsa, Costco is the place to be. The huge container is great if you are hosting a get-together, but a smaller one would be better if you only use it for your own salsa and chips. The ginormous jar of salsa will probably go bad even though you are only halfway through.
Kids and people on the go are going to love pre-packaged snacks. No matter what you are looking for, you will find it at Costco. The huge boxes are not only good for those on the budget, but the snacks are also yummy. Practical people will want to stock up on these delicious little treats.
If you are paying a lot for vitamins and medicine, you might already know that the brand name makes up for most of the cost. You will not find a lot of difference between Kirkland vitamins and the others! On top of that, you can get a huge bottle for only a fraction of the price. Talk about a great deal.
You probably use gadgets that are powered by batteries. Sadly, it is not always cheap to shop for this energy source. When you go to Costco, it is a good idea to add several Duracell batteries to your cart. There are batteries under the Kirkland brand. What makes it even better is that Duracell makes them!
Does your family go through an entire gallon of milk in no time at all? If so, you should not hesitate to buy a jar from Kirkland. Do not be fooled by all the websites that tell you to ditch this item. As long as you can finish it before it spoils, this is going to be an amazing deal.
Buy- Coffee Cups
If you are passionate about saving the environment, you are probably not a fan of individual coffee portions. However, these things are cheap and convenient if you are living on your own. When you compare them to other brands on the market, you will see that they are much more economical.
Buy- Rotisserie Chicken
Do you know what the best-selling product at Costco is? It is actually the $5 rotisseries chicken, a product that has been famous for years already. It is already cooked, so the only thing you will need to do is to serve it. This should be enough for the entire family. If you are unable to finish everything in one go, you can always serve the rest for leftovers.
Don’t Buy- Toothpaste
Toothpaste always seem to be on sale for some reason. It is true that Costco has big packs with a couple of tubes, but there are better deals at the pharmacy or supermarket. Get your toothpaste there instead.
Buy- Peanut Butter
We bet that most, if not all, the people in your household like peanut butter. The family size is going to help you save money. It is very annoying when you run out of it just when you crave it the most, so stock up! Just so you know, peanut butter and almond butter do not go bad.
Did you know that Costco has its very own bagel brand? They are actually delicious! You do not need to shell out a lot of money for the 2-pack one. There is also a good variety of flavors, so you are free to choose whatever you want. If you do not finish them within a week, you can freeze them for now.
Don’t Buy- Kirkland Almond Milk
There are plenty of options if you are looking to buy non-dairy milk at Costco. However, you should put the Almond Breeze almond milk in your cart instead of the one from the Kirkland brand. Even though the latter is also organic, it does not taste all that good. The ingredient list is rather lackluster as well.
Tahini is one of our favorite salad dressings. On top of that, this is a very important ingredient if you want to make hummus! However, this sesame paste does not come cheap. You can save money in the long run if you buy the big size from Costco. Just make sure that you refrigerate the jar after you open it.
Buy – Bacon
The sliced bacon from the Kirkland brand has gotten good ratings from satisfied customers! It is on sale for a low price. The only bad thing they had to say about it was the huge amount that you need to buy.
Buy – Bacon Crumbles
Even though we love bacon slices, you might also want to have bacon crumbles on hand. They are easy to put on anything and can transform a dish from good to glorious. You should pick up a jar at Costco!
Buy: Fresh eggs
You should get your eggs from Costco. Not only are the prices good, but there is also a wide variety to choose from. “They have a surprising level of choice when it comes to eggs,” one satisfied customer reported. You will be able to find everything from free-range to conventional eggs over there.
Buy: Hot dogs and soda at the food court
Did you know that the pizza from the Costco food court has been dubbed the best item there? Some people prefer the hot dog and soda promo, however. We will have you know that this meal has a fan site of its own! Business Insider even said that it is “the best hot dog in America.”
Buy: The acai bowl at the food court
The acai bowl is another cheap item from the Costco food court. Those with a plant-based diet will be glad to hear that it will only set you back by $5. It even hit the headlines across the nation one summer!
Cheese lovers are going to have a ball when they visit the cheese aisle at Costco. There are many kinds of cheeses there, and they are priced reasonably as well. For less than $20, you can buy enough cheese to last three to four dinner parties!
Skip: Signateur gas grill
You can buy a Signateur gas grill at Costco for a fraction of the price that a Weber grill goes for. The quality, however, has also taken a hit! Not just that, but it would also be hard to get replacement parts.
Buy: Organic berries
Organic berries might be the only exception to the fresh produce rule we told you about. When they are in season, Costco offers a sweet deal on them. They are healthy and delicious, so eat up when you can!
Skip: Flour, baking powder, and dried yeast
Many baking ingredients have a short shelf life. The list includes baking powder, dried yeast, and flour. You should not buy them in bulk because they tend to spoil in no time! It is a better idea to buy smaller amounts instead of buying a big pack.
Buy: Kirkland organic coconut water
Are you a fan of coconut water? If you drink a lot of this drink, get the 12-pack Kirkland organic coconut water at Costco. It has received tons of five-star reviews, and the price is very good for what you get!
Buy: Verka organic yogurt
Did you know that a 64-oz tub of Verka organic yogurt is not that much more expensive than a 16-oz one from the grocery store? It is surprising to hear that the product comes with a long shelf life. Its taste is not that different from whole-milk products either. The Cornucopia Institute has also granted it a good rating, so the quality is guaranteed. The organization is involved in the promotion of family farming.
Skip: Las Fortunitas tortilla chips
We do not recommend buying those Las Fortunitas chips that come in bags as big as garbage bags. The price is not the main reason because a pack will only set you back by $6 or less. The problem has nothing to do with the taste either because it is quite delicious! However, we truly doubt that you will be able to finish such a huge bag. You can get one for a party, but you might not get halfway through it even then. Fooducate has given the chips a rating of B-minus thanks to the hydrogenated oils in them.
Buy: Kerrygold butter
Costco has tons of butter brands for sale. Its own Kirkland brand has an organic version! If you want a high-quality one, foodies say that you should go for Kerrygold, which is made with grass-fed cow milk.
Buy: Kirkland vodka
Costco might offer plenty of good stuff in the alcohol aisle, but the vodka is the best item you will find there. The house-brand vodka is so amazing that people say that it tastes just like Grey Goose. When a taste test was conducted, the French vodka under the Kirkland label did better than many name brands!
Skip: Hearing aids
Hearing aids do not come cheap, but they are not always included in insurance plans. You might be glad to hear that Costco offers them for cheap, but the truth is that you should hold off on buying them. There are reports of poor service at some locations. On top of that, not every branch is equipped with the proper things needed to adjust it to the setting that you need. It is better to shell out money for something as important as this.
Buy: Prescription glasses
It can be expensive to buy prescription sunglasses, even more so if you want special lenses. You can save some money by buying them online, but it can be a guessing game when it comes to finding the right fit and number. Who would have thought that the Costco optometry department can help you out here? It is possible to get a test done in the store, but you can also show them a prescription from another place. If you do not have insurance, it is not going to cost you an arm and leg. If you are a member, you should also keep an eye out for online discounts on contact lenses and glasses.
Buy: Wedding floral arrangements
Costco is a good place to buy your wedding flowers if you are on a budget but up for an adventure. What is a wedding without floral arrangements, after all? We are just glad that you can make it a memorable occasion without breaking the bank. A flower arrangement will only cost you $449 or so.
Even though the selection is not that big, Costco offers good suitcases at decent prices. You might be glad to hear that Clark Deals has said that the warehouse store is one of the best places if you are looking for new luggage. The website also recommended waiting for monthly coupons for more savings!
Skip: Name-brand clothing
When you are at Costco, you should think twice before buying designer clothing. The garments are not going to be up to par as the items found at the proper store. The manufacturers tend to skimp on the Costco offering. You are free to buy anything that you want, of course. However, it is rather unreasonable to expect the items to be the best quality. Go to Marshalls for better bargains instead!
Buy: Shirts and pants for work
Even though you are better off skipping designer clothing, Costco does offer good deals on work shirts and pants. Customers love them! Listen to what a Red Flag Deals user had to say about them: “All my work shirts are Kirkland shirts. High-end tailored shirts aside, I think the Kirkland stuff is the best value on the market, just as good quality (sometimes better) as what you get at The Bay or mid-range stores.”
Buy: Athleisure clothes
You can buy cheap yet stylish athletic clothes at Costco! Tough Nickel, a blog, said that the store has a lot of bargains on these items. Get ready to look good at yoga or spin class without spending a fortune!
While there have been people who complained about the elastic of the briefs in Costco, more people felt happy about the price and comfort they offered. If you check out the reviews, you are going to see a lot of five stars from happy customers!
Buy: Flu shots
Customer reports said that Costco has the best prices for flu shots. If you need to pay for it out of your own pocket, this is the best place to buy it. The warehouse store also offers HPV and pneumonia shots.
Are you thinking of buying a particular TV set? If this is the case, you should go to a proper electronics store. However, Costco has great deals for you if you are more flexible. It is already neat that you will have to pay less money over here, but you get an extended warranty on top of that as well.
Buy: Golf balls
We are sure that Costco will not even cross your mind when you want to buy golf gear. However, the store actually offers Kirkland golf balls! They have even gotten the thumbs up from other golfers. When the balls were tested by Golfalot, it said that they were just as good as more expensive ones. Nice!
You never know what sort of thing you will find when you go to Costco. Most people head to the store to get groceries, but it is so easy to get lost in the aisles of clothing, books, and accessories. We are sure that you find it hard not to get distracted by the electronics section with all the flashing lights of the various appliances over there. However, this is not really the best place to buy these things. Researchers said that you are going to get better deals for the same items if you go to a different electronics store!
You can go nuts over nuts when you go to Costco! We are sure that you will find whatever it is that you are looking for. They all come in huge packages as well. If you like nuts, you are probably not a big fan of the price. The good news is that they are priced fairly at Costco and stored in resealable packages for freshness!
Worst: Kirkland Signature Paper Towels
You might assume that it is a good idea to buy 30 rolls of paper towels when you are at Costco. True enough, it is not the worst idea on the planet. However, the Kirkland Signature Paper Towels are not exactly the best item out there. A study showed that Kirkland was only third among four brands reviewed. On top of that, Consumer Reports found that Kirkland had the lowest quality among five brands. These things are too thin to deal with tough messes, so you are better off without them.
Costco is a good place to buy over-the-counter pills and prescription medication. Consumer Reports studied 150 pharmacies in the United States to see which ones offered the best prices. You will be happy to know that Costco was at the top of the list!
Did you know that sunscreen is not going to be effective after three years? If you bring home a multipack from Costco, you should first check what the expiration date says. This way, you will be able to finish it all in time. We are sure that you do not want to throw your money away.
Worst: Disposable Razors
If you think that it is a good idea to buy disposable razors in bulk, you should skip Costco and instead go to Walmart. At Costco, you can get 14 Kirkland razors for $23. At this price, a razor costs $1.64 a piece. At Walmart, 10 Gillette disposable razors go for $7.97 or $0.80 per piece. This is nearly half the price!
Buy: Uncooked Cookies
It seems that not a lot of people are aware of this little trick. If you are craving pastries, you can save money by buying uncooked pastries! When you go to the bakery counter, ask for a box. This is a good way to save money. After all, you typically pay $7.99 for a box of 21 cookies. However, you can buy as many as 120 pieces for only $22.99 when you go for uncooked ones instead!
Shopping experts claim that it is not a good idea to buy your rice from Costco. A shopper who frequented Costco compared the prices and found out that the rice over there cost up to 35% more than what the local Asian market had to offer. This is a huge difference in our books! There were even times when Costco offered the same amount of rice for $40, whereas a small shop was selling it for only $14.
Worst: Dried Pasta
You are not going to be bankrupt if you get your dried pasta from Costco. However, you are going to find better deals on it somewhere else! Comparisons have revealed that places like Trader Joe’s and Walmart offer pastas at a lower price.
Are you still a fan of DVDs? If so, you should avoid getting your movies from Costco and shop at Amazon instead. The prices are not only better, but the e-commerce giant will also ship the product to you!
Worst: Gel Dishwasher Detergent
“The Kirkland Signature Gel is one of our lowest-rated detergents,” said Consumer Reports. It also said this about the item in question: “It struggled with dishes, pots and pans, and resistance to water spots.”
Worst: Canned Goods
If you are planning to buy canned goods, do not go to Costco. These items go for around 20% to 40% cheaper if you go to a different store. It goes without saying that they are even cheaper during sales!
Worst: Body Lotions
If you want to save money when you buy lotions, you should rely on coupons. A little patience can get you far! With the right sale and coupons, you can buy these items at a lower price when you ditch Costco and go to a different store.
Worst: Protein Bars
We do not know why anyone would get 40 bars of the protein bars from Costco when they have yet to try them. It is not worth the risk! On top of that, these food items go for around $1 a piece. You should instead get bulk orders of Pure Protein bars on Amazon. Over there, a bar costs less than $0.90!
Worst: Whole Grains
Whole grains have oils in them. They exist in the bran and germ of the grain! These things can not only make whole grains spoil quickly but also seeds and nuts. Even though the oils are taken out while they process the grains, they tend to stick to the grain and then make them rot. Skip this one, folks.
You are wrong if you think that beef jerky is going to stay good for a long time just because it has salt and spices. It is important to refrigerate this snack after you open the bag. If you look at the packages, you might even notice that it says to eat the item not further than three days after you open it. The jerky is only going to last around a week or two after you put it in the fridge. Just get the smaller packages!
We love hummus too, but we have no idea why you would need a huge tub from Costco. If you do, food waste is going to be in your future. The small containers from normal grocery stores have better value.
Worst: Printer Paper
If you do not do a lot of printing at home, you are going to find better deals on school supplies at office supply stores. Unlike Costco, these places offer rock-bottom prices for stationery! Staples is a good place for these items. For the best savings, you should go to a back-to-school sale with coupons in hand.
Buy: Gift Cards
When you go to Costco, it is possible to find gift cards with a discount of anywhere from 15% to 30%. You might even find a promo on a bundle of two separate gift cards. This is a good idea to save some money while ensuring that your recipient is going to be happy!
We just love the wines that they sell at Costco! You can get high-quality wines at better prices compared to other retailers. The Kirkland label ones are produced by renowned wineries as well. Check them out!
Buy: Meat and Poultry
The club price at Costco is better than the normal price offered by a regular supermarket. The grade of beef is better too! You can just buy a lot of meat in one go and then divide everything before putting it in the freezer in portions.
Buy: Kirkland Animal Crackers
We would like to bring the Kirkland Signature Organic Animal Crackers to your attention if you are looking for snacks. These things are available in a 64-oz barrel for the low price of $9.99! You will find this at other supermarkets, but the barrel will only be 60-z.
Buy: Kirkland Honey
You should not skip the Kirkland Signature brand honey. They are available in 3-pound jars for just $8.99. Other supermarket chains offer 2-pound jars at $4 more. We will let you decide which one to buy.
Buy: Kirkland Italian Sparkling Water
San Pellegrino is the most popular sparkling water out there. However, you should probably check out the Kirkland Signature Italian Sparkling Mineral Water instead. At Costco, you will find these two items together. You will not find any big taste difference, but the prices are different! If you buy a 24-pack of 16.9-oz Kirkland sparkling water bottle, you only pay $12.99. A smaller Pellegrino case costs $16.99!
Buy: Kirkland Vitamin Water
We want you to know that Kirkland Signature Vita Rain Zero is pretty much the same as the Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero. Trust us, you will not even be able to distinguish between the two of them in terms of taste. They are both available at Costco. The price difference is quite significant, however. For 24 cans of the Vita, Rain Zero will cost you $9.99. Meanwhile, a case of Glaceau Vitaminwater Zero will cost you $15.99.