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The Best and Worst Bargains at Costco – What to Buy, and What to Avoid

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Every year, Costco welcomes 94 million people. People love shopping at Costco. They love crazy discounts on bulk items, free samples 24/7, and endless rows of various products from a needle to boats. Costco also rewards customers loyalty and offers annual membership for only $60, for more discounts and benefits!

Among hundreds of different products, sometimes it can be challenging to choose a good one. So, it’s always better to be well informed and appropriately prepared to shop smart and stockpile. After all, you never know when you are going to need extra flour or milk. Prepare for your next Costco shopping and see what you shouldn’t buy and why.

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30. Don’t Buy: Kirkland Laundry Detergent

In-house brands are great when it comes to budgeting. They are affordable, usually have good quality, and they come in bulk. So, buying detergent in bulk must be a good idea, right? Well, not so much, actually.

The truth is that detergent has a shelf life. So, unless you have a big family or an enormous amount of clothes, the chances are that your detergent will expire. According to experts, you can keep detergent open for a maximum of six months. If you don’t have a large family or a tone of clothes, you better skip this purchase.

29. Buy: Maple Syrup

Did you know that Canada produces more than 80% of the world’s maple syrup? Luckily, for one of the best syrup you don’t have to go to Canada, you should go to the nearest Costco. However, if you insist on a real thing, you would have to ready to spend up to $50.

Again luckily, you can find an outstanding deal at Costco. It turns out Kirkland’s pure maple syrup is a great deal, although there is no substitute for the real stuff. Expect to pay almost half the price of what you would pay for pure maple syrup at your local grocery store.

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28. Buy: Uncooked Cookies

Little is known, but in Costco stores across Canada, you can buy cookies, croissants, and other numerous uncooked pastries for a lot less! All you have to do is to go to the bakery counter and ask them for a box. Surprisingly, they will give you the box gladly.

This is a great way to save money and bake cookies for your family or treat yourself. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bakery products? On the shelf, a box of 21 cookies would cost you $7,99, but if you buy them uncooked, you can get 120 for $22,99! That’s an excellent value for your family budget!

27. Don’t Buy: Books

If you are a book worm, you might think shopping books outside of Costco. We now, it’s impossible to miss the massive table of books in the middle of every Costco, but you must find a way to avoid it.

It turns out that books at Costco are expensive, and you can find better deals elsewhere. When it comes to books, the famous Costco doesn’t offer any discount. So, search for a traditional bookstore or search online. You will save money and have a much bigger selection.

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26. Buy: Toilet Paper

No matter how short your shopping list is, toilet paper should be on it every single time. Unless you are a serious fan of ultra-soft toilet paper, you should avoid spending your money on such low quality.

Always shop toilet paper at Costco. Kirkland toilet paper will save you money because it will last. Plus, you can always make some storage space for this product. If you can find a space for paper towels, you can find someplace for toilet paper.

25. Buy: Olive Oil

Everybody knows that if you want to eat healthily, you must have olive oil in your kitchen. It’s a must. The best thing about olive oil is that you can never buy too much of it. It’s simply so good. When purchasing this delicious oil, you may think that it is a bit expensive compared to sunflower oil, but the truth is that olive oil will last longer and provide much needed healthy nutrients.

Costco’s olive oil is an amazing offer. It’s like a total bargain. Costco’s olive oil is high quality, extra virgin, and even organic. For everyday salad and extra taste, olive oil is a great touch. Plus, you place it on a small bottle of fancy olive oil for special occasions.

24. Don’t Buy: Ground Coffee

Did you know that Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day? This makes the States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. You may love coffee personally, but you don’t adore every single brand, right? Some like it strong, some love sweet coffee, while some prefer coffee with chocolate.

When it comes to beloved Costco and their coffee offer, you should know that less is more principle applies. Stick to a smaller container to keep the flavor and the strength of coffee. If you buy coffee in bulk, you risk contact with air that will eventually minimize strength and coffee flavor. If possible, grind your own coffee.

23. Buy: Gas

Buying gas at Costco stops is actually a pretty good deal. To enjoy this benefit, you should have a membership card, so join them. If Costco decided to close all of its stores they could still keep their gas station and they would have enough earnings.

Everybody loves Costco gas prices. Next time when you are on the road, and you have to fill your tank, do two thins. Give your credit card and take out your membership card as well.

22. Don’t Buy: Kirkland Light Beer

In most cases, beer lovers would avoid shopping beer at Costco. If you are one of them, you know that nothing beats famous beer brands such as Guinness, Corona, Molson, Budweiser, and so on.

If you decide to save some money on beer shopping, then you should go to Costco. If you do so, don’t expect high quality, because some customers described this brand as gross. So it’s only natural to learn Costco discontinued Kirkland Signature Light beer at the end of 2018.

21. Buy: Frozen fruits

It’s globally known that fruit at Costco is a good deal. What makes this deal really amazing is the fact that the majority of their fruit is organic. As you may know already, organic fruit is usually expensive, and getting it for a good deal is more than luck.

At Costco, fruit even comes in small bags that you can find in your local grocery store. There is only one catch here! If you buy fruit in bulk, you will have to be able to freeze it and have a good blender, because you will have to make a lot of smoothies.

20. Don’t Buy: Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Not that far ago, you could buy fresh fruit and veggies only at your local grocery store. With time and high demand, big chains, like Costco, started offering fruit and vegetable in bulk. Before you run and buy two bags of lemons, there is something that you should know first.

If your family is a large one, then buying extra peaches or bananas might work for you. However, if you live alone or your family has two to three members, you should shop smarter. If you want fruits and vegetables in season, you can easily find better deals at the grocery store. Plus, you can’t eat three full bags of peaches in three days, so avoid making more food garbage.

19. Don’t Buy: Spices

Coffee and spices have one thing in common – they don’t have an unlimited shelf life. You may love to have Mason jars in different sizes and fill them with spices, but you should know that your spices will lose flavor with time.

Unless you cook often and your family is passionate about various flavors, you should think about buying spices in small packages. A smaller jar of spices is always a smart choice.

18. Buy: Vanilla Extract

Did you know that the flower that produces the vanilla bean lasts only one day? This is the main reason why this extract might be expensive. Opposite to spices, prepared vanilla doesn’t lose its flavor over time.

So as long as you aren’t only into fresh vanilla beans, purchasing a Costco size bottle of vanilla extract is a good investment. Even if you are into exclusively fresh vanilla beans, having a bottle of vanilla extract can be handy.

17. Don’t Buy: Tissues

If you often sneeze and in the large amount, you know that a simple tissue won’t help you. On the other hand, for a simple sneeze, most brands of tissues can be suitable.

Tissues are handy. Even if you have to clean something immediately, having tissues on hand can be a lifesaver. Tissues sold in large quantities are always financially advantageous, but Kirkland tissues may not be the best option for you. Plus, if you are passionate about saving the planet, you might think about using less, and not more tissues.

16. Buy: Tires

Everyone knows that you can find everything at Costco. Not only that you get a reasonable price for various items, but you get amazing deals that is followed with a high-quality service for free.

So, when it comes to changing your tires, nothing beats Costco’s Tire Centre. This should be your number one stop when it comes to improving your tires. When you think about it, it makes sense that people who aren’t even members chose Costco when it’s time for a new set.

15. Don’t Buy: Soda

Soft drinks are part of almost every culture in the world. Some claim that these drinks are bad for us, while others claim that they are perfectly fine. No matter who you believe, one is for sure- people love sugary drinks.

Still, buying these drinks can be fine when you consume them from time to time. Soft drinks are among the most popular specials in all stores, so you won’t see discounts or at least not that often. So, save money and protect your health by skipping purchasing any soft drink.

14. Buy: Breakfast Cereal

Do you love cereal for breakfast or any other meal during the day? If yes, then you are one of many Americans who simply adore having a huge pack of different cereals in their kitchen. And so far, no brand can beat Costco when it comes to cereal diversity.

Cereals at Costco are often at a discount and the quantities are difficult to beat! That’s the main reason why Costco is a stop for buying delicious cereals. The great thing about cereals is that you can keep them for a very long time in a cupboard, and they won’t lose their flavor. Pro tip: Don’t open all the bags at the same time. You want to keep the crunchiness.

13. Buy: Plastic wrap

Plastic wrap was discovered in 1933, and ever since, people loved its practical side. It’s handy for a number of things packing lunch, packing dinner leftovers, and so on… Simply said, having a plastic wrap in bulk at home is handy.

Buying plastic wrap in bulk will save you money. If you are worried about the planet and over-use of plastics, you should think about glass containers that will keep food fresh.

12. Don’t Buy: Shampoo or soap

Soaps and shampoos are two products that are seen everywhere. In most stores, they are always on discounts. All stores have spas and shampoos, and they want to sell them.

For these products, you should never pay the full price. These are one of the rare products that you should buy in bulk. They can last for a decade and you can save money in the long run.

11. Buy: Oatmeal

If you are a big oatmeal fan, the changes that consume this healthy meal every morning. This also means that you should buy it in bulk. Plus, buying what you use a lot in bulk is budget-friendly.

Did you know that if you buy 60 individual packets in a traditional supermarket, you will pay nearly $10 more each time? So, when you do the math, you will realize that buying oatmeal in bulk is a smart decision.

10. Buy: Healthy Bite-sized Snacks

Wrongly, many believe that eating healthy is super expensive. However, the truth is that eating well is about cooking, planning, and eating smarter. From time to time, a product jumps in that’s both affordable and healthy.

This is where Costco’s healthy bite-sized snacks appear. Healthy snacks are sold for only $12 for 32 bites, which is $0,37 per bite. That will get your stomach full without putting you in the bank.

9. Buy: Cashews

Nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews… You name it! These products are healthy, delicious, and nutritional, that they usually come with a high price. Simply said, they tend to be expensive.

Since they are so expensive when you buy them in small packages, you should think about buying them in bulk. By shopping like this, you will be able to save a few dollars in a short time. You can even freeze them.

8. Don’t Buy: Condiments

Condiments have a rather long shelf life, and they can last for years. The best thing about condiments is that they can last for a decade, and they still won’t lose its taste.

Still, once you open a condiment, you need to keep them in the fridge. It’s a general rule. Always place ketchup and mustard in your fridge. If you don’t have a lot of fridge space, place them int the fridge door. Still, if you are just appealed to condiment due to their size and price, skip it.

7. Don’t Buy: Salsa

Could there even be a party without salsa? Having a salsa sos when you are throwing a party is a must. Otherwise, you are simply spending money.

Costco salsa jar is a perfect choice of a large group of people. Otherwise, you might want to consider your fridge possibilities and empty it a bit. In the meantime, search for more space fitting salsa sos – the one that you can actually eat before it goes bad.

6. Buy: Vitamins

You know how essential vitamins are for your body and mind. As expected, the market is filled with various vitamins that can improve our lives. But.. How to choose the best one?

This one is easy. If you love bulk shopping, you love Costco, and there you can feel free to buy needed dietary supplements. Buying Kirkland brand vitamins, you will get the same vitamins as everywhere else, but at a better price.

5. Buy: Batteries

Batteries are easily found in every home. This shouldn’t be a surprise considering just how often we use them. They are handy, needed, and not as cheap as we would love to.

So, whenever you find batteries on sale, buy them. Buy them in bulk, just don’t forget to take them to the recycle center once they are empty. You are worried that Kirkland batteries aren’t durable enough. Don’t let that bother you, because Duracell makes them.

4. Buy: Milk

No matter how many milk bottles you have in your home because you will use it until the last drop. If you are sure that you can use Kirkland one gallon jugs before it goes bad, go for it.

If you love Kirkland milk, but you know that’s too much for you to use, you should plan your milk usage. Simply said, you can use the same gallon for drinking, baking cake, making cookies, and eating cereals. Be practical.

3. Buy: Coffee Cups

Coffee lovers know that love toward coffee is a serious thing. Moreover, coffee lovers know that coffee cups or mugs are mandatory in every kitchen. So, if you love a good coffee cup, you should think about this collection.

It’s important for your coffee machine to match this product. Plus, the individual formats sold at Costco will be very advantageous for you. You will get much more for your money!

2. Don’t Buy: Toothpaste

Just like soap and shampoos, you shouldn’t buy toothpaste at full price. These products are always on sale, even in your local grocery store.

This is where the final price matters the most. So don’t store 20 tubes of toothpaste in your bathroom and keep your eye on sales, especially at Costco.

1. Buy: Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is one of the most famous American products. It goes with everything. You can eat it with bread, put in smooth, or you can only use a spoon and scoop the jar entirely with it.

So, when you see a good deal of peanut butter at Costco buy in bulk and don’t think twice about it. Investing in peanut butter is always a good idea. Plus, you will save the money and always have peanut butter on hand.

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