Costco is known for offering great savings to its consumers. Most of the customers in this store only go there to buy certain products in bulk, such as olive oil or golf balls. However, you should buy some of your products in other stores. It is not always advantageous to shop in this gigantic business. Here are 20 products to buy from Costco and 10 products to avoid when shopping in this store.
1. Buy: roasted chicken
Ivo Parashkevov, the creator of Charlie, an artificial intelligence robot with personal finances, said paying $4.99 for Costco’s cooked roast chicken is a good deal. Add a pre-prepared salad, he says, and “it’s a perfect dinner for a family of four” for less than $10.
2. Buy: Kirkland bacon
Costco’s Kirkland sliced bacon received a rating of 3.3 out of 5 from reviews of consumer reports, with negative aspects that have more to do with the amount you have to buy at once (bacon packages are in packs of four) than with the taste.
3. Avoid: fresh fruits and vegetables
For many buyers, when you buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables from Costco, it’s like buying the composter.
Costco has an abundant product section, with many fresh and healthy choices. But the quantities of perishable foodstuffs are too large for most households. You would probably be better off buying smaller quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables at the supermarket. This will reduce your loss.
4. Buy: fresh eggs
Parashkevov sees two advantages to buying eggs from Costco: excellent prices and variety.
“They have a surprising choice when it comes to eggs,” he says. You can buy everything from conventional eggs to outdoor eggs, all at a lower cost than in many other grocery stores.”
Prices vary by region, but Reddit users have reported prices below $5 for five dozen eggs and $3 for three dozen eggs in their local stores.
5. Avoid: milk, unless you have a large family
“You can’t buy milk from Costco” because of the quantities offered, said Mr. Parashkevov.
There’s nothing wrong with the milk Costco sells, but you have to buy 2 gallons at a time. Unless you have many children to feed, it is probably impossible to drink so much milk before it becomes bad.
6. Buy: Kirkland organic almond milk
A good purchase you can make at Costco is Kirkland almond milk. The Dashing Dish blog praised this food as something that can go anywhere from smoothies to lattes.
7. Buy: the acai bowl in the food court
Costco’s food court is so popular that it made headlines when the warehouse store changed the menu last summer. And the vegans were delighted. Instead of walking past pizza and hot dogs with an empty stomach and a heavy heart, people who don’t eat meat can now choose a bowl of herbal acai for $5.
8. Buy: olive oil
If you like olive oil, the money you save on Kirkland organic olive oil could quickly pay the cost of your Costco membership. Samin Nosrat recommended this brand of olive oil in his bestseller, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.
9. Buy: organic almond butter
Organic nut butter is a healthy source of protein, but they can be expensive.
Grace Guffin on the Cooking Light blog praised Costco’s private label organic almond butter in an article entitled The One Item That Makes a Trip to Costco So Worth It.
“This beautiful 27-ounce almond jar costs only $8,” said Mr. Guffin, making it much cheaper than what you can find elsewhere.
10. Avoid: condiments
Unless you are buying condiments for a family reunion, condiments are probably not a good purchase from Costco. Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise have a long shelf life, but not enough (unless you’re the kind of person who puts ketchup on everything – so go ahead).
Cheat Sheet noted that mayonnaise is only good three months after the expiry date and that even mustard turns against you after one year.
11. Buy: cheese
Parashkevov says he has a weakness for fancy cheeses, and the Costco Cheese Alley is a corner of paradise for him. His favorite variety is Humboldt Fog.
“I think you can usually get a big piece for well under $20,” he says, adding that it would make it easy to feed guests “for three or four meals in two weeks.
Parashkevov also recommended buying Parmesan cheese from Costco. “Per unit, it’s very, very cheap,” he said, and its shelf life is longer than most cheeses.
12. Buy: breakfast cereals
“Cereals don’t rot,” Parashkevov said, “You need a little more space to buy from Costco,” he adds, “but you can get better prices than in other grocery stores.
Whether you like Cheerios or Kirkland Ancient Grains, you can get large quantities at low prices.
13. Buy: frozen fruit
If you like smoothies, consider buying fruit in the Costco freezer section. There are many organic choices at much lower prices than in other grocery stores. Reader’s Digest has put this article on a list of things you should buy from Costco, and we agree.
14. Avoid it: Gas Signaller Grill
While Costco offers the Signateur gas grill for about half the price of a Weber grill, commentators on a Reddit grill said that its construction was not as durable as a Weber and that it might be difficult to find replacement parts.
A Reddit buyer summed up his regrets by buying this grill: “I have had this grill for just under a month and I am terribly disappointed by the lack of heat it applies to the food. With all burners at maximum, it doesn’t get hot enough to grab a steak or even put color on a hamburger patty without cooking the meat to the end.” Some comments about the Costco site grill echo the view that the grill simply does not provide enough heat.
15. Buy: organic berries
Organic berries are an exception to the warning for fresh produce.
“This could fall into your category of, am I going to eat this?” according to Parashkevov.
Berries have great health benefits, but they can be expensive. Costco’s bargains on fresh berries can help you add this excellent antioxidant-rich food to your daily diet.
Costco’s berry quantities may also be a little easier for the average consumer to manage – an optional 18-ounce pack of blueberries, for example.
16. Avoid: some prepared foods
Costco offers many options for a healthier diet on a limited budget, but it may be better to use raw materials such as nuts, meats, and cheeses rather than some prefabricated food products such as chicken tikka masala or enchiladas.
17. Buy: vanilla extract
A 16-ounce bottle of pure vanilla extract can cost up to $30 at Costco, about 30% less per ounce than at other stores. And the Costco version is pure vanilla, not vanilla flavor, so you pay for quality. Today show recommended this product to anyone who likes to cook because it will last a long time.
18. Avoid: flour, baking powder, and dry yeast
Flour has a limited shelf life, as do other bakery ingredients (e. g. baking powder and dry yeast). The Eat This Not That website warned against buying these items in bulk from Costco. If you do not operate a professional bakery, it is unlikely that you will be able to use these products before their expiry date.
19. Buy: Kirkland organic coconut water
If coconut water hydration is part of your lifestyle, you will want to purchase a package of 12 units of Kirkland Organic Coconut Water.
20. Buy: Verka Organic Yogurt
For just over what you would spend on a 16-ounce yogurt at the grocery store, you can get a 64-ounce Verka organic yogurt pot from Costco. This cultured milk product has a surprisingly long shelf life, and its taste and texture are comparable to those of other whole milk.
21. Avoid: Las Fortunitas tortilla chips
If your local Costco sells Las Fortunitas chips – those in a bag the size of a garbage bag – don’t buy them.
That’s not the price the problem; at less than $6, it’s an incredible offer. It’s not the taste, these chips are crisp and tasty. It’s just that you’ll probably never finish them.
22. Buy: Kerrygold butter
Costco sells several brands of butter, including Kirkland brand organic butter sticks. But if you want high-quality butter, gourmets prefer Kerrygold, made with milk from grass-fed cows.
23. Buy: Kirkland maple syrup
Maple syrup is a favorite at Costco. Not only is Kirkland maple syrup organic and pure, but it’s also a great deal.
24. Avoid: paper towels and toilet paper
Large packages of Kirkland toilet paper or paper towels can be a good deal, but not if you live in a small apartment where you don’t have storage space for all these products…
25. Buy: Kirkland vodka
Alcohol of all kinds is a good purchase at Costco, but vodka stands out. Costco’s homemade vodka is so good that some people think it could be Grey Goose undercover, for a fraction of the price, according to The Kitchn.
26. Avoid: light Kirkland beer
When Costco launched a light beer, the fans were enthusiastic. Then they drank it. It wasn’t good. A reviewer from Beer Advocate said it tasted like battery acid. With such criticism, it is tempting to taste it yourself just to see if you agree. But you’ll have to buy 48 cans, so just forget about it…
27. Buy: generic drugs
If you regularly take an over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen, Tagamet or an allergy pill, you will probably exhaust a quantity of Costco’s warehouse before it expires. You will pay a fraction of what these drugs would cost you in a pharmacy, and you will not lack an essential drug as often.
28. Buy: prescription drugs
Prescription drugs can be expensive, even if you have insurance. Costco’s pharmacy offers such low prices, according to Consumer Reports, that you may be able to pay them without insurance. It is, therefore, worthwhile to file a prescription and have it filled while you are shopping.
29. Avoid: hearing aids
Hearing aids are a major expense that may not be covered by insurance. Costco sells them at a low price and takes a small surcharge.
Despite the good price, you may want to think twice before buying a hearing aid from Costco. Customers have reported poor service in some Costco stores. And some places may not have the right equipment to properly adjust your hearing aid.
30. Buy: prescription glasses
Prescription glasses can be expensive, especially if you need progressive or other special lenses. One solution is to buy glasses online, but the fit and focus of the lens can be a problem with remote purchases.
Be aware that you can have your eyes tested at the store or bring your prescription for that matter – and if you don’t have insurance, Costco Optical may be a good solution.
Costco members also benefit from special online discounts for eyeglasses and contact lenses.