Costco is usually a shopping paradise, and it’s one of the best-rated retailer store in the United States. I have a Costco membership myself and I get every penny out of it. I mean, yes, the Seattle-based American chain offers a gigantic range of products of all kinds, literally everything (even coffins, really!), and their prices are hard to beat.
But, well, not everything is rosy at Costco, because over the years, the customers of the shopping club have realized that some of their products are not so worth buying. We have collected some of the least recommended items, as rated by shopping experts.
Things you must avoid shopping at Costco, according to customers
When it comes to cost, Costco is renowned for its competitive pricing. However, it’s worth noting that you can sometimes snag even better deals at different retailers. So, let’s start at something you might be using today: toiler paper. Let’s break it down: at Target, a 36-count package of Cottonelle Ultra will set you back $16.99. Now, compare that to a 45-count package at Costco, which comes in at around $28.99. Crunch the numbers, and you’ll see that the Target option is 17 cents cheaper per roll. That’s some serious savings when you think about it annually, or if your family is large.
There’s one more thing to consider: Costco has faced its fair share of supply chain challenges in the past. These challenges have occasionally resulted in shortages of essentials like toilet paper, ending up in prices soaring. But you’ve got choices: There are fantastic eco-friendly and high-quality toilet paper alternatives out there from brands like Who Gives a Crap!, which is becoming one of America’s favorites.
Why do shopping experts advise against buying pre-made meals from Costco?
While Costco is known for its bargains, not all of their ready-to-eat options live up to the hype, according to a shoppers’ discussion on Reddit. So, don’t be surprised if you occasionally end up with a less-than-satisfactory meal. Then there’s the issue of rising prices. Many Costco-goers have raised eyebrows at the increasing costs of pre-made meals and bakery items. If you’re an aficionado of their baked goods, here’s a tip: they’re at their best when fresh, and buying in bulk can be a gamble. Sometimes, smaller batch bakeries offer higher-quality treats.
Now, let’s talk baking mixes. It might seem like a time and money-saver to buy those pancake or cake mixes in bulk, especially if you’re a busy parent. But here’s the scoop: making your mix from scratch can cost less than half of what you’d pay at Costco. Seriously! You can gather flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar for less than two bucks, whereas a pre-made mix can set you back six dollars or more.
If convenience is your jam and you prefer store-bought mixes, wait for a sale at your local grocery store. Sometimes, they go for less than fifty cents a box, and with a manufacturer coupon, you’re practically spending pocket change. Costco mixes, on the other hand, range from six to eleven bucks, so it’s better to stick with your neighborhood grocery store for this item.
Consider Not Shopping Fruits and Vegetables at Costco – Here’s Why
Unless you’re thinking about feeding a battalion, it might be not a good idea to buy fresh produce at Costco, and there’s one simple explanation that supports this statement. Shopping at Costco often means bringing home produce in large, family-sized packages.
These bulk quantities might seem like a good deal, but they can pose challenges for smaller households. Firstly, you’ll need to grapple with the sheer volume of produce you’ve acquired. Even if you have no qualms about quantity, there’s the issue of storage. If your kitchen lacks abundant cold storage space, you may find it tricky to preserve everything properly.
Furthermore, fresh fruits and veggies have a limited shelf life, typically around five to seven days after purchase. This means you have a ticking clock to consume them all before they spoil. The pressure is on, especially for items like lettuce, which can start wilting even if you’re not feeding a crowd. So, while Costco’s bulk produce deals can be enticing, they’re best suited for households with the storage space and the appetite to match. If you’re a smaller family or living solo, you might consider shopping these products at your local farmers’ market.
How to Find Better Deals Than Costco
Finding better deals than Costco involves knowing which items are not a great deal at Costco and where to find better prices for those items.
- Compare Unit Prices
- Consider Store Brands
- Avoid Bulky Items with Short Shelf Life
- Check Ethnic Markets
- Leverage Post-Holiday Sales