Sometimes, you’ll run across a sticker that stops you in your tracks because it looks like such a good deal. But make sure you really think about the products, when they expire, and how fast you think you and your family can get through them before you end up tossing out some expired food. Plus, some of their “deals” just aren’t very good, and you can find a lot of these products for more affordable prices at other stores. Here’s our list of ‘leave it’ or ‘grab it’ items, to help you save the most money and get the best deals on your next shopping trip to Costco!
Leave it: Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent
You may think that the cheaper the detergent, the better it is for your wallet and therefore, your family. But the truth is, you really do get what you pay for. And when it comes to detergent, you want something that’s actually going to do the job it promises to do and keep your things clean. The Kirkland Signature gel detergent is rated at around 2.8 stars out of 5 on consumer surveys. Many have reported that it does a less-than-stellar job removing debris and stains.
While there are mixed reviews, some of the negative (1-star) reviews claim that the detergent leaves residue on clothing after the wash, it doesn’t clean very well at all, and perhaps the worst of them: it causes skin irritation. It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case and stick with a laundry detergent that’s going to stay in the wash!
Grab it: Kirkland Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a labor-intensive business that leads to high prices. So, when it comes to bulk prices, it can be tough to find a syrup that’s not filled with preservatives and other kinds of chemicals to produce it more cheaply. But Kirkland’s maple syrup is 100% organic, which is hard to find at such good prices in bulk.
If you love pancakes, or if it’s about time that you start using that waffle press that’s been sitting under your stove since your wedding, definitely pick up some Kirkland’s syrup to soak them in. You can get a 33.8 oz bottle of pure maple syrup from Costco for less than $13. If you were to grab it from a different store, you’d get 12.5 oz for around $8 – so you can see how good of a deal you’re getting when you buy in bulk. Plus, as long as you store it in the fridge, it can last for quite some time and a whole lot of pancake breakfasts.
Leave it: Books
Books probably aren’t one of the first things that come to mind when you’re making your Costco shopping list. And that’s with good reason, since they don’t have a very good selection, and the books they do offer aren’t going to save you a ton of money.
If you’re looking for good books that you’ll actually want to read, save your money and head to Amazon. You can find anything and everything, both in paperback and e-book form. You can also take a trip to the library and rent your books for free instead. Or, for the cost of a $2 library card, possibly. In either case, it’s still a better deal than what you’d be getting from the grocery store.
Grab it: Toilet Paper
It’s long been thought that 2-ply toilet paper is better than its 1-ply brethren. Why? Well, since 2-ply is made with two layers, everyone assumes that it will be stronger and softer. While that is the case many times, it isn’t always, since 1-ply can be manufactured well and feel even better than the tissue with two layers.
Kirkland Signature’s tissue is 2-ply, so you don’t have to doubt its quality. It’s also very economical to buy the big 30 packs, which will save you plenty of money in the long run. Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? After all, toilet paper is something you can’t live without. Next time you’re in Costco, be sure to pick up some 2-ply Kirkland’s toilet paper.
Grab it: Olive Oil
If it seems like it would be hard to go wrong with olive oil, that’s because it is. The ingredients on the bottle are pretty much the same, whether you’re in a boutique in Italy or the dollar store in Cincinnati. The only thing about the dollar store olive oil is that the bottles are tiny. But at Costco, you don’t have that problem.
You can get a 2-liter bottle of oily goodness from Costco for less than $20. That is an insanely good deal, considering what the alternatives cost. If you buy a bottle from Publix or Kroger, etc., you’re going to get 17 ounces for around $8-$10. That’s equal to about half a liter. So, you’re spending around half of what you’d spend for that much olive oil at another store.
Half and Half: Ground Coffee
Whether or not coffee is a good deal depends on which kind, and how fast you’re planning on using it. If you’re buying beans, or if you’re buying in bulk to give out one container to different families who will drink it quickly, it’s worth considering. But – if you’re planning on keeping it around as backup and you don’t think you’ll blow through it; think twice.
Ground coffee can go stale fast if it’s not stored properly. In fact, ground coffee goes stale much quicker than whole beans. Be careful buying a ton of ground coffee in bulk, because it could lose its flavor and effects once it's exposed to air. If you’re determined to get it anyways, store it in the freezer to keep it fresher for longer.
Grab it: Gas
One of the best things about having a Costco membership is by far the gas stations. Gas from this store can be much less than some of the other gas stations in your area. In fact, they average about 25-30 cents less than their competitors.
Membership can be beneficial for all types of drivers. If you’ve got a daily commute to work that takes 30 minutes to an hour, or if you simply need to get around town a few times per week. No matter where you’re going, Costco can get you there for less.
Leave it: Light Beer
Light beers have a significantly smaller number of calories than their regular relatives. But the price point is typically the same or at least close in range. The thing about beer is, that you get what you pay for, and that means that if you expect any type of quality in your brew, you should expect to pay a bit more.
While in most cases, store brand and name brand items have the same active ingredients, etc., Costco’s beer doesn’t claim to be the equivalent to – say, Budweiser. They just lower the price and hope you’re desperate enough for a drink that you’ll take the chance. Save your taste buds and opt for Corona or Heineken instead.
Grab it: Frozen Fruits
It’s pretty hard to go wrong with fruit – especially when it’s frozen. Fruit is mainly grown in many of the same ways, whether it’s being shipped to Costco or Publix. Plus, when it’s frozen, it’s not like you have to worry about it being, or going, bad. The big bags of different types of frozen fruit at Costco are an excellent deal. Especially if you’re a fan of smoothies.
Granted, the big bags will take up some serious freezer space, but depending on how much you love your fruit, you’ll make room. Read: you should definitely make room. Because you won’t find a much better deal on frozen fruit!
Leave it: Fresh Fruits
So, while buying fruit in bulk from Costco is a smart move, that’s only if it's frozen fruit. Well, this one can depend in large part on how much fruit you and your family eat. But unless you blow through a regular-sized bag of apples or oranges in a matter of days, it’s probably not the wisest idea to invest in a ton of fresh fruit – or vegetables.
Say you find what seems like an amazing deal because it’s four times the number of bananas you usually get and for a much lower cost than if you were to just buy one bunch. However – think about how quickly bananas ripen. Then, think about how quickly they turn brown. You’ll likely end up freezing or throwing a number of them away if you buy in bulk. It’s a better idea to stick with the smaller bags of fresh produce.
Leave it: Spices
While it may seem like a great deal to buy a big old tub of oregano for a discounted price, this is not necessarily so. That’s because spices lose their flavor over time. So, unless you think you’re going to go through a bucket of that spice over the next few months, it’s better to stick with the smaller sizes.
Now, if you own a restaurant, or a soup kitchen, or something of the sort, this may actually be a good deal for you. Just ask yourself how quickly you think you can use that enormous jar of spice before you make the purchase. If you’re just shopping for your family’s spice rack, stick with the normal-sized jars.
Leave it: Tissue
While it may seem like a wise choice to grab a bunch of cheap tissue before flu season hits, you may want to consider the quality of said tissue. Think back to the last time you were sick, and you used cheap tissues to blow your nose. Chances are they broke under pressure and you were left with snot all over your fingers.
Tissue is something that you should look for quality in since the cheaper they are, the thinner and less effective they’re going to be. Plus, Costco doesn’t really offer the best deals on their 12-packs of tissue boxes. You can find larger bulk quantities online for less money.
Grab it: Tires
Tires are something that not everyone thinks about replacing as much as they should. At least, they don’t think about it until one pops, and they realize they should have had them switched out months ago. Luckily, Costco has a tire center that has you covered.
Next time you run into tire trouble, Costco is the place to be. They’ve got affordable prices on goods and services in the department, and they’ll be able to get it done fairly quickly. Comparatively speaking, you can find new tires for around $20 or less than specialty auto shops. That may not seem like a lot of money, but when you’re getting four tires, you’re saving a lot of money in the long run.
Leave it: Soda
This one is sort of another case that depends on you, and how much you drink soda. If you basically live off of soda, buying it in bulk isn’t a terrible idea. But buying your soda from Costco isn’t necessarily the best deal you’re going to find, either.
When making the decision as to whether or not to buy soda from Costco, think about what’s more important to you. Do you care more about having tons of pop around the house, or saving money? If your answer is saving money, then leave the soda on the shelves and pick it up in smaller batches at the other stores.
Leave it: Diapers
Diapers can be extremely expensive. And it’s not like they’re something you can do without. If you’ve got a baby, you need diapers. It may seem like buying them from Costco is the right move, and while you may save some money, you don’t want your child to outgrow a size before you’ve used them all up.
The smarter way to buy in this case is through a site like Amazon, where you can always find excellent deals – and, who delivers, so you don’t have to lug all of the diapers around with you. You can also get them on a subscription and update your preferences when you need to switch sizes. On Amazon, you can order a one-month supply of diapers (which is a case of 148,) for less than $45.
Grab it: Cereal
Cereal is by far the easiest, quickest breakfast food for busy families. Hell, it’s the quickest breakfast food for bachelors, too. If you love the crunchy sugary goodness that is cereal, buying it in bulk is the way to go. Whatever you’re craving, you’ll be able to find a great deal next time you’re shopping at Costco.
Since the bags are sealed inside of their boxes, they can last for a surprisingly long time, while left unopened. And even once they’re open, it still takes a while for them to go stale. Just make sure you check the expiration dates before you make your purchase. You can get a three-count variety pack of large Kellogg’s cereal for less than $10. Pro tip: use a chip clip and roll and clip your cereal bag inside of the box to keep it fresher for longer.
Grab it: Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is handy for a number of reasons around the kitchen. It’s pretty much a hero when it comes to saving leftovers and covering up the Tupperware that you can’t find the lids for. It never hurts to have too much of it lying around the house, either, which is why you should definitely consider grabbing some the next time you’re at Costco.
You can get 3,000 feet of Kirkland’s plastic wrap for $14.99. When you buy from a different store, you’d typically get a roll of 200-300 feet for around $4. Plastic wrap doesn’t expire, and it doesn’t go bad or lose its effectiveness after any period of time. As long as you store it in a cool, dry place, having a stash of it in case of food emergencies is a great idea.
Leave it: Shampoo
Unless you’re in desperate need of shampoo, to the point you won’t be going shopping before the next time you need to wash your strands, think about getting it from somewhere else. Of course, if they’re having a 'buy one, get one' sale, that may be a good deal, but typically, they don’t have the best prices on cosmetics.
There are other places that have much bigger and better selections of shampoo and conditioner. You can find any type that you can imagine on Amazon, and have it sent straight to your door. At Costco, they sell 33 ounces of Kirkland Signature for about $12. Their salon-style shampoo comes in a bottle with a pump. But on Amazon, you can find name-brand shampoos in the same size and bottle style for around the same price.
Grab it: Oatmeal
Oatmeal is one of the greatest breakfast staples that can stick around in the pantry for a long time. As long as it stays sealed, it will retain its flavor for much longer than other kinds of breakfast foods. In fact, oatmeal can live on your shelf comfortably at room temperature for 18-24 months. Costco sells Quaker oats in boxes of 60 individual packets. This is definitely one of the things that should go on your list. At least, until you run out of oatmeal again, that is.
Variety packs are great for families with picky kids who all like to eat different things! You can get oatmeal in a few different ways from the bulk supplier. You can purchase them in large cases of individually packed servings, or in larger containers, depending on how quickly you eat oatmeal and how many people are living in your home. The packets are terrific for grab-and-go breakfasts, and for emergency food supplies.
Grab it: Healthy Snacks
When it comes to snacks, the greasy and non-nutritious junk food is always way less expensive than the healthier options. That makes it really difficult to eat healthy when your family is on a budget. But never fear, because affordable healthy bites at Costco are here!
These bite-sized "Aussie Bites" snacks are packed full of protein and fiber, and all of the other good stuff. They’re made with natural ingredients like rolled oats, quinoa, flax seeds, and honey. And the best part is they only cost $12 for a 32-pack! Considering how filling they can be, they should last you a while, too. Don’t forget to pick up some good-for-you snacks next time you're browsing the aisles.
Grab it: Nuts
Nuts are something else that can lean towards the more expensive side. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, since they’re healthy, and we all know how over-priced healthy foods are. Rather than splurging on a smaller can from the other grocery stores, opt for bulk packing (and prices.)
You can get 2.5 pounds of cashews for right around $25 at Costco. Compared to Publix and other grocers who sell 17 ounces (less than half of 2.5 lbs.) for $17-$18, you’re getting a killer deal when you buy in bulk instead. Cashews are a healthy and yummy snack food to keep around for when you want something crunchy and salty. Pick some up in bulk and have them on hand when the craving strikes!
Leave it: Mayo
Mayo may be creamy, and it may include eggs, but it actually has a surprisingly long shelf life (as long as you store it in the refrigerator, where you are supposed to keep it.) But that still doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a bucket of it because it seems like you’ll be saving a few bucks in the long run.
This condiment is one of those things that, while it may seem like you’re getting a killer deal on the price, is actually going to end up costing you money. Why? Because more than likely, you’ll end up throwing some of it out and wasting what you could have saved by buying a smaller size. Unless you work in the restaurant industry and you go through mayo-like water, stick with the regular-sized jars.
Leave it: Salsa
You know how convenient it is when you just have that gigantic tub of salsa in your fridge that’s the size of an orange juice container? Yeah, that’s because it’s definitely not convenient at all. Again, if you run a taco stand and you go through salsa like crazy, it may be for you. But if you’re just thinking about buying salsa to keep around the house for you and the fam (or the roomies) – skip it.
Not only do they sell 38-ounce bottles of Kirkland’s salsa, but they sell it in two packs. Now, really think about that one before you grab it on your way past. Do you need 76 ounces of salsa? Since it’s made with veggies, it can definitely go bad, so unless you’re having a taco party with 50 people this weekend, leave it there for the people who are.
Grab it: Snack Packs
These are probably one of the absolute best things to put on your Costco list. Whether you’ve got kids that you send off with lunches every day, or you’re packing those lunches for yourself, individually wrapped chips are a terrific idea. Once you open a large back of chips, their days of freshness are numbered. But with the single packs, they’ll stay fresher for much longer.
Next time you’re planning a bulk shopping trip, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the 27-54 packs of different kinds of chips and snacks. You can find the 54-variety pack of Frito Lay things for $15. That’s a whole lot of happy lunches. This also goes for the little variety packs of cookies and fruit snacks, both of which last just as long as chips in their sealed pouches.
Grab it: Vitamins
Vitamins are something that is exactly the same whether they’re coming in brand or store names. They have the same active ingredients, and they work just as well as their brand-name rivals. When you buy a popular brand, you’re just paying for the name 99% of the time.
You can get a big bottle of 600 Kirkland vitamin D pills for less than $9. If you went to the drugstore, you would pay right around the same price for a fifth of the pills. Really, at Walgreens, 100 vitamin D capsules cost $8. Keep yourself and your family healthy without breaking the bank by buying vitamins in bulk.
Grab it: Batteries
When you’re thinking about emergencies, like hurricanes and other types of disasters, batteries are one of the first things that come to mind. Everyone will tell you to stay stocked up on them, so that you can power your flashlights and radios, etc.
Even if you’re not stocking up for disaster preparation, it’s never a bad idea to keep batteries on hand. You can get a 48-pack of AA batteries in bulk for $17 – that’s right around 30 cents per battery. When you compare that to the 10 pack you can buy at Publix for $7 – it’s a no-brainer. Keep your batteries stored in a cool, dark place. If you live in an area where it’s really hot, you can always store them in the fridge if you’ve got the space.
It Depends: Milk
This is another item that may or may not be worth it for you to buy from Costco. Milk doesn’t stay good for very long at all, everyone knows this. So, think about how fast milk goes in your household. If you can easily put down a gallon in a couple of days, buying in bulk may not be a bad idea. After all, the prices really are good for the quantity, when you purchase it this way.
But – and that’s a big but – if gallons do pretty well with your family, and your kids aren’t huge fans of milk and/or you don’t use it yourself, just forget about it. They do sell two packs of Kirkland gallons, and they’re very affordable. If in doubt, reach for the two-pack!
Leave it: K-Cups
The days of K-cups are numbered, with all of the heat coming down on them for how terrible they are for the environment. Sure, the Keurig can be very convenient for a single cup of coffee, but does it really take that much time or effort to add grounds to a coffee filter? No – and, coffee grounds are much less expensive than single-use cups.
If you insist on using your Keurig, use the refillable cup it came with (or buy a new one from Amazon, if it’s gone missing,) and fill it with grounds, instead. You can get a whole lot of coffee grounds from Costco that will last longer and cost less money, not to mention it won’t wreak havoc upon the earth.
Grab it: Rotisserie Chicken
Is there anyone that can walk past a rotisserie chicken in the deli and not pick it up for dinner? If you’re out there, you must be a vegetarian or vegan, because the smell is enough to hook us every time. Sure, you could go to KFC or Popeye's and spend $20 on deep-fried chicken that’ll last you one meal. Or, you could pick up the healthier version from Costco’s deli, and have some leftovers for chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Costco’s rotisserie chickens weigh around three pounds on average, while other big grocers sell smaller, two lb. birds for more money. You can get your rotisserie bird for just $5 at the bulk supplier, while you’d be paying $7 or $8 for less meat at the competitor’s store. According to CNN, in 2018, Costco had sold 91 million of the products just the year prior, and actually ended up losing some money on them becausethey weree so determined to sell them for low prices.
Leave it: Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another one of those necessary household products that may seem like a smart buy to invest in a whole box of them for what sounds like a good offer. But unless you’re planning on being able to use all of them within a year or so, move on. That’s because they can only be stored for two years before losing their effectiveness, and it takes a good while to get through a tube of toothpaste.
The exception to this would be if you’ve got several children, and dogs, all of whom require enormous amounts of toothpaste. Or, if you’re running some type of shelter and you’re planning on handing them out. In that case, go for it! But if your family goes through a tube in the typical amount of time, one tube should last for up to three months. So, just make sure you do the math before deciding whether or not to make this buy.
Grab it: Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a must-have kitchen staple. It’s the perfect go-to food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you’re in a rush. Plus, it has an amazing shelf life, even after it’s been opened. Buying this stuff in bulk, whether you opt for creamy or crunchy, is definitely a smart move.
Just make sure you check the prices at Costco, compared to say, Target, because sometimes it actually isn’t that good of a deal. For instance, you can get a 64-oz tub of peanut butter from a competing store for less than $5. But when you buy here, you get a two-pack of 28 oz tubs for nearly $12. So, you’d be paying more for less product. If you don’t mind spending an extra dollar or so, it may be worth it not to have to make another trip in the near future.
It Depends: Bagels
How quickly do you think you can munch down on some freshly baked bagels? When you buy from Costco, they come in two packs of 12. Bagels go stale very quickly, so if you don’t think you and your family can eat 24 bagels within a week or so, you may want to think twice.
At the same time, however, if you’ve got space in your freezer, you can always freeze a pack immediately when you get home so you can defrost and enjoy them later on. These are also a great idea for things like meetings at work, or school, or just hanging out with friends. If you’ve got to cater a breakfast or brunch, this would be a great (and affordable) choice! But, if you don’t have the space in your freezer, or you don’t have tons of other people to help you eat them, stick with the smaller sizes!
Leave it: Almond Milk
Almond milk may be a delicious and nutritious alternative to cow milk, but that doesn’t mean you should pick up just any almond milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, etc., almond milk is a nice substitute for things like cereal, and just to drink. And while Kirkland’s may be priced for the sale, it also just isn’t very good.
So, if you’re looking for a milk substitute that tastes good, and one you’ll actually enjoy, keep searching. Silk makes almond/coconut milk that tastes amazing. It may cost a little more, but it’s worth it to drink a creamy, quality product. Save your taste buds and wait until your next trip to Publix or Kroger to pick up this item.
Grab it: Tahini
Tahini is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a tasty, smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds and one that livens up many dishes. It’s also an important ingredient in homemade hummus, so if you’re interested in mixing up your own recipe, you’ll need some of this on hand.
Next time you’ve got a craving for the good stuff, make sure you’ve got it waiting for you in the fridge. You can get a tub from Costco if you use it often. It’s got a nice, long shelf life (though you must keep it in the fridge.) If you were to buy your Tahini from your regular grocer, you’d pay $6-$7 for 16 ounces. But if 16 ounces isn’t enough for you, Costco sells it in a five-gallon container.
Leave it: Frozen Waffles
Waffles are another easy grab-and-go breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) that makes eating in a hurry super easy. And, if you’ve got multiple kids who are in school, that’s probably something that’s appealing to you. But before you grab some Eggos next time you’re in Costco, make sure to consider a few things.
First, think about the available space you have in the freezer. Do you have room to put multiple (large) boxes of frozen waffles? After all, they have to stay frozen. They can also develop freezer burn if they’re left for too long. It’s best to play it safe and buy waffles by the individual boxes. They always have 'buy one, get one' deals at your regular store, too.
It Depends: Cologne
Yes, Costco does sell colognes. And why wouldn’t they? Drugstores sell it too, so it stands to reason the bulk supplier would jump on board. If you (or your husband, or son, etc.) only like and wear one type of cologne, and they happen to sell it, it may be a very good deal! It’s not like cologne goes bad, so staying stocked up on it and buying it at affordable prices isn’t a bad idea at all.
But – if you or the men in your life like to switch things up, buying multiple bottles of the same cologne may not be the best move. This is especially true if they’ve never even tried it before. The last thing you want to do is end up with cologne that they won’t use!
Grab it: Bar Soap
Bar soap is another one of those things that can sit around forever and not go bad. Plus, it isn’t like you ever don’t need soap. Keeping enough around the house for anytime anyone runs out of it is a great idea. Plus, it’s likely that multiple people in your family use the same kind, which makes it an even better deal!
Tip: To keep your bar soap fresher for longer, and to deodorize your closet, take some of the bars out of their boxes and place them in different corners. You can also put some in your drawers full of clothes, to have the same effect.
Leave it: Feminine Hygiene Products
Pads and tampons are something that all women are going to need throughout their lives. Staying stocked on these essential paper goods is a must for females – and anyone living with them! It would seem like you’d be able to save a lot of money by purchasing these things in bulk from Costco, but it isn't necessarily the best place to grab them.
When you buy these in smaller sizes from the store, you get 44 or so pads for $6. When you get them in the bigger sizes, you can get a 76-count for $13 – which costs twice as much for less than half of what they’re selling in the big bag. You can find much better deals on this type of stuff from an online retailer like Amazon.
Grab it: Foil
Foil is an awesome tool to have around the house. You can use it for so many different types of food storage, among other things. One box of Reynolds from the store can cost nearly $5. And, since it’s not like foil expires, buying it in bulk is definitely a smart move when it comes to saving money for your family.
When you buy foil in bulk, you can get nearly 12 boxes for under $20. When you do the math on that, it’s way too much savings to pass up. Make sure you add aluminum foil to your next Costco list. The same applies to other types of food storage, including parchment and wax paper, and baggies.
Grab it: Rice
Rice is a household food staple that you should have around at all times. It’s filling and it's versatile, so it can be used for all types of different meals. A five-pound bag of rice can cost anywhere between $3-$6 from your grocer. But when you buy a 20-lb bag, the price per pound drops dramatically, and you end up saving a ton of money.
But Costco offers more than just plain white rice. They have different types of organic browns and jasmine as well. Next time you’re on the hunt for a healthy staple for your pantry, try opting for a large bag of Organic Brown Basmati rice. You can get a 20-pound bag of this nutritious supper staple for right around $20, which is definitely a steal!
Grab it: Trash Bags
Trash bags are such an odd thing to think about when you consider you’re spending money on something so you can literally just put it right in the trash can. Unfortunately, we need those garbage bags to keep the trash from piling up around the house. And, you probably don’t see yourself not needing them anytime soon, right?
Costco offers some quality bags at affordable prices. You can get 200 bags for just $13.99. When you break that down, it equates to only $0.07/bag, which isn’t too terrible considering all of the work they do and everything they’re capable of holding. Plus, unlike buying cheap bags from the dollar store, Kirkland’s actually hold up to the weight we need.
Leave it: Flour
While it may seem like having extra flour around is a smooth move, that’s not always the case. Sure, you can store flour in a sealed, airtight container for up to a year, but that doesn’t mean you should just let it hang out. Flour has a tendency to attract bugs. In fact, it’s so common that the main type of beetle you may find in your kitchen’s powder is called “flour beetles.”
You can always opt to store flour in the freezer to keep it safe, but it still doesn’t mean you should spend your money on bulk flour, especially if you won’t use it immediately. Now, if you’re a pro baker, etc., and you use it a lot – go for it. But if you’re just thinking about use for around the house, save your money and pay for it as you run through it, instead.
Grab it: A 93-inch Plush Bear
Is it really required to explain why one should buy this 8-foot teddy bear? This Costco item has long been the chain's absolute favorite. It's cute, it's friendly, it's cuddly, and it's bigger than you! Who needs friends when you have this giant teddy bear.
The bear can turn any room into a cozy paradise, it doesn't just need to be put in the kids' bedroom. It also comes in an assortment of colors.
Leave it: Fresh flowers
Costco isn't exactly known for its niche appeal, so if you're planning on getting someone flowers, it's best to keep it personal. Pick and choose the flowers that best suit your loved one, don't just grab the stock collection on the shelf. Trader Joe's tends to be better when it comes to flowers, or of course, your local florist is always the best option.
If your reason is the price, still Costco isn't the number one choice. You can get an even prettier bouquet at Trader Joe's for a couple of dollars less. You may as get the most bang for your buck seeing as you will only be enjoying them for about a week.
Grab it: Leggings
There is nothing more practical in this world than a pair of black sleek leggings. These stretchy things can fit in just about any setting. You can wear them to the gym, match them with a cute top and even slip it under a sparkly dress and rock a more formal look.
Thankfully you can get just about a lifetime supply of these things as they only cost $10 a pair. Rush to your nearest Costco and get yours.
Leave it: Disposable Razors
This one is pretty surprising. You would think Costco would be a haven for cheap bulk razors. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Perhaps there is a reason behind it, who knows. There are other places out there where you can get the best and the cheapest of course.
At Walmart you can get a pack of 10 razors (Gillette brand of course) for only $7.97, that's $0.80 a razor. Sounds like a great deal!
Grab It: Bacon
The signature brand, Kirkland is just the best way to go in terms of bacon. The supply is super generous and the price is fantastically low. Bacon is really the answer to all of our problems, so head to Costco and begin your problem-solving adventure.
If you're happy about the bacon situation at Costco, you will be glad to know that their bacon goodness doesn't just stop there.
Grab It: Bacon Crumbles
When it comes to the bacon goods, Costco knows how to bring it. These delectable bacon crumbles are a great meaty snack. You really can't go wrong with bacon and the Kirkland brand of course.
Smoked and dried to crunchy perfection, the Kirkland Bacon Crumbles is everything you need.
Grab it: Pre-Cooked Bacon
Do you finally see how Costco rules the world of bacon? We hope by now you do. This pre-cooked bacon is a godsend, so thank you, Kirkland. It also cuts down cooking time by a lot. And of course, you can also get a pretty hefty supply. What would Costco be if they didn't bulk up?
It's hard to say, but for now, that's enough with the bacon goods. But who knows, you might be in for a surprise down the meat aisle.
Leave It: Sunscreen
Well, whaddya know! Sunscreen cannot last forever and actually becomes ineffective after around six months. So unless you spend your life bouncing between hemispheres to live in a perpetual state of summer, a bulk pack of sunscreen is probably just a big waste of money.
You will end up tossing bottles in the trash can before the next season comes around. In this case, it's best to buy as you need.
Grab It: Sheet Cake
Simply the answer to any celebration, Costco sheet cakes are colorful, baked, and frosted to absolute perfection. You will not get a better-looking cake, at least not for the price you're paying.
Get whatever you want on that cake and bring on the smiles. A definite grab!
It Depends: Certain TVs
In the end, it's all about what you're looking for. When it comes to certain electronics, some people are pickier than others. Another issue is that while Costco does have quite the range of goods, they may not have the widest selection of each. Such is the case when it comes to televisions.
You're probably better off going to an actual electronics store or buying something off Amazon and getting it delivered to your door. But who knows? You might stumble on a great deal!
Grab it: Dark Chocolate Potato Chips
You can't go wrong with the trusted Sanders brand. Their dark chocolate potato chips with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt are a delicious snack. While it may not be exactly health food, it's not junky either. These are top-quality ingredients there.
You can get two 1-ounce boxes for only $29, so stock up. They're delicious.
Leave It: Name brand clothing
You will always get those loyal Kirkland users who swear by every item they produce. And yes, the brand is pretty solid, but you can pick up a better deal when it comes to clothes elsewhere. Savvier folks will always seek the outlet stores in all the malls that are made for those outlets.
The quality is not always top-notch. If you have found yourself stuck with a bunch of Costco clothes, the return quality is at least pretty generous.
Grab It: Pre-Made Skillet Mac
The signature Costco pre-made skillet mac and cheese is simply proof that heaven exists. It's perfect for large gatherings, especially if you want to keep it simple. The dish is super tasty, reasonably priced, and enough to satisfy about 10 hungry people.
Of course, you can always stock up on more. Want to give your kid a restaurant-themed birthday party? Do it with the Costco skillet mac and cheese.
Leave It: Eggs
Unless you're running a bed and breakfast out of your home, buying that amount of eggs that Costco has to offer is going to be a massive waste at the end of the day. When it comes to eggs, by the necessary.
You can get that just about anywhere.
Grab It: The $1.50 Hot Dog And Soda Special
It's no Ikea meatballs, if you want that, you might be barking up the wrong tree, but the Costco hot dog and soda special is still pretty satisfying and darn cheap to boot. You can add some tasty dessert afterward too!
What better way to wind down with some cheap grub after all of your shopping?
Leave It: Canned goods
This might come as a surprise to you, but you're probably better off getting all of your canned tomatoes, beans, and what-not at your local supermarket. It's actually cheaper this way and there are far more deals available.
According to savings experts at Clark.com you could stack in-store specials with coupons. This method doesn't quite fly at Costco.
Grab It: Pizza
Costco's frozen pizza section is just fantastic, but that's not what this is about. Yes, you can stock up on a bunch of pretty good frozen pizzas but one of the best parts of the Costco experience is their pizza in the food court.
If you're not a rookie, you definitely know where that is!
Leave It: Soda
Regular supermarkets generally have better deals when it comes to fizzy drinks. Stocking up on soda cans may not be good for your wallet. You can always get coupons at your local grocery store.
Still, if you happen to be in a Costco, the hot dog and soda deal still stands.
Grab It: Dried Mango
Never pass up on healthy snacks! When it comes to the dried fruit, Costco and Kirkland sure do deliver. There are so many different kinds and all of there are in Costco-style bulk amounts.
It's also reasonably priced, so go wild!
Grab It: A Mortgage
Hopefully, all of these Costco do's and don'ts have been pretty helpful. None, however, will compare to this. We bet you didn't think that you could finance your home with Costco. Yep, Costco has been financing homes for a few years now.
That is something that pretty much cancels out their arguably limited supply of books. Jump on their website and find out how this can work for you.
Grab It: Tofu
Tofu is a healthy vegetarian-friendly protein option that stays fresh for a while. It is extremely versatile in recipes and is so easy to prepare.
Whether you’re braising it in a spicy Korean soy sauce mixture, adding it to a stir fry, or air frying for maximum crispiness, tofu can do it all.
Grab It: Guacamole
If your avocado is always going bad before you turn it into guacamole, just buy the premade stuff from Costco. These packs come in 20 mini cups and they're also organic!
It’s vegan, made with easily identifiable ingredients, and a good way to add healthy fats to your meal.
Grab It: Milk Chocolate Almonds
When it comes to snacks Costco fans are obsessed with, there's plenty of competition at any given point in time.
But these delicious little almonds are a must-have for Costco shoppers. Being purchased by nearly one in five people during each trip to the store, they are definitely something you'll want to try if you haven't already.
Leave It: Electronics
It can be difficult to walk up and down the aisles with all those top-of-the-line laptops, nifty vacuum cleaners, and shiny new appliances and not be tempted to upgrade. But according to experts, you can probably get a better price using deal and coupon sites.
Electronics are usually bundled together at warehouse stores, so you might not be getting exactly the same deal, but you will likely get something very similar for up to 15 percent less.
Leave It: Paper Towels
We know that when it comes to great quality at a great value, Kirkland is hard to beat. But it turns out that the products sold under Costco's private label aren't always top dog.
Costco's paper towels may be the most affordable of the bunch — but if you have to use three in place of one, is there really that much saving?
Grab It: Muffins
One secret Costco devotees know is that you can find delicious deals in the bakery section. A long-time favorite from Costco's bakery is their mouth-watering muffins.
They come in a variety of flavors, from blueberry to chocolate chip, and they are sold in packs of 12 for just ten dollars.
Grab It: Kirkland Protein Bars
One of Kirkland's favorite products right now is the Kirkland Signature protein bars in chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. And while they're a newer item, they are said to be very similar to Quest bars.
Costco has done some improvements from their initial release and they have really nailed it. And at half the price of a Quest bar, they're our must-buy item.
Grab It: Most Organic Goods
Bulk wonderland Costco may have surpassed Whole Foods as the nation's biggest organic grocer.
Seeing as organic food (once the domain of alternative co-ops, farmer markets, and specialty retailers) has now become a mainstream phenomenon, it only makes sense that you do your organic shopping at Costco.
Grab It: Vacations
Amazingly enough, there's more to gain from your membership to Costco than heaping discounts on bag-sized pouches of hot dogs and bulk packs of shampoo.
Yep, you can book your next cruise, beach vacation, or a trip to Disney via their very own travel site. They actually have quite a few exciting packages.
Grab It: Dry Beans
Well, as long as you’re stocking up on household goods, you might as well make the best of your situation and spring for the beans.
With Costco’s massive servings pack miraculously able to survive 30 years in storage, these beans are as resourceful as they are important for your health.
Grab It: Pasta
Let’s say the world has come to end and you’re stuck in your bomb shelter. While all hope may be gone, you can live the rest of your life knowing you’ll have over 200 servings of pasta at your disposal for the next ten years.
Dry pasta has an incredibly long shelf life and, while we're making observations, it’s also the easiest food in the world to make.
Grab It: Pet Food
No matter the type of pet you own — dog, cat, parakeet, goldfish — you’re going to have to take care of them and feed them.
And while there are a ton of sites where you can buy wholesale bulk pet food, Costco is of course—among the best.
Grab It: Kirkland Signature Butter
If there’s one thing to be learned from the French, it’s that butter makes things taste pretty good. And with Costco’s Kirkland Signature Butter being $2.37 per pound, it ranks as much cheaper than most other places.
If you buy a four-pound pack, you can bake all the cookies you want, and then still have some butter in stock.
Leave It: Shredded Cheese
Pre-shredded cheese has preservatives and ingredients to keep it from sticking together, which can actually make the texture a little rubbery when it's melted.
Even if you prefer your shredded cheddar straight up, freshly grated cheese has way more flavor and a more pliable texture. Oh, and it’s also cheaper.
Grab It: School and Office Supplies
From notebooks to writing supplies, stationery shopping can leave quite a dent in your wallet. Save yourself the cash of stocking up on folders, pencils, and notebooks annually by buying them in bulk and saving the excess supplies for next year.
You can never have too many pens on hand, after all! Or notebooks. Or highlighters.
Grab It: LED Lights
Costco sells a four-pack of energy-efficient LED 60-watt bulbs for $3.99. Buy them elsewhere, and you'll be shelling out $14.99.
And we're not even talking about the money you'll be saving on your electricity bill. This purchase is a win-win for your bank account and the environment.
Leave It: Condiments
You've never seen jars of ketchup and mustard as big as the ones at Costco. But do you really need that much of each condiment?
Chances are that it will go bad before you finish it. Unless you're cooking with a certain condiment every single day, you're better off buying it at your regular grocery store.
Grab It: Baby Formula
American families, on average, spend more than $10,000 during the first year of their baby's life.
So why not start cutting corners by purchasing your baby formula from Costco? At $0.46, it's half the price of baby formula at your local grocery store.
Grab It: Fruit Bars
It's never a bad idea to have packaged snacks on hand, especially if they happen to be a somewhat healthier alternative to most processed snacks.
These fruit leathers come in delicious flavors like pineapple passionfruit, raspberry lemonade, and strawberry banana.
Grab It: Oatmeal Cups
Are you getting enough oatmeal in your life? Probably not, and since oatmeal can take a while to make in the morning, we recommend you get these pre-portioned oatmeal cups.
You'll be set for months, and they won't go bad in your pantry. This is the perfect breakfast solution!
Grab It: Edible Cookie Dough
Chocolate chip, ginger, peanut butter, vanilla shortbread. Whatever you crave, Costco is truly a cookie lover's paradise.
The cookie dough is pre-portioned just like any other package of cookie batter. However, you can also eat this cookie dough raw without any fear of food-borne illness.