Deal Or No Deal: 45 Items That Are Worth Buying At Costco, And Some That Aren’t

By Larissa C

This article was originally published on healthandwellnesnews

Do you have a favorite grocery store? Regardless of your answer, we can all agree that Costco is in a league of its own. Customers can buy in bulk, which is perfect for holiday gatherings and big events, or just buy regular quantities as they would at any other grocery store.

The one-stop shop also has glasses, meds, electronics, and photo print sections – you can find anything there! While you need a membership to shop at Costco, you can rest assured that it’s totally worth paying for this membership because you get amazing deals.

Well, usually.

Sometimes, the deals one finds at Costco are not necessarily life-changing. There are times when their products cost the same as regular grocery stores. You certainly don’t want to spend more money than you have to — especially at times when the economy is not so favorable.

In this article, we’re going to list some of the best and worst deals you can find at Costco.

#01: Pasta/Noodles

Pasta is the kind of food that everyone, or at least most people, loves. The good thing about pasta is that you can try various recipes and use different ingredients until you find the ideal pasta combination that you and your family will love.

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While some bold people try their hand at crafting the pasta literally from scratch, most of us get dried pasta at the store. However, no one loves pasta so much to buy 12 boxes at once — which is why purchasing dried pasta at Costco is not worth it, and you should skip it. 

#02: Bacon

Bacon is getting expensive, so it’s not surprising that most people are looking for the best deals. The thing about bacon is that you can’t get it in bulk, or else you might risk wasting your money if you don’t eat all of it before the bacon turns rotten.

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Luckily, buying bacon at Costco is affordable, and you don’t have to worry about the quantity. You can get four pounds of bacon for approximately $12.99 at Costco, which is a pretty good deal. If you live alone and think it’s too much bacon, you can always split it with a friend.

#03: Rice

Buying rice at Costco can be pretty expensive — not just because they sell this product in large quantities. Technically, buying in bulk should be cheaper, but that is not the case regarding rice. This food is more expensive at Costco than at most stores.

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Costco sells their rice at $40 for a 25-pound bag, which is quite a lot. If you do the math, you’ll see that this deal is not worth it, especially when you can get smaller bags of rice for less than a dollar!

#04: Almond butter

There are so many benefits to consuming almond butter that we could literally write an entire article about that alone. But when a natural product is so good for our bodies, manufacturers want to sell them at exorbitant prices that aren’t so healthy for our wallets.

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Luckily for all of us who love almond butter, Costco’s own brand, Kirkland, also sells this delicious product. And the best part is that they sell approximately two pounds per jar for almost the same price as one pound of almond butter in other stores!

#05: Dishwasher detergent

While most people use quite a lot of dish detergent every month, we don’t always buy this product in bulk. Part of the reason is that it can take plenty of space in our houses — space that we don’t want to give away.

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Costco sells a 16oz bottle of dishwasher detergent for $25, which is a pretty good deal. The problem is that this bottle will take up a lot of space and you don’t even know if you’ll like the detergent that much!

#06: Organic coconut water

When it comes to coconut water, you either hate it or love it — there’s no in-between. And if you love coconut water, you know it is not easy to find a brand that sells tasty coconut water. It’s also hard to find affordable and high-quality brands.

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You may or may not know that Costco’s own brand, Kirkland, sells organic coconut water, and it’s delicious. And to make things even better, they sell it at a pretty affordable price — you can purchase 12 cartons for only $10!

#07: Laundry detergent

One of the things we use the most in our homes is laundry detergent. Even if you live by yourself, you probably have to buy this product at least once or twice a month. It’s not easy to find good deals on laundry detergent, and you won’t find it at Costco either.

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First of all, the store’s laundry detergent bottles are simply too big, and you definitely won’t use all the detergent before it expires. And the other issue is that some people have complained about allergies caused by the detergent, so you probably don’t want to risk it.

#08: Cheese.

Cheese is the kind of food that everyone loves and that is good to eat with anything. Whether you’re going to add a slice of cheese to a sandwich or if you’re going to eat macaroni and cheese, this food is the ideal ingredient for most recipes.

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If there is one thing you need to know is that you should definitely buy cheese at Costco. Not only do they sell cheese at affordable prices, but this retailer also has a lot of options that other stores don’t have. You can even get one of these samplers you see in the picture!

#09: Milk.

Buying milk at Costco is not necessarily more expensive than at other stores, but you should still skip it for now. Back in the day, the store had regular milk cartons, and customers had no issues with the milk they bought at Costco.

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However, nowadays, the main problem is that Costco has changed the design of its milk bottle. While this shouldn’t be a negative thing, it is. And it’s all because the new bottle makes the milk spill and it gets easily dented.

#10: Gasoline.

If you have ever been to Costco, you’ve probably noticed that they have a gas station in the parking lot. While you might have thought that the gas station belonged to a different brand, it is actually Costco’s own brand.

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The biggest advantage of filling your car’s gas tank at Costco is that members get a 20-percent discount on gasoline. This has always been a great deal, but it’s especially good now that gas prices are going up at an increasingly fast rate!

#11: Mayonnaise.

Buying mayonnaise at Costco is a good deal when it comes to pricing. They sell the product at way more affordable rates, but that doesn’t mean that this is a flawless deal. In fact, we can list a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t buy mayonnaise at Costco.

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The dealbreaker is that Costco’s mayonnaise jars come in this huge size, which is way more than you can eat before the mayonnaise goes bad. Unless you have an entire family to feed mayonnaise to, you should skip this deal!

#12: Tires and Installation. 

Having a car is all fun and games, until something breaks and you have to find a mechanic, pay for their service, and pay for the new car parts. One of the most annoying things about cars is that their tires get flat!

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If you have a flat tire and there happens to be a Costco nearby, you should definitely buy their combo of new tires plus installations. You’ll think that the total price of $135 for both these things is a scam, but it’s as real a deal as they come!

#13: Flowers.

When we go grocery shopping, it is not unusual to find flowers for sale. If you go grocery shopping and you have a special someone waiting for you at home, you should get them flowers because they will certainly love the surprise.

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But we do have to say that you shouldn’t get flowers at Costco. This retailer has a deal that you can get 50 flowers for $34.99, but this deal isn’t that good. First of all, you certainly don’t need that many flowers — and you can get a better deal at any flower shop you visit.

#14: Vanilla Extract.

If you are into baking, you know that most recipes require vanilla extract. And while some people may think that this ingredient is not absolutely necessary, you can definitely tell the difference when a cookie doesn’t have vanilla extract in the mix.

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The prices of this ingredient increased significantly a while ago, but now they lowered a great deal. You can get a 16oz vanilla extract bottle at Costco for only $10.89! Just to get an idea of how good this deal is, the same product cost almost $30 just a year ago!

#15: Fresh fruits.

On the one hand, there are a bunch of things that are more affordable at Costco. But on the other hand, there is some stuff you should avoid buying at this retailer. And that includes buying fresh fruit or other types of produce.

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The quality of the produce and fresh fruit at Costco is not usually the best, and that’s why you should avoid it. As you can see in the picture, the berries are covered in mold — and they’re not even two days old in this picture!

#16: Meal combo.

For many years now, Costco has been known for its food court meals. Every retailer has one of these at their stores, but the food they sell is not always cheap. At Costco, however, you can get meals for as low as $1.50.

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Costco’s hot dog and soda combo is very well-known, mainly because it’s so cheap. After all, there are not many places where you can get a deal like this for $1.50. It’s safe to say that you should definitely buy it, right?

#17: Medicine.

Like so many things at Costco, buying medicine is not always a good deal because of the size of the bottle. Unless you have a large family to share with, you should not purchase aspirin and other medicines in bulk.

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Medicine has an expiration date, after which it won’t be as safe or effective. Even if you take one a day, it’s going to take you over a year to finish a 400 capsule bottle — and nobody needs an aspirin every single day! So yes, you should skip this deal.

#18: Razors.

Shaving is common for both men and women. And we all know that razors can be pretty expensive depending on their brand and quality. If you’re not that interested in a particular brand, you’ll be happy to know that Costco’s brand has its own razor line.

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The best thing about getting Costco’s razors is that they’re a pretty good deal. You can get one razor plus 14 cartridges for only $25! If you’ve ever shopped for razors at other stores, you know that this deal is the kind that you have to buy.

#19: Soda.

Soda might not be the best thing for our bodies, but who doesn’t love drinking some of it every once in a while? Instead of going to the grocery store regularly to buy a 12-pack of soda, there are times that we purchase it in bulk.

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However, buying soda in bulk at Costco is not always a good deal. This is partly because they only sell soda in unnecessarily large quantities, and it’s also because their prices are not that reasonable. You’re better off buying soda at any other store!

#20: Maple syrup.

Costco has a large presence in Canada, and everyone knows that maple syrup is one of the country’s signature ingredients. The good news is that Costco sells its own maple syrup, and it’s actually pretty good. Not to mention that it is quite affordable.

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If you want to get a great deal on maple syrup, just go to Costco. They sell the liter for only $10.99, which is considerably below the national average price. And the bottle is so large that you’ll have enough maple syrup to last for many, many breakfasts!

#21: Spices.

No matter where you come from or what kind of culture you were raised in, everyone loves to add some spice to their foods. Spices add a delicious taste to most recipes, and they’re a necessity in every single household.

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The problem is that Costco sells spices in bulk, which is not worth buying. First of all, spices do have an expiration date. Secondly, why would you pay more than $5 on a spice jar when you can buy smaller containers for less than a dollar elsewhere?

#22: Butter.

Kerrygold butter is incredibly popular because of its quality. If you are into baking, you probably know this already. However, this butter is not always affordable — except at Costco. This retailer has some pretty good deals on Kerrygold butter.

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We are certain that there aren’t a lot of places where you can get three sticks of Kerrygold butter for less than seven dollars. This deal is so good that we actually recommend readers to buy two or three packs at once!

#23: Books.

Costco sells a lot of random stuff, but that doesn’t mean that their prices are always reasonable. Sometimes, you will be better off buying things online than getting them at this retailer. Books are one of the things you should avoid.

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Nowadays, you can buy books from anywhere you want, be it a physical store or an online store. Books at Costco aren’t always cheap, and they don’t have lots of interesting titles either. Your best option is to hit an actual bookstore or buy books online.

#24: Eggs.

Some people have a favorite brand of eggs, while others simply care about the price. Considering how expensive everything is becoming, you are likely part of the second group. In this case, you should definitely consider buying Kirkland brand eggs.

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Kirkland is Costco’s own brand, and their eggs are actually pretty tasty. Not to mention that they also have a large variety of eggs! You can get eggs at Costco for as low as $3.09, which is definitely a great deal, and you should not skip it.

#25: Shampoo.

We just mentioned Costco’s brand Kirkland and said that they sell good eggs. However, we can’t say the same about their shampoo brand. When it comes to hair care, the quality of the brand will have a great effect on your appearance, so you might want to skip this deal.

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A 33.8oz (1 liter) bottle of Kirkland shampoo at Costco is almost $10, which is definitely not worth it — regardless of the size. You’ll probably get a better deal if you get a high-quality shampoo brand at another store. The bottle might be smaller, but at least your hair will look good!

#26: Unbaked pastries.

Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy eating a cookie every once in a while? These pastries are simply delicious — but not everyone is patient enough or has enough time to prepare the cookies themselves. Luckily, you can buy cookie dough that is ready to be baked.

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At Costco, you can get a bunch of unbaked pastries for a great price. If you get unbaked cookies, you will pay $22.99 — and before you think that this is not a good deal, hear us out. You’ll pay that amount, but you’ll get 120 cookies!

#27: Coffee.

Costco is one of the stores where you can get a bunch of stuff in bulk. While this is perfect if you’re buying items with a long shelf life, there are some things that it’s simply better to buy in regular quantities.

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If you leave the coffee on the shelf for a long time, you’ll notice that your cup of coffee will start tasting bland after a while. Costco only sells this product in bulk, so unless you make coffee three times a day and there are other people in your house drinking it, the deal isn’t worth it.

#28: Frozen fruit.

Buying fresh fruit at Costco is not always a good deal, but that doesn’t apply to frozen fruit. In fact, buying frozen fruit at Costco is actually a pretty good deal, and you will certainly get a lot for your money.

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This bag of frozen organic blueberries has 10 servings and only costs $1.50 per pound. And let’s not forget to mention that Costco’s blueberries are pretty sweet and tasty, as well as big — some berries are larger than quarters! To say that this is a good deal would be an understatement.

#29: Canned vegetables.

Buying canned vegetables should technically be a good deal, especially if you get them in bulk. However, you have to keep in mind that canned vegetables have a pretty short lifespan once you open the can. So why get large cans?

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Costco sells both smaller and larger cans of vegetables. You might think that getting a 28oz can of tomatoes is a good deal. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to eat all of that tomato can in something like five days!

#30: Cereal.

Buying cereal at Costco is not always a good deal, and it’s not even because of the size of the boxes. It’s actually because some of the brands they sell are actually quite expensive regardless of the number of servings.

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However, they have some pretty good deals every once in a while. Markdowns are products that are sold for lower prices because they’re near their expiration date, and this cereal was a markdown. After all, where else would you get almost 2 pounds of cereal for less than $5?

#31: Ketchup.

Buying your condiments in large quantities is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you eat these things a lot. However, purchasing ketchup and mustard at Costco is not always a good deal. And it’s not because of the price.

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The problem is that Costco doesn’t always have the best brands available. Lots of people prefer a certain brand of ketchup, but you’ll find that Costco doesn’t always have it, so it’s better to skip this deal, or else you may feel like you’re wasting your money.

#32: Caskets.

As crazy as it may sound, Costco actually sells caskets and coffins. Actually, it might not be that crazy, considering that this retailer sells most things you might need. It’s hard to stop by Costco and not find what you’re looking for!

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The good thing about Costco selling caskets is not that you can buy them in bulk — hopefully, you won’t ever need to. Buying a casket at this store is a great deal because even their most expensive caskets don’t cost nearly as much as those sold at casket stores!

#33: Vegetable oil.

Most of the tastiest recipes require a little bit of cooking oil. As such, this product is really popular, and we always try to get the best deals on it. However, buying cooking oil might not be a bargain at Costco.

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Considering how large that bottle is and that it comes in two, you’re better off buying a smaller bottle of vegetable oil or maybe buying it at a different store. No one uses that much, and with two bottles, it’ll take you even longer to go through it all.

#34: Organic yogurt.

Organic yogurt is delicious, and it is also quite beneficial for our health. If you have never tried some Greek yogurt, you have no idea what you are missing out on. While some brands are pretty expensive, that’s not the case with Costco’s brand.

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According to the customers that have bought this yogurt, it is rich in proteins and it tastes wonderful. But that’s not even the best part. Buying organic yogurt at Costco is a great deal because it’s less than $2 per pound, which is a great bargain.

#35: Clothes.

Most retailers sell clothes, and it is not unusual for them to have their own brand of clothes. Technically, this means that the clothes should be relatively affordable when compared to other brands — but that’s not always the case.

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While you can get a pair of jeans at Walmart for something like $9.99, Costco doesn’t always have those kinds of deals on their clothes. In fact, you might have to pay as much as $22 for a pair of jeans! You’re better off using that money at a brand store like Levi’s.

#36: Toilet paper.

Over the past couple of years, people have been buying and stocking (hoarding) toilet paper like crazy. Because of that, you would think that the prices of toilet paper would raise considerably. However, that is not the case at Costco.

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Costco sells its very own brand of toilet paper, and we can guarantee that it is going to be cheaper than every other brand you find at the retailer. You can get 30 rolls for only $16.99, which means that each roll will cost you approximately $0.56!

#37: Flour.

Unless you bake for a living, you probably don’t need to buy a lot of flour. Hence, buying flour at Costco is not always a good deal, even though the low price seems to be the best deal you can get.

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Getting 25 pounds of flour for only $5.99 seems like a great deal, but most people won’t be able to use it all before it goes bad. And we should also mention that previous customers have said that this particular brand of flour is not that good, so may you consider skipping this deal.

#38: Mixed nuts.

If you look up a list of the healthiest foods you can eat, you will definitely find nuts in that list somewhere. Nuts are rich in a bunch of stuff that is good for our health and they taste delicious, so it’s a perfect combination.

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The only problem with buying nuts is that they’re not always the cheapest. Luckily for all of us, Costco sells two and a half pounds of mixed nuts for less than $16, which is definitely a great deal. And the best part is that you’ll get a bunch of different nuts in this jar.

#39: Batteries.

Having a couple of extra batteries at home is always a wise thing. After all, you never know when your remote control is going to need new batteries. However, buying batteries in bulk is not necessarily a good idea, especially because it takes a relatively long time for batteries to run out of power.

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You can buy batteries in bulk at Costco, but that is not wise, unless you’re buying a bunch of new battery-operated devices. Their batteries are not necessarily the best, and you will probably get a better deal at other grocery stores if you buy smaller quantities of batteries.

#40: Rotisserie chicken.

After a hard day’s work, the last thing we want to deal with is having to prepare dinner when we get home. If you’re not feeling like eating take-out yet again, you can always stop by a Costco on your way home and get one of these:

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The rotisserie chicken at Costco is pretty popular because it tastes good, and it’s really cheap. You can get a whole chicken for only $4.99! And if you don’t want the entire chicken, you can get just the drumsticks for only $3.99.

#41: Toothpaste. 

Depending on the brand you plan on buying, toothpaste is either too expensive or super affordable. While you might think that buying toothpaste at Costco is a good deal, you are probably better off buying this product at another store.

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As you can see, paying almost $25 for a 4-pack of toothpaste is not a good deal at all, regardless of the brand. Unfortunately, this particular toothpaste never seems to go into markdown, so maybe you’ll find better deals on other brands at a different retailer.

#42: Vitamins.

While lots of people think that only elderly people need to take their vitamins regularly, this is actually a misconception. If you start taking vitamins from a young age, you’ll likely be healthier than your grandparents were by the time they got to their 60s!

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If there is one thing that is worth buying in bulk at Costco, it’s vitamins. Unlike other products that don’t have a very long shelf life, vitamins usually have an expiration date of a year or so. That’s plenty of time to go through this bottle, right?

#43: Olive oil.

Costco has a lot of fans, and you will rarely see one of these fans complaining about this retailer or its brand Kirkland. However, even the most avid Costco fans have to agree that their signature olive oil is not the best.

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You would think that getting two 3-liter bottles of olive oil for less than $37 would be a good deal. But the problem is that the quality of this particular olive oil is kind of questionable. Many people buy this product for other uses, such as making soap, instead of using it in food!

#44: Brand underwear.

Sometimes, retailers have more products than they can possibly sell, which is why they try to get rid of some of the older stuff at lower prices. And if you’re lucky enough, you can get some pretty good deals on brand underwear. 

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You can’t get Calvin Klein underwear at that price, not even at off-price department stores like Marshalls or Ross! If you ever come across this deal at Costco, you should definitely not skip it. In fact, you should get as many packs as they allow you to!

#45: Skincare products.

Throughout this article, we showed you one bad deal and one good deal that you can get at Costco. But now it’s time to break that pattern. This next deal is just as good as the previous one, and you should not skip it!

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If you’re into skincare, you know that getting skincare products in tubs is not always affordable. However, Costco has some great deals at times. This deal, for instance, is amazing. You don’t find a two-pack deal of Cerave moisturizing cream for that price anywhere else!