The Best and Worst Products to Buy at Costco - The Habitat
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Share to PinterestThe Best and Worst Products to Buy at Costco
Share to PinterestThe Best and Worst Products to Buy at Costco

For shoppers seeking high quality and great deals on food and household products, Costco offers just about anything you’ll need. The membership-required warehouse store’s unique concept opened the doors to buying in bulk, indulging in free samples, and discovering unique products you didn’t know you needed until you tried them.

Mixed in with all the great buys and can’t-live-without favorites, however, are some products that don’t really provide the quality or cost savings members expect.


Pay less for real maple syrup

Share to Pinterestmaple syrup flats at costco

Costco’s USDA-certified organic maple syrup isn’t one of those artificial substitutes you buy from a grocery store. It’s the real deal, available at a fraction of what you’d pay for real maple syrup anywhere else. The Kirkland Signature maple syrup comes in a liter-sized jug and has become one of Costco members’ favorite products.


Pass on the baked goods

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They taste delicious and they’re available at an excellent price, but if you don’t have the freezer space to store them, experts say to pass on bulk baked goods at Costco. These products have a shorter shelf-life and go stale within a couple of days. Most people can’t eat a pack of 12 muffins within a couple of days, and if you have to toss them, it isn’t saving you much money.

But, muffins, croissants, and other fresh breads freeze well, so if you have a freezer, keep them around for those early morning treats or late-night cravings.


Pay less for quality olive oil

Share to Pinterestolive oil at costco

Chefs and home kitchen cooks alike have touted the virtues of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Its cost and flavor make it one of the most affordable and delicious options, even when compared to high-dollar, premium brands.

According to taste testers, this olive oil is complex but mild, so it works as a great all-purpose olive oil to keep on hand.


Pass on the soda "savings"

Share to Pinterestflats of soda at a wholesale store

While it may be more convenient to purchase your soda at Costco while you’re picking up the rest of the items on your grocery list, you probably won’t find big savings doing so. It’s not that Costco doesn’t have decent prices on soft drinks, but you’ll likely save more money at a local grocery or chain drug store.

There’s always a special on soft drinks somewhere; you can easily beat Costco’s price by checking out sales around town or using coupons.


Pay less for rotisserie over shredded chicken

Share to Pinterestrotisserie chicken in costco

Costco’s delicious rotisserie chicken has become one of the store’s most popular items, and they’ve managed to keep its price lower than those sold by other major grocery stores. Costco also sells packages of shredded chicken, but you’ll pay more for the convenience.

According to company insiders, Costco shreds and packages the rotisserie chickens that aren’t sold each day, or they end up in soups sold in the fresh foods section. If you’re making a dish that calls for shredded chicken, buy a rotisserie version, shred it yourself, and save a couple of bucks.


Pay less for engineer-tested toilet paper

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You’ll save big on bulk, two-ply toilet paper at Costco. What many shoppers may not realize is that Costco hired toilet paper engineers who tested the Kirkland Signature brand to ensure its quality is worth putting on the shelves.

While it may not be the most luxurious toilet paper you’ll find, it is a great buy and several steps above those generic brands sold online or in discount stores around town.


Pay less for ground beef

Share to Pinterestcostco large trays of ground beef

Costco makes it possible to buy high-quality beef at a lower price. The company’s extra-lean ground beef is available in 10-pound chubs, but you may not see them among the other meat packages.

If you don’t, ask the meat department if they have any available. You could save about $1 per pound by making the effort.


Pass on the supersized salsa (unless you'll use it)

If you don’t put salsa on everything, buying Costco’s duo of two-pound salsa jars may not be the best deal. Opened salsa only has a shelf life of about one month in the refrigerator and if frozen, retains its quality for about two months.

However, when it comes to healthier salsa versions, Kirkland Organic Salsa is lower in sodium and sugar than the major brands and doesn’t contain a ton of unrecognizable preservatives. So if you'll use it, it is worth it.


Pay less for coffee machine single-serve cups

Share to Pinterestkirkland single-serve coffee pods

Most coffee lovers know that one-use pods are pricier. But at Costco, you can save big on these single-serve portions if you have a compatible brewer.

You’ll find just about any flavor you crave, from pumpkin spice to Italian Roast, Venetian, and decaf blends. That means a greater variety for a lower cost!


Pass on the mattresses

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Not only are you more likely to save money by purchasing mattresses elsewhere, but some of Costco’s versions didn’t rank well when compared to other brands, and only a select few performed a bit better in the ratings.

Sleep industry experts say that you may be able to find a better price on top brands through sales at local mattress shops, online stores, or big-box retailers. Since people can often take when replacing their mattress, this is one product that's probably worth a hunt.