Costco is great, but it doesn’t always have the best products or deals.
- Shopping at Costco saves my family a lot of money on groceries.
- I don’t like some Costco items.
- Other Costco items are not as price competitive as items I can find at my local grocery store.
Some Costco members shop there once a month. But for my family, Costco is a weekly errand. We buy a multitude of food items at Costco, from milk to cheeses to salad mixes.
But even though I happen to be a huge Costco fan, there are certain items I won’t pick up while shopping there. Here is that list.
Pasta is a staple in my household, fueled in large part by my kids’ love of mac and cheese. (I at least try to make homemade cheese with real cheese, as opposed to that neon orange powder you find in instant stuff.)
But pasta tends to be sold at regular intervals in my local supermarket. When it does, I find it’s cheaper than the Costco price. And so I make it a point to bypass the pasta section at Costco because it usually won’t save me any money.
Cereals are something I eat almost every day. And sometimes Costco offers a good price on its bulk cereal boxes.
But I’m no brand snob when it comes to cereal either. And that means I’m more than willing to buy the generic or store brand version at my local supermarket for a much lower price – an even more competitive price than what Costco normally offers.
We go through a lot of condiments in my house. But my regular supermarket tends to drastically reduce condiments during the summer. And since things like ketchup and mustard usually have a pretty decent “best before” window, I often find that I can stock up during the summer without having to replenish my supply throughout the year. The result? A bottom credit card tab.
4. Fruit Bowls
I’m a big fan of buying products at Costco. I find it fresh and reasonably priced. And since my family lives a lot of it, I usually don’t waste anything when I buy it in bulk.
But while buying fruit at Costco makes financial sense for my family, buying their pre-cut fruit bowls doesn’t. Not only have they become more expensive over the past year, but since the fruit is all cut and spoiled, their shelf life is quite limited.
Also, call me picky, but when I’m paying a premium for pre-cut fruit, I want it cut in sizes to fit the average human mouth. Costco’s fruit bowls often feature huge chunks of pineapple or melon that even my husband struggles with (and he’s been known to devour a slice of pizza in two bites).
In fact, the last time I bought a pre-cut fruit bowl at Costco, I had to re-cut it. It was a huge waste of money.
Have you seen the size of Costco’s bulk rice bags? They are huge and I’m pretty sure they weigh more than my seven year old.
Now, I’m all for buying non-perishable groceries in bulk and enjoying my share of the savings. And it’s not like rice isn’t something we cook at my house.
At the same time, storing a small human-sized bag of rice in my pantry just isn’t appealing. And while I know that uncooked rice should have a pretty long shelf life, I can’t imagine it’s a good idea to have a partially opened bag for years (which is probably how long it would take the average home cook to use).
Buy wisely at Costco
Costco offers lots of great deals. But that doesn’t mean it will be still have the lowest price. And even when the price seems right, the item you get in return might not be the best fit for your household (like a bag of rice to feed a small village for a month).
That’s why it pays to think carefully before shopping at Costco. And if you feel the need to compile a “do not buy” list like me, so be it.
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