43 Costco Items You Need To "Avoid At All Costs", According To Employees
Costco is the place to be when you are planning to do more than a grocery run. The massive warehouse offers a wide selection of items—mostly in bulk—to their shoppers. It also give them huge discounts and free samples. Even the employees benefit from the well-paying job and the flexible schedules.
Despite Costco proving that heaven can be a place on Earth, some employees and shoppers agree that there are some products that buyers should skip. From food to electronics, to toiletries and medication, these are the items that they say people should never buy from Costco.
It's impossible to miss the mayonnaise jars at Costco because they are seriously larger than life. Over the years, many buyers have thrown in the product to their carts just so they would stop being bothered by the sight of it.
According to the staff, it's best to look the other way if you run into the massive display of mayonnaise jars. Another solution is to keep in mind that having too much of that sauce or dressing isn't healthy. It contains 103 calories!
Yup, even some Costco staff would like to remind you to prepare a shopping list before heading to the megastore. That may sound a little bit of a hassle, but they are actually trying to help you because they know that you will easily for the store's oldest trick of constantly reshuffling the items.
Apparently, they are frequently changing the designated spots of the products so you would have to go around the entire warehouse. Before you know it, you have already put items in your cart that you never intended to buy in the first place.
It's still surreal how shoppers can do their weekly food shopping at Costco while also being able to browse through the latest technological inventions. The megastore is indeed a one-stop shop, plus their electronics even have a satisfactory return policy.
Still, the Costco staff are not entirely sold with their electronics section. Of course they would want to support it, but they think that there are gadgets or appliances that you can purchase in different stores for a lower price.
Many Americans can't survive without pasta in their daily meals. Unfortunately, we can't always book a reservation at our favorite Italian restaurants, so the best solution is to cook the cuisine ourselves at home. Well, the employees and customers will have you know that Costco is not the best store for pasta.
A blog named The Many Little Joys shared how they spend less buying pasta at their local grocery. "I usually only pay $0.50 to $1 per pound for pasta, which Costco can't beat," they said.
There are a great deal of customers who specifically need to buy whole grain on a daily basis. These people, especially those who own restaurants, end up buying in bulk. If you're one of them, you should know that whole grains actually contain oils.
These oils are acceptable, if only they did not hasten the product's expiration date. Some will tell you that oils are eliminated in the process, but that's not really a guarantee that there are no bits left.
Aside from food, there are also house items that should not be included in your shopping carts. These household cleaners can be purchased at a different store for a cheaper price. Sure, making your house squeaky clean sounds good, but saving money to maintain your house sounds even better.
The Krazy Coupon Lady has also mentioned that Costco sells household cleaners that are priced at nearly half more than the other stores."The smaller the quantity of an item, the larger the savings when using store sales and coupons," she said.
Las Fortunitas Tortilla Chips
As shoppers, we have learned that we should not let the opportunity to buy an item that has the best price and best taste pass. Even though Las Fortunitas tortillas chips falls under that category, shoppers better think twice before purchasing them.
While these chips are low-priced and tasty, chance are you won't be able to finish the entire pack. Have you seen their packaging? It's as huge as a garbage bag! Not to mention, they contain hydrogenated oils, which are not healthy at all.
Staff and shoppers agree that buying bottled water at Costco is not the best decision you will ever make. This beverage has good quality and acceptable price, but sooner or later, you will realize that it's actually affecting both your bank account and the environment.
Obviously, water is an essential, but you might want to set up a filtering pitcher in your house instead. If the bottled water is for outside use, you have to consider bringing a water jug or container, too.
Moms and dads would agree that diapers are best bought in bulk. Raising an infant already takes up so much energy, so there's no space for stressing over a shortage in diapers. At the same time, they are saving a few bucks from all the nappy deals.
According to the Daily Meal though, parents and guardians can actually save more if they got their diapers from other stores like Target. Well, comparing the prices will not do harm anyway. Also, they have to be careful with stocking up on diapers because the sizes of their babies are changing by the day.
Condiments spice up our lives but that doesn't mean they should completely take over our pantry. Have you seen Costco's enormous bottles of ketchup and mustard? It's like you have no plans of going out of your house ever again. While that idea sounds tempting, it's not guaranteed that your condiments will have the best quality forever.
That said, it's unideal to buy those oversized condiments— at least according to the warehouse's staff. Still, if you're confident that you can finish them before it starts to smell, go ahead.
Having a Costco near you certainly has its perks. If you need a new shirt or a pair of pants stat, the store can give you a backup outfit. However, if you want to go shopping for special occasions, the wholesale warehouse might not be your best option.
Yes, you'll find clothes at Costco that have designer labels but they're not really of the best quality. Chances are, the megastore only got a great deal from the manufacturers. There are other stores that can give you better name-brand bargains.
Grey Goose Vodka
If you have ever tried drinking Grey Goose Vodka and Kirkland Signature Vodka, then you might have noticed that they taste just the same. The latter alcoholic drink is actually manufactured by Costco itself. Yet there are some who believe that both beverages are actually connected.
Since Grey Goose and Kirkland have the same taste, the employees would just prefer Costco's own product because it is less expensive. They're basically having the same kind of fun drinking while also saving.
By now, it goes without saying that buying almost-expired food is a big no-no as a shopper. Still, we have to include this on the list for the sake of amateur shoppers who are still dipping their toes. So, yes, remember to check the expiry date.
Getting a product for less than its original worth does not always mean you are winning. Perhaps the stores only want you to think so but it is actually them who are winning. Imagine, they are getting rid of products that are on the verge of spoiling.
Thanks to gift cards, some customers do not have to rack their brains thinking of the best present to give to their special someones or friends at work. Aside from it saves them the time and energy, the gift card itself is a safe bet for anyone who receives it.
You know what's not a safe bet according to employees? Buying a gift card for yourself. Costco offers $100 gift cards that give a 20 to 25 percent discount to other establishments. It sounds like a great deal until you realize that you don't actually spend that much on other stores.
Unless you own a fast food restaurant or fry large amount of food frequently, it is not advisable at all to buy giant bottles of cooking oil. Regular shoppers obviously do not have to purchase huge containers of vegetable and olive oil.
It's also worth noting that the United States Department of Agriculture has already stated before that keeping vegetable and olive oil for more than half a year in your pantry is not ideal. But if you can consume it within the time frame, then go for it.
The fact that Costco sells caskets might help in making you understand why it also offers hearing aids. Yup, the megastore also has a section offering to assist in your hearing dilemma. Thankfully, there are concerned customers who are willing to help with their reviews.
Apparently, some customers have something to say on the quality of the equipment and the service of the store. On a 2017 Consumer Affairs thread, one gave a review that said, "Don't, don't, don't get hearing aids at Costco. I purchased a pair of Kirkland aids 2 years ago and to this day, they are still not adjusted properly."
Whether you like eating cereals for breakfast or for dinner, Costco employees do not recommend getting your cereal fix from the wholesale warehouse. It's not about the quality, it's about the cost. Checking other stores' per-unit prices never hurt anybody.
Another reason why cereals from Costco are not ideal is because of its packaging. Unless your entire household has three or more members ready to consume it, better to buy small packages and avoid making it stale in the process.
Flour And Yeast
Baking products like flour and dried yeast have a limited shelf life so buying them in bulk is never the best idea. Of course, there is an exception if you are a baker who constantly uses such ingredients. Owning a bakery gives you a free pass on buying them in large quantities.
For buyers who forget that baking products also expire in time, the best way to lengthen their lives is by storing them inside the fridge. For flour alone, it might soak up moisture in the air.
Most of the items here that Costco workers do not recommend buying from the store are those that are way expensive. In the case of the Kirkland Ultra Clean laundry detergent though, they are looking after your safety.
Despite the label on the detergent saying that it is t "free and clear," some customers reportedly contacted dermatitis after wearing clothes that they washed in the Costco-brand product. The Consumer Reports also has a rating of 2.8 stars out of 5 on Kirkland Ultra Clean.
This helpful advice, which doesn't only apply to Costco, comes from the staff themselves. They want customers to know that if they could devote some of their time and energy making food at home, they'll be saving a lot.
It's no secret that Costco has almost every food that you are looking for. Still, there is always the option to make pasta, cookies, and the like in the comfort of your own home. You'll thank yourself for it later on.
Bag of Chips
If employees only warned you about buying Las Fortunitas tortilla chips, shoppers want you to know that buying bags of chips in general at Costco is not desirable. Let's start with the obvious fact that chips are basically junk food.
Sure, potato chips and cheese puffs sound like the best snacks for a weekend well spent at home, but if they come in the opposite of fun-sizes, they're bound to go stale sooner than later. Costco-sized bags are only preferable for throwing house parties.
There is nothing quite like getting the taste of food or trying out a product without have to spend a dime. If the staff were in the shoppers' shoes, they would make the best out of testing new items first.
According to a staff from Costco Illinois, they would rather stay away from their new products but for a whole different reason. They don't want to try them because if they ended up liking it, they are bound to consume it for a very long time.
Some customers find it convenient that Costco also offers black printer ink. The Krazy Coupon Lady, however, is not one of those. On her blog, she warned them not just to consider convenience but the packaging as well.
As usual, even Costco's ink is also packaged like you are really afraid of running out it. The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests that you have a look at the printer ink at Amazon. She says that it has a lower price and a better bundle.
At the heart of the wholesale warehouse lies the infamous Costco pizza. Customers go back to the store for it because of it tastes good, costs cheap, and is made fast. Costco pizza satisfies cravings and makes up for a quick meal.
Unfortunately, shoppers should avoid Costco pizza if their doctors do not allow them to eat oily food. The coveted food is one for the books, but it is indeed soaked up with lots of oil. So, yes, that's a bummer for those who have to watch out for their cholesterol level.
Books And DVDs
The wonders of Costco never end. Imagine, they even offer books and DVDs, which you would normally just find in specific shops. It saves you a trip to the other side of the street. While that totally sounds convenient, employees beg to differ.
There are some Costco staff who would rather spend their paychecks on other items at the store. Novels and movies are not included on that list because they believe that they are too expensive at the store.
Aside from gigantic bottles of ketchup and mustard that workers said must be avoided at Costco, they also recommend buying spices like salt and pepper anywhere but at the wholesale warehouse.
Let's face it, you don't need that huge bottle of cinnamon. And if you really do, you ought to buy it for a lower price at your local grocery. Needless to say, don't spend much on spices that you rarely use. Although if you're a spice lover, there is nothing else to say.
Feminine Care Products
Huffington Post has reported that the average woman spends nearly $1,800 on tampons in her lifetime. If you compute that with the price of the product you use, you'll surely come up with a high price. But if you particularly buy such feminine products from Costco, then it would hurt your bank account worse than cramps would hurt you.
We are all for self care but that should include having the right budget for feminine hygiene products. Sadly, the warehouse's prices are simply higher than the base sale price at drugstores.
Most canned goods do not have to go past its sell-by date, which is definitely a good thing. What staff do not think is a good thing is buying such from Costco. They say that smaller stores have canned foods, mixes, dressings that are not too costly.
Those who live in a dorm or do not have the best cooking skills rely on canned good a lot. Make the most out of your canned good shopping by using up those coupons and taking note of sales.
Giant Teddy Bear
Costco doesn't have an official mascot, but it might very well be the gigantic teddy bear inside the warehouse. One look at it and you'll know where you are. These stuffed bears look so huggable and fluffy that it is hard not to want to bring one home with you. Before doing that though, better check some feedback.
Some have actually given the larger-than-life bear five stars, but there are those who said they had a hard time "having to step over him, walk around him, and find a place for him to rest."
Customers, especially those who are in charge of the kitchen, know that fresh meats are not the best ones in Costco's list of products. Whether you are buying chicken or ground beef, they have higher prices at the megastore than at your local supermarket.
If you haven't visited other stores to compare their price tags, it's about time that you do. You'll see the difference at the cost as well as the packaging. Costco sells their raw meat in large packages, and storing them inside the fridge won't be effective forever.
Costco is basically a grocery, an appliance store, a bookshop, a DVD store, and many more. Did you know that it also works as travel agency? Yup, the wholesale warehouse also has rental cars, cruises, and vacation packages to offer.
Although a former marketing manager for Costco Travel named Dan Holliday revealed his real thoughts about it. "Costco Travel deals really aren't that amazing... if you're going to Costco Travel expecting to consistently find something rare and wonderful, don't," he said.
Some staff also do not recommend getting your soda fix inside Costco. That is unless you plan to throw a huge party. If you do not mind passing by another store to buy soft drinks, then the staff say that you should. The prices at the grocery are just way cheaper.
They also suggest to keep in mind the dates— most the holidays and sport events— when supermarkets mark down the soda. Once they do, better to stock up like it's the end of the world. The extra cans can be consumed later on anyway.
When we say that Costco offers a wide variety of goods, we do not only mean items for the kitchen and the dining room. The megastore also has a lot to sell for your bedroom essentials. They sell slushy pillows, cozy blankets, and bedsheet that are— well, we'll let the shoppers speak.
Through online reviews, some customers voiced out their opinion on the linen that Costco sells. They said that the products are “uncomfortable,” “poor quality,” and “disappointing quality.”
It's common for humans to spend money on their dogs. After all, the least they can do for keeping them company is giving them their dog food and much-deserved treats. However, owners you should take note that they already spend at least $1,000 owning them. Buying dog food at Costco would surely add up to the cost.
A popular customer online called Krazy Coupon Lady said that she used to buy Costco's Kirkland Signature Nature's Domain dry dog food, She then made some changes and switched to Amazon's Diamond Naturals dry dog food after she realized they sold it for a lower price.
Just like diapers, buying a tissue roll or a paper towel at Costco is equivalent to getting the best deals of these bulks. Customers are saving money, energy, and time. Still, the bulks may be too much for those who live alone or do not use that much toilet paper.
Not to mention, Costco's tissue only ranked in the middle of tissue rating because of its "so-so" condition. A customer also mentioned that they can actually purchase the same time for the same price at Puffs Basic, which offers "superb softness with very good strength."
Just when you thought beef jerky can be your salvation from fresh meat that easily go stale, there comes more bad news. Apparently, the and other spices that are supposed to preserve it are not always enough.
Whether you like the chicken, turkey, or beef, this meat snack can only be available for one to two weeks after it has been opened. The refrigerator can only do so much. The best solution is to buy just the right amount that you are sure you can consume.
Towels and sheet sets are some of the best things in life. Yet some workers and buyers think that there is no greater pleasure in life than knowing that you did not overspend on your comforters and bed sheets at Costco.
Unfortunately for Costco, TJ Maxx and Marshalls beat them in the towels and sheets department. Other stores like JCPenney and Macy's also stand out for their coupons and sales. The good news is that the warehouse can always improve this specific product.
A while back, we mentioned how Costco is basically a store within a store. While you don't have to pass by the hardware store and the drugstore anymore, you also don't have to cross the street to go the bakery. There's a fresh-baked bread ready to be served as you go grocery shopping.
Naturally, some shoppers are keen with the idea of buying baked goodies at Costco. Don't count the staff though, because they think the products are too big and the store doesn't really have the essential space for it.
Peanut butter is arguably one of the best bread spreads out there but it should not cost so much like it's gold. Both Costco workers and customers believe that the store sells it for a high price and they would go nuts before they buy it.
The blogger behind Root of Good went as far as to comparing the prices of a generic peanut butter among five superstores which included Costco. As it turned out, the wholesale warehouse emerged as second-most expensive price on the list.
Life would be easier if only there was an official guide to grocery shopping. Since there are none so far, the employees are lending a hand to explain how some things work. For example, the cents on the prices actually have specific meanings.
First off, the products that end in .99 or .98 are regular retail prices.What raises the alarm are the items that end in .97. Apparently, those are actually markers for them to know that they are going bad anytime soon.
Apart from fresh products, Costco also offers pre-made products. This is the stuff of dreams for those who can't afford to give their time and energy in the kitchen, let alone be master chefs.
The thing about pre-made food is that you are actually paying for the fact that all you have to do is unseal the product and take the food inside your mouth. If you have a budget for it, then there's no problem. Although a Costco customer have pointed out on on Reddit that pre-made foods are yummy but pricey.
Cheap products do not often make up for their low price. If anything, buyers suffer from the poor quality. The Signateur gas grill, in particular, has half the price of a Weber grill, but not even buyers would swear by it.
A Costco customer shared their regrets on Reddit. "Do NOT buy this grill if you like to get a sear/char on your meats. I've had this grill for a little less than a month and I'm terribly disappointed by the lack of heat it applies to the food," they said.
If there is anything that Costco would never run out of, it's their produce. Most stores even have a specific section for it. There is a huge selection of fruits and vegetables. They're big and they come in bulk! Still, some workers have something to say about them.
Shopping for fruits and veggies has never been more thrilling with so many choices to choose from. However, once you arrive at home, you're bound to realize that you can't even consume all of them. In the end, you waste both a few bucks and a fresh produce.
By now, we have realized how just because something is available doesn't mean we have to buy or consume it. It clearly doesn't only apply to Costco, but since their own workers are revealing this, we might as well focus on their products.
Apparently, they also admitted that their tire selection are not of the best quality and price. Perhaps they better leave it to the tire stores to offer legitimate tires. There are just some products that need more expertise.
Caffeine addicts know that the best cup of coffee is freshly brewed and served. Knowing when to consume it best is more important than hoarding the beans. So while it is understandable that some would want stock up their coffee shelves, buying in bulk is not that ideal.
It does not really matter if you like your coffee made ground or whole. Prioritize its freshness through the beans. In other words, the best way for shoppers to enjoy their coffee is to find smaller packages that they consumer while still fresh.
Since 1992, Costco has included their private label Kirkland Signature among the products that the store sells. Just like any other brand, they market it as the best items. Perhaps it applies to some, but in terms of their pasta sauce, the workers highly doubt it.
According to some of the workers, they would not shell out money on Kirkland Signature marinara sauce. There have not been serious reports about it, but they just think that there are other brands better than it. They simply don't want to settle for less.
Believe it or not, part of prioritizing personal care is deciding the best place to get the soap, shampoo, and other items. There are Costco customers who do not suggest the wholesale warehouse as the perfect source for toiletries.
Stephanie Nelson, founder of The Coupon Mom, told Bankrate that, "If you are a coupon and deal shopper, supermarkets and drugstores feature these types of items with coupons frequently, so you can stock up on multiple quantities of smaller sizes for pennies."
Candies And Snacks
Some Costco staff earn a living by working completely at the megastore but they still prioritize the welfare of the shoppers. After all, if anything bad happens to the shoppers because of a product, Costco and the staff would have to pay the price.
So for the candies and snacks, they do not really recommend much of these items. They have already seen too many customers indulging in giants packs of those unhealthy sweets in this lifetime.
In general, Costco employees and shoppers would not recommend buying expensive and low-quality products at the warehouse. If anything, consumers should take the time visiting other groceries and supermarkets before making one specific store their comfort zone.
It is never too late to allow yourself to be open with other options. Whether it's your local grocery or other high-end superstores, just try to compare the condition and the price tags. In the long run, you are giving yourself and your bank account a huge favor.