Wondering what NOT to buy at Costco? We're sharing 7 items you should never buy at Costco to help you shop smart and save big on your grocery budget!
Wondering what NOT to buy at Costco?
First, let me start out by telling you that I really DO like shopping at Costco.
Don't believe me? Here's proof of what I LOVE to buy at Costco.
However, as I walk through Costco watching shopping carts loaded down with way too many way expensive items, it's all I can do to hold myself back before diving into a dissertation on how shoppers might just blindly be spending too much.
So, to keep myself from attacking an unsuspecting Costco shopper, I'll just go ahead and air out my frustrations right here.
(I might even just print this list off to politely hand to those poor Costco shoppers before they overspend. ‘Cause you know, I'm nothing but helpful.) 😉
If you love shopping Costco I totally understand, but really want you to know you're getting a good price before mindlessly purchasing everything on the shelves.
For whatever reason, there's something in every Costco store that just makes you want to buy BIG and buy A LOT while you walk up and down the aisles enjoying their free samples.
I'm determined to teach you what to buy at Costco, and what things you should just pass on by (because you really do have stellar self control.)
You can do this.
Okie dokie, here we go.
7 things NOT to buy at Costco:
This is by far my biggest frustration when shopping Costco or Sam's Club. The prices on cereal at these stores is just high, and these items go on sale at least once a month (if not more frequently) at your local grocery store.
2. Smucker's Uncrustables.
Okay, honestly folks, you can make a PB&J sandwich for next to nothing (these pre-made sandwiches cost a whopping $.61 a piece even at Costco.)
If you want a little extra convenience you can make homemade uncrustables around 19¢ per sandwich – and they freeze just fine! Or if you just absolutely have to buy them, stock up when you find a better price on sale at your local grocery store.
3. Name Brand Potato Chips.
Chips typically cost about $.21 per ounce at Costco. But during a decent sale at your local grocery store, chips will drop them down to around $0.17 per ounce, and if you're lucky enough to have a coupon you can save even more!
Plus, we often see really great stock-up prices on potato chips and snacks on Amazon, especially when paired with e-Coupons coupons and Subscribe & Save!
4. Costco Ice Cream.
When I first visited Costco a few years back, they gave me a few freebies including 2 half gallons of Kirkland Super Premium Signature ice cream which regularly cost $12.99. Folks, to me that price just seems nuts (it was for their regular vanilla) and comes out to $.10 per ounce.
To compare, Kroger often sells their Deluxe Ice Cream 48 ounce containers as part of their Buy 5, save $1 promotion where they end up being just $1.79 when you buy five. That ends up being under $0.04 per ounce for deluxe ice cream! Plus, frozen treats frequently go on sale at your regular grocery store for less than the Costco price (especially during the summer!).
5. Kirkland Frozen Chicken Breast.
Everybody loves the Costco chicken in the rotisserie section, but be careful about the Costco frozen chicken breast! Right next to each other on the freezer aisle sit the Kirkland's brand boneless skinless chicken breast and the Perdue or Tyson brand (depending on where you live).
Surprisingly, the Perdue and Tyson prices were much cheaper than Kirkland chicken breast! Here's the price breakdown:
- Kirkland's Brand $17.99 for 6.5 pounds = $2.76/lb.
- Perdue Brand $23.99 for 10 pounds = $2.39/lb.
- Tyson Brand for 10 pounds = $1.85/lb.
My stock up price on boneless skinless chicken breast is around $1.97/lb, but I don't think the Perdue price is unreasonable with prices these days. However to pay almost 40¢ extra a pound for the Kirkland brand seems crazy to me!
(If you love Perdue chicken but don't have a Costco nearby, check out this online Perdue chicken breast deal – we love their chicken!)
UPDATE: This is still an option if you'd like chicken sent directly to your home – however they've raised prices SIGNIFICANTLY since we posted this deal!
Surprisingly, when I did some price comparing on diapers, Costco didn't have the best price when compared to Sam's Club and Amazon! Here’s the price breakdown on Huggies Diapers and Pull Ups at Costco, Sam’s Club, and Amazon:
- COSTCO: Huggies Size 1 = 19.5¢ per diaper
- SAM’S CLUB: Huggies Size 1 = 19¢ per diaper
- AMAZON: Huggies Size 1 = 13¢-17¢ per diaper with your first Amazon Family discount and Subscribe & Save!
NOTE: if you love Kirkland brand diapers, you can occasionally get them for less than $0.15 per diaper when they go on sale with instant savings. Not a bad price while they're on sale, but definitely do the math and make sure they're worth it for you!
7. Copy Paper.
Staples, Office Max & Office Depot frequently put copy paper on sale, and you can often get it free or cheap after rebate. If you're a large business that wants to stock up picking it up at Costco may be worth it for you, but for the average user hang on and wait for a deal at the office supply stores.
Costco sells 5,000 sheets for $27.99, but we've seen 500 ct reams of copy paper at Staples for just $2, which is quite a bit cheaper per sheet than Costco! Just be sure to do the math!
Now here's the one thing that actually surprised me that you should pick up at Costco when you're there (if your kiddos eat them). I figured it was worth including so you all know I really do like Costco!
The small bags (6.6 ounce) of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish regularly go on sale for $1-$1.25 at many grocery stores, but there are hardly ever coupons on these. This comes out to as low as $.15 per ounce which is the exact same price Costco has them for everyday. And these often go on sale at Costco, so be sure to stock up when they do – you'll pay even less (just $.11/ounce)!
There ya have it! Do you agree or disagree with this list? Let us know!
Debating a Costco Membership Deal?
If you've been considering signing up for a Costco membership but wondering about the cost, benefits, and whether it's worth it or not, don't worry! We share everything you need to know right HERE, as well as the best Costco membership deals and prices that you can get right now.
My general rule of thumb when shopping Costco is to purchase primarily whole food items when I'm there (nothing processed), and you really can save on some things. If you have time to really shop the sales ads and clip a few coupons, I still think your very best prices will always be the grocery store, but there are some deals to be at Costco too! Go HERE to see 15 items more you should buy at Costco.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Costco prices ~ leave a comment to share!
Looking for more posts like this? Here you go!
- Costco Membership Deals
- Free Sam's Club Membership
- Sam's Vs. Costco: Who really has the best prices?
- What Should You Buy At Sam's Club
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