The 23 Worst Things to Purchase at Costco (According to Shoppers)

Costco is renowned for its bulk purchases and substantial savings, a haven for budget-conscious shoppers everywhere. However, not every bulk buy is a win for your wallet or your storage space. So I set out on a mission to talk to a few dozen Costco shoppers and get their opinion on the worst buys. The results were awesome and definitely worth an article. Here are some items that you might want to think twice about before loading up your oversized shopping cart with.

1. Oversized Condiments

While it might be tempting to purchase that gallon of mayonnaise or a colossal bottle of ketchup, unless you’re hosting a community BBQ, these giant containers can prove impractical.

These products often have a limited shelf life once opened, leading to wastage if not used in a timely manner.

2. Fresh Produce in Bulk

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in bulk might seem like a cost-effective choice, but perishability is a significant factor.

Unless you’re running a restaurant or have a large family that consumes a lot of produce quickly, you’re likely to end up throwing away spoiled items before you can eat them.

See Also: Costco Employees Drop the Knowledge on the Best Time to Shop

3. Giant Packs of Baked Goods

Costco offers tempting deals on baked goods, selling them in massive quantities.

However, unless you have a plan to freeze them or you’re entertaining a large group, these items usually cannot be consumed before they stale.

This makes large packs of croissants, muffins, or bagels less ideal for an average family UNLESS you can freeze them.

This one definitely rings true to me….I can’t count the number of stale Costco muffins and dinner rolls that I’ve fed our goat over the years (no joke!).

4. Supersized Snacks

It’s easy to be lured by the giant bags of chips or snacks, thinking you’re getting a great deal.

However, not only does this encourage overeating, but it also poses a challenge in terms of storage and freshness.

Once opened, the snacks need to be consumed quickly, which isn’t always practical.

5. Specialty Appliances

While that high-tech juicer or the latest espresso machine might catch your eye during a Costco run, specialty appliances can be a risky purchase.

Often, these items are used infrequently and take up valuable counter space.

Unless you’re certain you’ll use them regularly, it’s better to avoid the temptation.

6. Bulk Dairy Products

Unless you consume a large amount of dairy quickly, buying it in bulk might lead to wastage due to its short shelf life.

Products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can spoil before they’re fully used, making smaller purchases more sensible.

See Also: Costco Bakery Hacks You NEED In Your Life

7. Clothing in Multipacks

Costco sometimes sells clothing in multipacks, and while the per-item cost seems low, you might end up with more than you actually need or want.

This can lead to unused items cluttering your wardrobe.

8. Large Quantities of Cleaning Supplies

While buying cleaning supplies in bulk can be cost-effective, storage becomes an issue, especially for those living in smaller spaces.

Additionally, if you like to try new products or scents regularly, you might be stuck with a large quantity of a product you no longer prefer.

9. Excessive Quantities of Spices

Spices lose their potency over time, and while the giant containers might seem like a steal, unless you’re cooking in high volumes regularly, you’re likely to end up with stale spices.

Smaller quantities ensure fresher flavor and less waste.

10. Large Packs of Paper Goods

While stocking up on toilet paper and paper towels might seem practical, they require a lot of storage space.

If you live in a smaller home or apartment, storing a year’s supply of paper goods isn’t always feasible.

11. Bulk Beauty Products

Buying beauty products like lotions, shampoos, or skin creams in bulk might backfire if your skin or hair doesn’t respond well to them.

Also, the efficacy of many beauty products can diminish over time, so having too much on hand can lead to waste.

See Also: The Costco Warranty: All The Products They Stand Behind

12. Oversized Pet Food Bags

While bulk pet food can offer significant savings, purchasing a massive bag can have downsides.

If your pet is picky, has special dietary needs, or if the food has a nearing expiration date, you might end up with a large amount of pet food that goes unused.

13. Big-Ticket Items Without Prior Research

Costco often offers deals on electronics and appliances, but these items should always be purchased with careful consideration.

Make sure to compare prices and check reviews to ensure that the model offered is still relevant and competitive.

Often, these items may be older models being cleared out at a discount.

14. Seasonal Decor

Large packs of seasonal decor might catch your eye during the holiday season, but storage for the rest of the year can be a challenge.

Additionally, buying in bulk might lead you to have more decorations than you actually need, contributing to clutter.

My wife and I ran into this problem last year when I bought a large Christmas light pole…it’s REALLY cool but now I’m not sure where to store it because it’s SO tall.

I’m going to have to take it apart every January and store it in my attic which is gonna be a pain in the butt.

15. Books and DVDs

While the selection may be tempting, many people find that books and DVDs bought on impulse remain unwatched or unread.

With digital streaming and libraries offering easy access to these media, it might be more space and cost-efficient to rent or stream rather than buy in bulk.

16. Pre-Packaged Salad Mixes

While the convenience of pre-packaged salad mixes is undeniable, their shelf life can be surprisingly short.

Large bags can be impractical for small households and might lead to wastage if the salad wilts before it can be consumed entirely.

17. Frozen Meals and Entrees

Buying frozen meals in bulk can seem like a time-saver, but taste fatigue can set in quickly when you’re eating the same dish repeatedly.

Also, these meals can vary greatly in nutritional value, and frequent consumption of less healthy options might not align with your dietary goals.

See Also: Read This BEFORE You Buy Meats from Costco and Save Money

18. Scented Candles in Bulk

Purchasing large quantities of the same scented candle might seem like a soothing idea initially.

However, scents can become overwhelming or simply less appealing over time.

Take it from me on this one, diversifying your “aromatic options” in smaller quantities is usually more satisfying.

19. Bulk Baking Ingredients

For those who don’t bake frequently, buying ingredients like flour, sugar, or baking powder in bulk might lead to spoilage.

These ingredients have a limited shelf life and can attract pests if not stored properly.

20. Fitness Gear and Equipment

While the low prices on fitness gear and equipment can be tempting, these are items that should be chosen based on specific fitness needs and preferences rather than impulse.

Overstocking on gear that doesn’t align with your actual workout habits can lead to clutter and unused equipment.

Personal experience on this one…I have an elliptical machine that I bought at Costco that’s currently holding a few hoodies.

21. Large Containers of Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are healthy snack options, but their shelf life can be shorter than you might expect.

Once opened, large containers of nuts and seeds can go rancid quickly if not stored properly, potentially leading to both food waste and a loss of money.

22. Exotic Juices and Beverages

While exotic juices and beverage varieties in bulk might catch your eye with their health claims and unique flavors, their appeal can wane after a few servings.

This could leave you with more juice than you can—or want to—consume before it expires.

23. Office Supplies

Buying office supplies like pens, notebooks, and binders in bulk can lead to overstock and underuse, especially in small home offices.

Before buying, assess whether the quantity aligns with your actual usage to avoid unnecessary accumulation.

Final Thoughts

Costco’s bulk buys can be a boon for the right items, but shoppers should approach with caution.

It’s important to assess your actual consumption needs and storage capabilities before giving in to the allure of seemingly great deals.

Remember, a bargain isn’t a bargain if it ends up unused or in the trash.

Ask the Reader: What’s the one big ticket item you bought at Costco that you regret purchasing?

How to Find Amazon Return Stores Near You and Save | allo-guitare
By Kyle James

By Porter