Before Your Next Costco Run, Discover Who’s Really Behind Your Favorite Kirkland Bargains

As of February 2016, a whopping three million people visited Costco stores every day. And if you’re a card-holding member, you’ll know why so many shoppers make it their first stop. You can get some serious bargains at Costco – especially if you pick up products from its in-house label Kirkland. But did you know that some of your favorite Kirkland products are actually secretly produced by big-name brands? Yep, you can pick up premium goods for cheap if you know where to look – so let us clue you in…

40. George Dickel bourbon

Once upon a time, the supplier of Kirkland Signature bourbon was apparently none other than Jim Beam. Nowadays, though, Costco sells a Tennessee straight bourbon whiskey that may come from another famous brand. Yes, while it hasn’t been confirmed, those in the know believe that George Dickel produces the liquor for the big-box store.

39. Humboldt Creamery ice cream

Crystal Creamery acquired California-based Humboldt Creamery in 2009 and kept the brand afloat – meaning it could manufacture frozen sweets for other labels. So, while it’s not confirmed, it’s likely that Humboldt makes the Kirkland Signature vanilla ice cream. That’s despite the fact that the firm’s own-label products sometimes appear in their own packaging at Costco.

ADVERTISEMENT

38. Jelly Belly jelly beans

When you just need a handful of jelly beans, Costco is there with four-pound containers of the snackable sweets. These come in 49 different flavors – all kosher and sans fat. And if this all sounds familiar, you could be on to something. Yes, it turns out that the Kirkland-brand candy is actually from Jelly Belly, the famous maker of gourmet jelly bean flavors.

37. Rice’s honey

ADVERTISEMENT

Costco makes it a mission to supply its Kirkland Signature 100% Local Raw Unfiltered Honey from, well, local beekeepers. Not every state has the producers to make the amount that the big-box retailer needs, though, meaning the company sometimes has to create a blend from bees across the U.S. And if you live close to Colorado, your Costco jar may come from Rice’s.

36. Ocean Spray cranberry juice

You can find some Ocean Spray-branded products at Costco – like the dried cranberries, for example. But you can get more from the company than just a sweet salad topping if you know where to look. Grab Kirkland Signature Ocean Spray Cranberry Premium 100% Juice, and you actually have a sugar- and-preservative-free product from the trusted brand.

ADVERTISEMENT

35. Huggies diapers

ADVERTISEMENT

Kimberly-Clark is the company behind a slew of trusted diaper brands – Huggies included. It also makes Kirkland Signature Diapers, as confirmed by Costco’s financial chief, Richard Galanti, in 2017. During the same interview, Galanti similarly divulged that Procter & Gamble – the makers of Pampers – had turned down a deal with the big-box store.

34. Bumblebee tuna

Money-savvy shoppers find that Kirkland Signature White Albacore Tuna is ever so slightly cheaper than the Bumble Bee brand. Well, guess what? Bumble Bee supplies Costco’s tins of tuna, too, so you can save cash by picking up the big-box store’s version and get the same tasty catch of the day.

ADVERTISEMENT

33. Biotrue contact solution

ADVERTISEMENT

No need to clean your contacts – you’re seeing this right. Incredibly, the Kirkland Signature contact solution has identical ingredients to name-brand option Biotrue. That’s how people came to realize that the budget version was actually produced by the same company for Costco.

32. Townsend Farms frozen berries

Costco tries to hide the identities of the manufacturers that make products for its in-house brand Kirkland. But sometimes an unfortunate situation will reveal the truth. In 2019 Townsend Farms had to take some of its fruit off supermarket shelves – coincidentally enough at the same time that Costco recalled its Three Berry Blend.

ADVERTISEMENT

31. Acetum balsamic vinegar

ADVERTISEMENT

A product can only be called “Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” if it comes from the Italian region and meets local production guidelines. And Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has earned its title because Acetum, a century-old manufacturer in the city, produces its bottles. This isn’t exactly a huge secret, though, as it’s printed on Costco’s containers.

30. Veneto Prosecco

Here’s a little tidbit that may make you want to jump on a plane to Europe: there’s a region in Italy known for making the best Prosecco. If you can’t make a cross-globe journey, however, head to Costco and grab a bottle of its Kirkland Signature Asolo Prosecco. It comes from the famous Veneto area, and it’s cheap considering it’s a bona fide Italian bottle.

ADVERTISEMENT

29. Warren Oil Company motor oil

ADVERTISEMENT

Look closely at the label, and you’ll find the secret producer of Kirkland Signature Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil through the words “Manufactured by Warren Distribution, Inc.” Warren is one of the preeminent makers of lubricant in the U.S., and it sells its products globally under a slew of different names – including Kirkland.

28. Palermo frozen pizza

When you’re frazzled after a long day at work, putting a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner seems like a no-brainer. If you’re a fan of Kirkland Signature pies, though, you should know that they’re not an in-house production. Palermo has been making these pizzas since 2012, and apparently Costco is the brand’s largest wholesale customer.

ADVERTISEMENT

27. Ti Point Sauvignon Blanc

ADVERTISEMENT

Ti Point winery shares its name with the part of New Zealand that hosted its very first vineyard. Since then, the producer has broken ground on a few more grape-growing outposts. And over the years, it’s sent many of its bottles to the United States, where some of them bear a slightly different name: Kirkland Signature Ti Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

26. Isigny Ste-Mère brie

Want a little cheese to go with all of the wine on this list? Well, you’re in luck, as Costco’s dairy selection is often just as thoughtfully sourced. Take the Kirkland Signature Isigny Ste-Mère Brie, for instance. It comes from a Normandy-based maker with the same name, meaning it meets exacting French standards. And in the States, you can get this premium cheese at a Costco bargain price.

ADVERTISEMENT

25. Bolthouse Farms carrot juice

ADVERTISEMENT

Bolthouse Farms products – which include salad dressings, drinks and bagged carrots – come from a family-run farm in California. And they too hide under the Kirkland Signature label. Yep, that bottle of carrot juice in your cart is a very good deal. Bolthouse gathers, prepares and juices the veggie in a 24-hour span, making fresh blends for its own brand and for Costco.

24. CooperVision disposable contact lenses

Have you ever used a box of Kirkland Signature’s 1-Day Disposable Lenses? If so, you’ve really bought contacts from CooperVision. Just make sure you do a price check before opting for the Costco version, as savvy shoppers have noted that the name brand is actually sometimes cheaper than its big-box alternative.

ADVERTISEMENT

23. Olivier Sumeire rosé

ADVERTISEMENT

Kirkland Signature Rosé gives away its real producer almost immediately, as that origin story is right on the bottle. Its supplier is…drum roll… none other than veteran winemaker Olivier Sumeire. And Sumeire should know his stuff, too, as members of his family have been in the Provence, France, wine trade since the 1200s.

22. Mission Foods tortilla chips

Costco used to make it clear that it entrusted Mission Foods to produce its store-brand tortilla chips, as the manufacturer’s logo was emblazoned across its Kirkland bags. And while this emblem has since disappeared – leading some to believe that Mission is no longer involved – nothing has been confirmed one way or another. That means your Costco chips could still be from the Mexican food experts – and at a bargain price, too.

ADVERTISEMENT

21. Ito En green tea

ADVERTISEMENT

Starting your morning with green tea gives you a relatively gentle jolt of caffeine – only a fraction of what you’d get from drinking a cup of coffee. And if you snap up Kirkland Signature Japanese Green Tea, you should know that you’re actually getting it from Japan-based company Ito En – one of the planet’s biggest manufacturers of the beverage.

20. La Madrileña tequila

Tequila can’t be as mysterious as some of the other items on this list. That’s because all varieties of the liquor come with ID numbers that reveal their true sources. So inquiring minds have done the legwork, tracing Kirkland-brand tequilas back to the Mexican liquor and winemaker La Madrileña. And although this partnership with Costco hasn’t been confirmed, the ID numbers probably don’t lie.

ADVERTISEMENT

19. Ehrmann yogurt

ADVERTISEMENT

Ehrmann is the manufacturer behind such beloved dairy products as LACTO Zero and Yoginos. And it may also be the maker of Kirkland Signature Greek Yogurt if businessman Peter Cohan’s account of the company’s partnerships is to be believed. In his 2017 book Disciplined Growth Strategies, Cohan claimed that Ehrmann had supply deals for private-label retailers – including Costco.

18. Sonova hearing aids

Along with selling cheap food in bulk, Costco provides medical screenings at great prices. You can even get your hearing tested for free. And if you find that your ears aren’t working as well as they once did, you can pick up the Kirkland Signature (KS9) 9.0 Digital Hearing Instruments with confidence. They’re actually made by Sonova, a Swiss firm focused on “innovative hearing care solutions.”

ADVERTISEMENT

17. Diamond dog food

ADVERTISEMENT

Rumors have swirled that Diamond Pet Foods may be the brand behind Kirkland Signature Dog Food. And the gossip was all but confirmed in 2012, when a recall for Diamond’s products included Kirkland-brand puppy chow. Costco buyers have stuck with the store’s own-label stuff, though, and it remains in-demand with those who have four-legged friends in their homes.

16. Alexander Murray scotch

Alexander Murray’s CEO and president, Stephen Lipp, confirmed Costco’s long-standing partnership with the brand in 2016 – nine years after it started making the Kirkland Signature Blended House Whiskey and Single Malt Scotch. If you buy a bottle of the booze, you’ll find the Alexander Murray label printed on it as further confirmation.

ADVERTISEMENT

15. Chinet plastic cups

ADVERTISEMENT

You can’t plan a house party without putting red plastic cups on your shopping list. But, luckily, you won’t sacrifice on quality by picking up the Kirkland Signature variety, as they’re made by the trusted disposable tableware maker Chinet. The company has been churning out one-time-use plates, cutlery and cups for nearly a century now, meaning they must be doing something right.

14. Niagara bottled water

Perhaps you can’t drink from your tap, or maybe you prefer the taste of spring water. Either way, you buy bottled H2O. And by picking up Kirkland Signature water, you can rest assured that you’re getting a high-quality beverage. That’s because Costco sources its bottled water from Niagara Bottling, which sells its eponymous brand in other stores.

ADVERTISEMENT

13. L’Oréal Pureology shampoo and conditioner

ADVERTISEMENT

Name-brand hair care will cost you – unless you have a Costco membership, where a trusted shampoo-and-conditioner set hides behind a Kirkland wrapper. Yes, the store’s Signature Moisture products are supposedly made by L’Oréal’s Pureology. And while there’s not much evidence to link the two brands, user reviews often compare them. The bottles look rather alike as well.

12. Perrigo infant formula

Costco used to source its baby formula from Abbott Laboratories, which produces Similac. But a change in packaging clued parents into the fact that the Kirkland brand was no longer an Abbott product. Instead, the store’s Signature Pro-Care Infant Formula is now made by Perrigo, which openly shares this information on its website.

ADVERTISEMENT

11. Gordon Biersch beer

ADVERTISEMENT

Rumor has it that the country’s divided when it comes to Costco beer. On the East Coast, customers can supposedly snap up Kirkland products made by New York’s Matt Brewing. West Coasters, on the other hand, are reportedly getting beer produced by Gordon Biersch. And while none of this has been confirmed, both companies have made requests to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau registry for Kirkland labels – meaning it seems likely.

10. Formaggio Zanetti Parmigiano Reggiano

You can’t call just any old cheese Parmesan. Yep, we’re looking at you, weird can of pre-grated. You see, Italy has a strict set of standards that cheese must live up to to bear the name Parmigiano Reggiano. And you can find a certified block under the Kirkland label. This is actually made by Formaggi Zanetti, which exports Italy’s finest cheeses around the globe.

ADVERTISEMENT

9. Blommer chocolate

ADVERTISEMENT

Costco’s magazine, The Costco Connection, revealed in 2013 that the retailer has worked with Blommer Chocolate Company to source the store’s selection of sweet stuff. But that isn’t all. Together, both Costco and Blommer have collaborated to ensure that they’re responsibly sourcing their chocolate from Ivory Coast-based farmers. You can feel good about snacking on Kirkland-brand products, then, as they help fund the wages of overseas suppliers.

8. Hormel bacon

The decision to make Hormel Costco’s bacon supplier wasn’t an easy one. Apparently, a corporate buyer looked at a whopping ten different plants before selecting the trusted brand. But you won’t get the exact same cut of meat. Costco opted to make its bacon a little chunkier, meaning it differs slightly from Hormel’s traditional offerings.

ADVERTISEMENT

7. Patrick Lesec Côtes du Rhône Villages

ADVERTISEMENT

Does a chocolatey-yet-fruity wine sound good to you? Of course it does. That’s what you get from Kirkland’s Côtes du Rhône Villages – a wine produced in France for Costco. If you grab a bottle, you’ll find this information printed on the label. There’s also the name of the winemaker responsible for the tasty pour: Patrick Lesec.

6. Reynolds aluminum foil

Costco doesn’t do much to hide its ties with Reynolds, as you’ll find the latter brand’s logo on the box of the Kirkland Signature Foodservice Foil. That said, this particular product is bigger than regular aluminum foil, meaning it generally costs more than the Reynolds-brand stuff.

ADVERTISEMENT

5. Persil laundry detergent

ADVERTISEMENT

Neither Persil nor Costco will speak about any partnership, but there’s speculation that the famous name brand is behind Kirkland detergent. Why? Well, Henkel, Persil’s producer, acquired Huish – Unilever’s laundry-detergent department and the one-time maker of Costco’s store-brand formula. That could mean Henkel has taken over the job of producing for the private label.

4. Duracell batteries

If you’re purchasing batteries, you want to make sure they’re long-lasting. But while you may usually dismiss store-brand varieties, you don’t have to do that at Costco. Duracell – a trusted battery brand – is responsible for the Kirkland-labeled product, as confirmed by the company’s CEO in 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Stearns & Foster mattresses

ADVERTISEMENT

Costco’s bargains don’t start and end with food, as you can get budget-friendly home goods there, too. And you don’t have to sacrifice on quality when purchasing a mattress at the big-box retailer. Stearns & Foster manufactures the Kirkland Signature version, which combines gel and memory foams to make one comfy place to rest your head.

2. Grey Goose vodka

This supplier hasn’t been confirmed, but researchers appear to have found links between Kirkland Signature Vodka and the top-shelf Grey Goose brand. Both liquors are supposedly made with water from France’s Cognac region, for one. You should know, though, that Grey Goose has previously rebuffed rumors of any ties to Costco. And, surprisingly, the big-box store’s vodka has trumped the more expensive option in blind taste tests.

ADVERTISEMENT

1. Starbucks coffee

ADVERTISEMENT

Need your Starbucks fix? Head to Costco, where you can get coffee from the Seattle-based chain. In fact, you’ll find a label that reads “Custom roasted by Starbucks” on the back of some bags. The ones to look out for are Kirkland’s Signature Espresso Blend Dark Roast, House Blend Medium Roast and Decaf House Blend Medium Roast.

But is that cheap bottle of rosé really worth your hard-earned money? Or would you be better off spending a few dollars extra? Well, there are more than a few Costco buys that you need to snap up pronto if you want quality at a good price. And we can tell you what they are – as well as the items you should probably steer clear of.

ADVERTISEMENT

For those of you who can’t resist a great bulk-buy bargain, Costco is often seen as the perfect place. But next time you’re looking to stock up, it’s important to remember that not all of the items on the shelves are worth it. So, to avoid making any purchases that you’ll probably regret, be sure to check out this list containing the store’s best buys – and the products to avoid at all costs.

ADVERTISEMENT

20. Batteries – recommended

As you’ll have probably noticed, Costco has a selection of own-brand products that can only be found at its stores. And these are known as Kirkland Signature. According to Collin Morgan, who runs the Hip2Save.com website, one of the products under that banner is certainly worth grabbing. Indeed, in March 2020 she told GOBankingRates, “Kirkland batteries are actually made by Duracell, but the prices are much less than the name brands.”

ADVERTISEMENT

19. Olive oil – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

As a cooking staple, olive oil is without doubt an immensely popular household good. So, next time you shop at Costco, you may want to pick up a bottle of Kirkland’s own. As the Discover Lifestyle website points out, the large size of the bottle should keep you going for a very long time.

18. Bacon – recommended

Whether it’s for breakfast or dinner, you can’t go wrong with a couple of bacon slices sandwiched between some soft white bread. And funnily enough, Business Insider claims that Costco offers up some of the nicest options out there. The site notes, you see, that Kirkland’s bacon range earned a very good score on the Consumer Reports webpage.

ADVERTISEMENT

17. Medication – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

For DealNews.com’s Julie Ramhold, Costco’s prices for medication simply can’t be beaten. The consumer expert told GOBankingRates, “… A 30-day supply of generic Zoloft can be as much as $12 at pharmacies like CVS. At Costco, a 90-day supply is closer to $8. That’s roughly 8 cents per pill at Costco versus 40 cents per pill at CVS.”

16. Cashew nuts – recommended

In a lot of stores, the amount of cashew nuts in a given packet just isn’t reflected in the price. Fear not, however, as Discover Lifestyle claims that Costco’s options are much better value for money. While their packets may also seem a little on the expensive side, the large quantities should keep your snack cupboard full for longer.

ADVERTISEMENT

15. Tires – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

Costco may be the last store you think of looking in when you need a tire, but it may actually be the ideal place to purchase the rubber covering. For instance, Discover Lifestyle reports that the warehouse’s aptly named Tire Center has an excellent selection that won’t set you back too much. And the staff will even fit them on to your vehicle as well. Result!

14. Organic almond butter – recommended

Some organic spreads can put a real strain on your wallet, but one consumer called Grace Guffin claims that Costco has excellent nut butter deals. In a blog post from 2017 called Cooking Light, she revealed, “[A] 27-ounce jar of almond [butter] is only $8 at your local Costco. That’s literally less than 30 cents per ounce.”

ADVERTISEMENT

13. Fresh eggs – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

It’s not always easy to find the best deal for a box of eggs. Yet according to a group of users on Reddit, Costco has offered up some great prices in the past. In 2016, for example, one person even claimed that on the store’s subreddit that they found a pack of 36 for $2.30 at a Costco in Gaithersburg, Maryland. And elsewhere, someone claimed that you could get 60 eggs for just $4 in Arizona.

12. Flowers – recommended

Rebecca Gramuglia believes that Costco could be your best bet if you’re looking to buy a loved one some flowers. Indeed, the shopping specialist told GOBankingRates, “Costco makes every month feel like Valentine’s Day with their deals on flowers. Skip the $30 to $50 flower arrangement and head over to Costco for big bunches for under $15.”

ADVERTISEMENT

11. Children’s clothing – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

As many moms will know, shopping for kids’ clothes can be a costly endeavor, but Rebecca Gramuglia says that you could save yourself a decent amount of money at the famous warehouse. She claimed, “You can always find great deals on baby/toddler clothing and sleeper sets at Costco. Whether you shop online or head to the store, Costco carries Carters, Nautica, Calvin Klein and many more.”

10. Toilet paper – recommended

Everyone needs toilet paper, but thanks to the huge variety on offer, making a selection is sometimes overwhelming. Thankfully, Discover Lifestyle claimed that Costco’s brand is better than most. In fact, according to the website, the Kirkland rolls are massive and boast an excellent quality when compared to other packs.

ADVERTISEMENT

9. Cheese – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

Ivo Parashkevov, the man behind the personal-finance artificial-intelligence bot Charlie, hailed the prices of Costco’s cheese selection. The expert told Business Insider in May 2019, “I think you can typically get a pretty large chunk [of Humboldt Fog] for well under $20. Per unit, [parmesan is also] very, very cheap.”

8. Breakfast cereal – recommended

You can’t go wrong with a bowl of cereal in the morning – or any time of the day, really. But depending on the offers, the boxes can get pretty pricey. According to Ian Parashkevov, though, Costco offers up larger quantities for less money all year round. Crucially, the entrepreneur told Business Insider, “Cereal doesn’t go bad,” so don’t be afraid to stock up when you get the chance.

ADVERTISEMENT

7. Wrapping paper – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

For ex-CouponSherpa savings expert Kendal Perez, Costco’s wrapping paper is another product worth considering. She told GOBankingRates, “Costco sells four-packs of heavy-duty wrapping paper for $11.99 – or about $3 per roll. Although you can buy wrapping paper from dollar stores, these rolls only contain about 17.5 square feet of paper – compared to Costco’s 45 square feet per roll.”

6. Diapers – recommended

The quality of diapers can vary from label to label – as many parents will no doubt attest. Yet Collin Morgan is of the opinion that Costco’s selection is better than most. She informed Hip2Save.com, “Some Kirkland items are made by bigger name brands. Kirkland diapers are rumored to be made by the manufacturer of Huggies.”

ADVERTISEMENT

5. Vanilla – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

As the keen bakers will no doubt already know, vanilla extract is always handy to keep around the kitchen. And you might want to consider getting it from Costco next time. As per Discover Lifestyle, you see, the warehouse stores sell the item in sizable quantities. But don’t worry, the content won’t lose its taste over time, either, so there’s no need to rush through it.

4. Rotisserie chicken – recommended

When discussing some of the shop’s best items, Collin Morgan told GOBankingRates, “One of our favorite Costco deals is the classic rotisserie chicken. Costco sells bigger chickens than most grocery stores for $2 to $3 less. These are a great bargain as-is for meals, but we like to buy them for recipes that call for shredded chicken.”

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Maple syrup – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

No pancake dish is complete without a generous helping of maple syrup, but the sweet nectar doesn’t always come at a reasonable price. For instance, OutwitTrade leader editor Katie Holmes told the website that Walmart’s bottles are worth 69 cents per ounce. And she then revealed that Costco values the tasty item at 30 cents cheaper.

2. Kitchen furniture – recommended

Offers.com boss, Howard Schaffer, believes that you could save some cash on furniture at the warehouse store. He told GOBankingRates, “You can score tables, chairs and tablecloths at Costco in a variety of sizes for a great price. Costco even offers kids tables and buffet tables if you’re looking for something different.”

ADVERTISEMENT

1. Snacks – recommended

ADVERTISEMENT

Snacks don’t always come cheap, but you’re almost always guaranteed to snap up a bargain at Costco. DadSense.co’s Mike Collins revealed that a 30-ounce container of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish cost $8.99 at a nearby store. Yet a box containing 58 ounces was identically priced at the wholesaler.

20. Laundry detergent – maybe avoid

Costco’s laundry detergent can be sold in massive quantities, but shopping specialist Rebecca Gramuglia explained to GOBankingRates why that’s not always a good thing. “Before you’re tempted to buy a year’s supply of detergent from Costco,” she said, “be warned that it typically loses some of its effectiveness after six months. Instead, get a normal-sized container of your favorite detergent at Walmart for a great price.”

ADVERTISEMENT

19. Spices – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite the fact that Costco has a good spice selection, they should apparently be avoided. The condiments are sold in massive containers there, you see, and according to Discover Lifestyle, they supposedly start to lose their potency quite quickly after being opened.

18. Signateur gas grill – maybe avoid

When discussing the Signateur gas grill on the Costco subreddit, one user wrote, “Do not buy this grill if you like to get a sear/char on your meats. I’ve had this [product] for a little less than a month, and I’m terribly disappointed by the lack of heat it applies to the food. It doesn’t get hot enough to sear a steak without cooking the meat all the way.”

ADVERTISEMENT

17. Toothpaste – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Toothpaste is essential if you want to maintain your oral health, but Costco apparently isn’t the best place to get it. Discover Lifestyle noted that five boxes together would set you back by just under $10. Interestingly, though, the website claimed that consumers would be able to find better offers elsewhere.

16. Light beer – item to avoid

The Kirkland brand has its own light beer range, but some customers have been less than impressed with the beverage. A user on the Beer Advocate website even went as far to say, “[It] tastes worse than pretty much any light or ice beer I’ve ever had.”

ADVERTISEMENT

15. Canned food – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

On the subject of cans, shopping expert Rebecca Gramuglia told GOBankingRates, “Because Costco sells brand-name items, it’s cheaper to buy canned goods at your local supermarket. Pay less by purchasing generic options rather than name-brand products. More often than not, the difference is just the price tag, and generic products are just as tasty or reliable as notable, name brands.”

14. Soap and shampoo – item to avoid

Soap and shampoo can set you back by a quite a bit over the year – especially if you go for famous brands. So, Costco could seem like the ideal place to stock up and save a bit of cash. According to Discover Lifestyle, however, customers have said that different shops had better offers on than the wholesaler.

ADVERTISEMENT

13. Baking products – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

For those of you who love a spot of baking, you should probably resist the urge to stock up on the products you need at Costco. That’s because even though items such as flour, dried yeast and baking powder can be bought in large quantities, you probably won’t finish them before they go off, according to the Eat This, Not That! website.

12. Soda – maybe avoid

Costco might seem like the ideal place to buy soda in bulk. Discover Lifestyle noted that 35 cans of Dr. Pepper could be purchased for under $10, for instance. But Reader’s Digest, on the other hand, revealed that other stores had better offers on individual products – meaning you’d get them for less.

ADVERTISEMENT

11. Rice – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Rice is another product that people generally like to buy in large amounts. But Costco might not be the best place to stock up. Indeed, a YouTuber named Flo Lum stated that she’d splashed out $40 on a 25-pound container of Jasmine rice at the warehouse. That was apparently $26 more than what the nearby street vendor had charged.

10. Condiments – maybe avoid

No kitchen would be complete without some mustard or ketchup on the shelf. However, Stephanie Nelson – who’s better known as The Coupon Mom – believes that Costco’s sauce bottles are far too large. She told GOBankingRates, “Unless you’re entertaining, pay a lower cost overall by buying sale-priced condiments at the supermarket, with coupons that are frequently available on these items.”

ADVERTISEMENT

9. Ground coffee – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Anyone browsing around Costco for ground coffee may be tempted by a big bag of Kirkland’s own brand. But Discover Lifestyle has offered a few words of caution: apparently, the contents become less tasty when the seal’s broken.

8. Milk – maybe avoid

In terms of taste, Costco’s milk can’t be faulted. Unfortunately, though, customers can only purchase the dairy product in bulk, and Business Insider reports that two-gallon jugs are the minimum.

ADVERTISEMENT

7. Las Fortunitas Tortilla Chips – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

When it comes to tortilla chips, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better offer than the one at Costco. Indeed, Business Insider claims that you can grab a 5-pound pack of Las Fortunitas Tortilla Chips for less than $6. But the quantity is also a detriment, as people will probably struggle to eat them all before they go stale.

6. Books – maybe avoid

You can buy a number of different books at Costco, though consumer analyst for DealNews.com Julie Ramhold offered an alternative. She told GOBankingRates, “Costco stores can have an okay selection, but you’ll be able to find exactly what you want at Amazon. Even better, opt to support a local indie bookstore – you tend to receive better customer service and you’re supporting [a] local [business], so it’s a win-win.”

ADVERTISEMENT

5. Name-brand clothing – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Name-brand clothes can cost a pretty penny at specialist stores on the high street. But you should err on the side of caution if you see any of those garments in Costco. According to Business Insider, there’s a possibility that they won’t be in perfect condition, you see.

4. Sunscreen – maybe avoid

Much like other items, Costco has been known to sell sunscreen in large quantities. Discover Lifestyle reports that the wholesaler offered a pack of three lotions for just $15.99 at one point. Yet due to the use-by date, it’s unlikely that you’ll finish the bottles before needing to throw them out.

ADVERTISEMENT

3. Disposable razors – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

Naturally, finding a good-quality pack of decently priced razors can be quite challenging. In Costco’s case, a box of 14 is valued at $23 – or $1.64 for every razor. Walmart has that figure beat, with GOBankingRates reporting that 12 Gillette-branded shavers cost just over $12 there. And that comes to just $1.05 individually.

2. Frozen turkeys – maybe avoid

Ex-CouponSherpa savings expert Kendal Perez believes that you’d be better off avoiding Costco if you’re looking to buy a frozen turkey. Instead, she cited a better deal. Perez told GOBankingRates, “I purchased a 14-pound Kroger brand turkey from King Soopers for 69 cents per pound, compared to Costco’s price of 99 cents per pound for Butterball frozen turkeys.”

ADVERTISEMENT

1. Fresh produce – maybe avoid

ADVERTISEMENT

While buying lots of fresh food from Costco might seem like a good idea at first, consumer analyst Julie Ramhold advised against it. She informed GOBankingRates, “Unless you’re going to be able to eat it all fairly soon, you run the risk of it going bad. Maybe skip the bulk buy and opt for your local grocery store instead to buy only what you need.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT