Costco Deals | 15 Things Not To Buy

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15 Items You Should Never Buy At Costco |

So I’ve talked about Is Costco Worth It and Top 15 Costco Deals.

Now it is time to discuss items which items are always cheaper on sale with a coupon than Costco’s everyday or with a coupon prices.

Since, I’ve posted on items that are FREE after coupon before, it goes with out saying that if I won’t pay for them at a grocery store or drugstore, I won’t buy them at Costco either. 

1. Cereal. You can consistently get cereal for a $1.00 or less per box. It is never that inexpensive at Costco.

2. Feminine Hygiene Products. On average you can get a small boxes for $1.50 or less. Costco’s prices are almost 50% more.

3. Bread. Even if you prefer a more “fancy” bread, you can always beat Costco’s prices when it is on sale at the local grocery store (without a coupon).

4. Frozen Chicken Breast. I don’t pay over $1.65/lb for frozen, skinless chicken breast. It is over $2.00/lb at Costco.

5. Frozen Pizza. Pizza goes on sale ALL THE TIME at the grocery stores. And most of the time there is a coupon to go with it. Buy it at Costco and you’ll pay at least 25% more.

6. Laundry Detergent. Unless you are an ECOs only user, you will pay less per load for laundry detergent after a sale and a coupon (up to 50% less).

7. Household Cleaners. You can get most cleaners (409, Lysol, Windex, or Clorox) for under $1.25 per bottle. You’ll pay nearly 50% more at Costco.

8. Paper goods. The great thing about napkins, paper plates, and plastic silverware is they store easily. Purchase and stock-up around Memorial Day and Fourth of July at a discount and use it through the rest of the year.

9. Peanut Butter. On average, Peanut Butter is $1.25 per jar after coupon. Buy the huge two-packs and you’ll be paying 50% more per ounce.

10. Snack Crackers. A $1.00 per box is the average price for snack crackers after sale and coupon. Most of the large boxes of crackers will run you 33% more per ounce at Costco.

11. Shampoo and Conditioner. Again, $1.00 per bottle is the magic number after sale and coupon. Purchase it at Costco and you’ll pay almost 75% more per ounce.

12. Lotion. Consistently $1.00 per bottle (or even free) after sale and coupon. It is almost 75% more per ounce at Costco.

13. Canned Veggies. Stock-up around the holidays for $.39 a can and pay 33% less than Costco prices.

14. Non-Organic Produce. Apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. are close to 100% more per pound versus on sale at a store. Stock-up when it is on sale and avoid paying the Costco premium.

15. Bacon. Bacon typically goes on sale every six weeks for $2.50 in our area. Buy it at Costco and you’ll pay almost 25% more per pound.

What about you? What things did you used to purchase at Costco that you can get cheaper on sale with a coupon? Has anyone cut their Costco spending in half since they have started couponing?

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  1. Tara Gase says

    I always buy the nitrate/nitrite-free bacon at Costco. This is the only kind of bacon I’ll buy and I think it is generally cheaper at Costco, and very high quality. It’s not really apples to apples but if nitrate/nitrite-free is important to you then I think it’s worth it.
    • Alicia says

      I agree Tara. Due to health issues our family requires no nitrates. Hot dogs are always on sale along with bacon at grocery stores, but I consistanty buy bacon and hot dogs at Costco because the nitrate-free brands are less expensive at Costco than at a grocery store.
  2. Vanessa says

    Thank you for simplifying things for me. I spend so much time dividing price by ounces to see if items are a good deal or not (more often not).
  3. michele says

    exception to the bacon one, the costco pre cooked bacon is the same as 8 packages of oscar mayer, currently 10.99 package – like getting a package of oscar mayer for 1.37 .
  4. Susan says

    The name brand shampoo is the exception ~ Bed Head and Nexus both are way cheaper at Costco….also when it comes to chicken, they have a great kirkland brand thats hormone free and not injected with any sodium or fillers thats $1.50 less per lb then anyother store…..just like the hot dogs and bacon if you want better quality meat w/ less fillers…Costco is the only way to go!
  5. Melissa Matthews says

    we use Sam’s Club not Costco. We used to spend a lot before I started couponing and before we began Dave Ramsey’s envelope method which didn’t work well w/ bulk food because I would blow all my money there and not have anything I could turn into a meal. We put me on a weekly grocery budget which helped and I learned I could only get a couple things when we go to Sam’s. I buy Milk and bananas it is the cheapest by far!!!!! We also regularly get eggs, butter, kid yogurt there when we dont have it on sale, I know its cheaper than regular priced grocery store prices. I am guilty of buying bread I have a brand I like and its cheaper there unless its on sale at the grocery store and then I get it at the store. Bread for the rest the family I only buy at the store. Used to buy Laundry detergent until I was able to stock up on all the good deals you give us. We also used to get canned veggies and frozen pizzas but you have shown us better deals over the past year! Thanks! Oh and we get Diapers or Pull ups and Wipes but I have been told online deals are better but haven’t began that, it seems overwhelming to me to search but I know I need too. We like to do a family lunch date there too, the whole family can eat for very cheap huge hot dog and giant soda $1.50! of course no soda for the kids but its only a few cents cheaper. Plus they have the best salted soft pretzels w/ butter-mmmmmm We love to shop there for gifts too! WE LOVE SAMS CLUB!!!!
  6. stacey says

    I was wondering if you know how Sam’s club compares? I assume probably similar deals. We don’t have a Costco close (up North) but keep debating if Sam’s membership would be worth it. Wish we had a costco closer! BTW, new to your site and love learning all the wonderful information to share! THANK YOU!
    • says

      Stacey – it’s hard for me to say because I am not a Sam’s Club member. I would assume the deals would be similar, but I can’t say for certain.
  7. Jackie Howard says

    At our Costco the chickens breasts are 21.99 for ten pounds. $2.19 cents a pound. They actually just raised the price. These are the Purdue brand and are the best quality chicken breasts we have found by far anywhere. They are sliced nice and thin with hardly any fat or gristle. They are perfect for fajitas. This is one of the reasons we keep renewing our membership!
  8. says

    Where do you find your frozen chicken breasts for that cheap? That is one item we usually always buy at Costco. Also, laundry detergent. We use the Kirkland powder in the giant white tub, we have used it for 4 or 5 years and have loved it. We tend to only need to buy a giant tub twice a year.
    • says

      Melissa – I only by Country Pride Chicken Breasts from Hy-Vee. I think they are equal is comparison to the Purdue that Jackie refers too above. (Because I’m ultra picky about chicken breast and meat in general.) If you wait for a sale – you’ll pay anywhere from $1.50 to $1.65 per pound. And then I stock up. I haven’t bought the Costco Purdue Chicken Breast in bags in over three years.
  9. Tracy C. says

    I totally agree on everything you put above except for blackberries, raspberries, and sometimes blueberries. You just have to watch Costco’s prices, because they fluctuate A LOT and from store to store (OP vs. Lenexa vs. KC, MO). For example, the $2.99 for 18oz of blackberries price that often runs is my buy price because the best price I have EVER seen it at the grocery store is $.99 for 6oz and that was at HH one time. I totally stock my freezer in the summer when their prices go way down on berries. The holiday times are usually horribly overpriced on berries.
  10. kim says

    I’ve priced out the laundry detergent at Costco. We get the liquid Kirkland brand for around .06-.07 / oz. Tide is .11/oz. Even with a sale and coupon, I haven’t found Tide lower than .11. I guess I haven’t really tried any of the other brands though.
  11. michele says

    their blackberries are amazing, I dont know how they sell them so cheap all year around. and I’m in love with blackberries !
  12. Jen in VA says

    I enjoyed both of your Costco lists. I disagree on peanut butter. Our family likes the all natural peanut butter without added corn syrup or sugars. The Costco Kirkland brand beats everyone else in both taste and quality. Give it a try sometime!

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