While Costco is a nice stop to get everything you could possibly need to live, not everything is better in bulk. Check out a list of things you WON’T get a deal on at Costco . . .
Sunscreen and skin lotion
You don’t end up saving because skin creams go bad after a few months, long before you go through two or three Costco-sized bottles and end up throwing them out. Or you might just rub bad cream all over yourself to get through the bottle…
Grocery stores have better deals when they put it on sale. The bulk does not always mean it is a better deal. Do not let size fool you.
The prices are always the same at Costco, but if you buy when things are in season, you get huge price drops at the grocery store. Make sure you know what food is good to buy in what season.
Costco gives you good deals, but if you get special offer emails from an office supply store, you can get paper for FREE a couple times a year.
Bath tissue and paper towels are cheaper at the grocery store when they go on sale, and you can use coupons to save even more money.
The grocery store is usually cheaper, and you can buy one gallon at a time. This is better since milk goes bad pretty quickly, you don’t want to drink sour milk.
Stores like Best Buy usually have better deals on TVs and computers.
Generic diapers at Costco are about four cents more per diaper than the generic brands at Target and Walmart. When you buy in bulk, those four cents can really add up.
Liquid bleach and detergents
They don’t work as well after about six months, so you’re better off buying smaller bottles. Remember bigger is not always better.
Again, they go bad after about six months. If you think you can use a gallon of Mayo in six months, go ahead and take your best shot.
Clothing and shoes
They might be cheaper, but they’re lower in quality too. You’ll have new clothes, but you’ll need to go again after a couple of months when those clothes are already worn out.
Books and DVDs
Usually Amazon has better deals, up to 20% cheaper prices than Costco. Costco does have good DVD packages, but they often come with a hefty price tag.
It’s cheaper at the grocery store when it’s on sale. Also, once you open cereal, it can go stale fairly quickly, so getting a smaller box may be a better idea.
Wait for a sale at the grocery store and save up to 40%. Costco prices do not vary often.
Vegetable oil and olive oil are often assumed to have long shelf lives, but they’re good for only three to five months after opening, according to the USDA. The enormous containers of oil sold at warehouse stores might be suitable for restaurant use, but a single household isn’t likely to use enough to get its money’s worth.
Bins of chocolate-covered pretzels and jelly beans may be a good buy based on unit price but can take a toll on your waistline.
Toothpaste, lotion, shampoo and other personal care products
Buying smaller sizes is a smart money move, since beauty products start to break down once opened. “Unopened, well-formulated cosmetics can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature,” says Ni’Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist at Cosmetech Laboratories, told Good Housekeeping. “But the clock starts once you bring a product home and open it. When air hits the formula, certain ingredients start to oxidize and degrade.”
When it comes to feminine hygiene products, Costco is usually not your best option. For example, Costco currently has Always Pantiliner Xtra Protection Long Dailies (160ct) for $9.99 and Amazon has the same exact product for $7.55.
Towels and Sheet Sets
Due to limited colors, thread counts, sizes, and a higher price point, Costco is not the best place to shop for bed sheets, comforters, and towels. Compared to Costco, you can typically save 30-40% more by shopping for these items at TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls.