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5 Costco Items That Aren't Worth Buying In Bulk, According to Shoppers

Costco wins points for bargain prices, but members say they look elsewhere for certain products.

From the size of its grocery items to the sheer variety of products, Costco goes big in just about every way possible.

Looking to stock up on toilet paper? Costco will sell you 36 rolls in one pack. Low on mayo? You'll surely be good to go for months by purchasing Costco's 64-ounce tub of Hellmann's. Craving massive desserts that can reasonably feed a small army? Look no further than the "Mini" Carrot Cakes that put your average cupcake to shame, or the hefty 4.75-pound peanut butter chocolate pie that has recently taken the internet by storm. 

But while Costco wins points for its bargain prices, there can be downsides to purchasing all of your groceries in bulk sizes.

In a Reddit thread this week that has racked up more than 120 comments, Costco members weighed in on the bulk groceries they believe are "not worth the hassle." We've compiled a list of the products that made the most appearances in the thread. Read on to find out which Costco items shoppers say aren't worth buying in the grocery chain's signature huge sizes.

 14 Costly Mistakes Every Costco Shopper Makes at Least Once

Frozen Items

Costco freezer section
ZikG / Shutterstock

Costco shoppers have a particular aversion to the retailer's bulk freezer goods, but it's not because they dislike the actual products. In fact, members said that they shy away from certain frozen groceries at Costco simply because they take up too much space in their freezers.

"I'd like to buy the signature premium vanilla ice cream, but I don't need or want TWO huge gallons in one package. Maybe for a holiday party, but not to keep in the freezer with that much space and time," a member wrote.

Though Costco members with bigger freezers will find it easier storing their sizable frozen finds, others are not so lucky.

Multi-Flavor Packs of Products

Costco aisle
Tooykrub / Shutterstock

When it comes to grocery items that come in a variety of flavors, like sparkling water and yogurt, it's rare that most shoppers will enjoy every flavor available to them.

For that reason, several Costco members said that they avoid buying big multi-flavor packs of food and beverages when they don't like one or more of the options. Otherwise, they'd just end up going to waste.

"Sounds good in [principle], but there was always one flavor my family didn't like," one shopper wrote in reference to products that come in multiple flavors.

Baked Goods

costco muffins

Costco has a beloved bakery section, but some shoppers miss out on the famous muffins and pastries because they can't justify purchasing large packages of baked goods that they won't be able to finish on their own.

"I like the muffins and mini-cakes, but as a single guy I can't hope to finish them," one user commented.

"I would love some cake or bread but it's just so much," another said.

Some members noted that you can extend the shelf life of Costco baked goods by storing them in the freezer, but for those already hurting for freezer space, this may not be possible.


Costco milk
ZikG / Shutterstock

The smell of spoiled milk is something we'd all love to avoid, and that's exactly why some shoppers refuse to buy the dairy product at Costco.

Costco sells Kirkland Signature milk by the gallon, as well as in two-count gallon packs. The Costco website also lists another option where customers can get three half gallons of organic milk in one package. But members who live alone or just don't drink that much milk said they have trouble finishing even one gallon, let alone two, before it goes bad.

As one shopper put it: "outside of cereal I don't use enough of it to ever justify buying a full gallon."

Fresh Produce

Costco produce

Unless you're living in a larger household, consuming even normally sized portions of grocery store produce before it goes bad can be a challenge. This issue is especially heightened at Costco, where shoppers typically have to spring for larger packages of fruits and veggies that can turn into a huge waste of money when they inevitably expire.

So, it comes as no surprise that fresh produce is the most common gripe. Shoppers, especially ones living in one or two-person households, complained that they had to cut back on buying items like apples and avocados at Costco to mitigate food waste.

"I am just buying for me now, and really only benefit from buying onions and bell peppers at Costco. It just goes bad too quickly," one shopper commented.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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