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The Best & Worst Produce Buys at Costco

It's not a deal if you won't use the food before it expires.

Costco is full of great deals, from the TVs to the packaged snacks to the milk and eggs. But when it comes to food that isn't shelf-stable, those Costco purchases are only a good deal if you'll use the food before it spoils.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the best and worst produce buys at Costco, based on how fast certain fruits and vegetables spoil. Keep this list in mind next time you're shopping at the warehouse. Then, don't miss The Best & Worst Costco Bakery Items—Ranked!

BEST: Potatoes

sack of russet potatoes
David Smart/Shutterstock

Potatoes can last for weeks in your pantry if they're stored properly. So go ahead and buy that 10-pound bag of potatoes at Costco.

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WORST: Berries

blueberries
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Berries can stay fresh for up to eight days, but there's a good chance they'll last less than that, depending on how fresh the ones you buy are. Skip the blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries at Costco, unless you're buying them from the freezer aisle! Berries are just one of the 20 Foods That Spoil the Fastest.

BEST: Bell Peppers

Red yellow green bell peppers
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Bell peppers will stay fresh in your fridge for a week or longer. And the ones at Costco come in a six-pack, which is a reasonable amount of veggies if you're planning to make stuffed peppers.

WORST: Bananas

bales of costco bananas
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Bananas are a great deal at Costco. But unless you're making banana bread, there's a strong possibility you won't get to finish all of the yellow fruits before they start turning brown.

BEST: Apples

packages of costco apples
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Apples can last for weeks in the fridge, so don't be afraid to buy a Costco-sized package of this fiber-packed fruit.

WORST: Peaches

boxes of peaches from costco
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Peaches produce ethylene gas as they begin to ripen, making them difficult to store. This means the fuzzy fruit is bound to spoil fairly quickly. If you're making, say, a peach pie, Costco could be a great place to buy all of those peaches. But otherwise, this is one fruit you might want to pick up at your local grocery store.

BEST: Organic Carrots

Baby carrots
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Carrots have a longer shelf life in the fridge than other vegetables, like fresh greens, do. Go ahead and stock up at Costco, and serve them with one of these 10 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes.

WORST: Lettuce

slicing lettuce
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Costco has a great selection of fresh greens, including options like spinach and butter lettuce. But if you aren't serving a lot of people, there's a good chance they'll start wilting before you can finish the whole package.

BEST: Garlic

garlic
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It might feel like overkill to buy a two-pound bag of garlic. But garlic is one of the longest-lasting vegetables out there, and those uncut bulbs will last for months in your pantry.

WORST: Asparagus

grilled asparagus on wooden surface
Shutterstock

Asparagus can start spoiling as soon as two days after you buy it. Unless you have a large household, that's probably not enough time to use a 2.25-pound bag of the vegetable.

And speaking of the warehouse, here are The Best & Worst Frozen Foods at Costco—Ranked!

Meghan De Maria
Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more