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7 Food Items You're Buying at Costco That Aren't Deals at All

Step away from the condiments and spices.

If you're a bargain shopper, there's a good place you've considered buying—or currently have—a Costco membership. The annual price can be well worth it if you buy household items and groceries at Costco, especially if you have a bigger household to feed. Items like electric toothbrush heads and water filters are a lot cheaper at Costco than they are at places like Target, too, and the savings do add up.

But not everything at Costco is a better deal than you'd find at a big-box store. There are some things you just shouldn't buy in bulk, either because they're the same price at other stores or because you won't use them before they go bad. (A huge tank of olive oil isn't a good value if the second half of it spoils before you use it!) Here are the Costco food items that aren't really good deals.

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Fresh produce

boxes of costco produce
Mihai Andritoiu / Shutterstock

Unless you have a huge family, getting through a giant sack of avocados or multiple pounds of strawberries before they go bad will be pretty challenging. Yes, it's a good price, but not if it ends in food waste.

And for more Costco trivia, don't miss these 13 Amazing Facts About Costco's Rotisserie Chicken.


Condiments in jars

You've never seen jars of ketchup and mayonnaise as big as the ones at Costco. But do you really need that much of each topping? Chances are that it will go bad before you finish it. Unless you're cooking with a certain condiment every single day, you're better off buying it at your regular grocery store.

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costco jasmine rice bags

Some Costco shoppers have pointed out that if you do the math, a giant bag of rice at Costco isn't much cheaper than it would be at a traditional grocery store. (Plus, who wants to lug that huge bag home?)

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Olive oil

costco olive oil bottles
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It only takes a few months for oil to start going bad. And are you going to need two liters' worth of olive oil in that time frame? Just get a normal-sized bottle of olive oil at the grocery store—one you can actually finish before it spoils.


cereal aisle at costco
David Tonelson/Shutterstock

The prices on cereal at Costco aren't terrible, but you'll likely find better sales at your local grocery store. If you have a manufacturer's coupon or don't mind a generic brand, you're likely to find a better price (and a way better selection) at a regular grocery store.

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boxes of lacroix at grocery store


Love sparkling water? We don't blame you—but you might not find the best deal on it at Costco. A 24-pack of lime LaCroix cans is listed on Costco's website for $8.99, but each 12-pack of lime LaCroix is $3.69 at Target. That would make buying 24 cans at Target more than a dollar cheaper than the Costco case.


aisle of costco spices
Cassio Habib/Shutterstock

Like olive oil, spices will lose their flavor over time. So while you might be OK buying staples like salt and pepper at Costco, you won't want to buy specialty spices in bulk at the warehouse club.

And for more time-saving hacks, don't miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.

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