12 Things You Should Never Bulk Buy at Costco

If you are a bulk-buying person, most probably you are already a Costco loyalist. However, buying in bulk isn’t always the best idea. After looking into some of Costco’s past controversies and analyzing consumer habits, we have picked items at Costco that are not worth your money.

These products will either waste your money or may not be cost-efficient at all. So read till the end so you don’t buy these things on your next visit to Costco.

Rotisserie chickens

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While Costco’s rotisserie chickens are affordable, there have been concerns about the conditions in which the chickens are raised. An animal rights group exposed issues at a Costco chicken farm, revealing overcrowded and poorly treated birds. If you prioritize animal welfare, consider other sources for your rotisserie chicken.

Over-the-counter medication

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Costco’s selection of OTC medications may be limited compared to dedicated drugstores or pharmacies. If you need a specific brand or formulation, you might find a better range elsewhere. Besides, the quantity can be a problem too. OTC medications at Costco often come in large quantities. If you don’t use them frequently, it might be more cost-effective to buy smaller packs elsewhere.

Baby supplies

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While buying baby supplies in bulk can save money, it’s also important to consider storage space and expiration dates. Babies grow quickly, so items like diapers and formula may not get used up. Apart from that, sometimes quality matters more than quantity. Generic baby products may not always match the quality of specialized brands.

Liquid cleaning products

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Most of us prefer buying cleaning products in the largest quantities available, and Costco is the best place for that. However, we forget that cleaning products also lose potency if kept open for a long time. For example, liquid detergents degrade over time. So if you buy the largest bottle of Tide, thinking it will last you for six months, you will see that by the third or fourth month, it’s not cleaning that great. This happens mostly with liquid products as they are prone to oxidation. Largest packs are only good if you have a big family.

Bulk produce

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While buying produce in bulk can be economical, consider your family’s consumption rate. Fresh fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf life. So buying more than you need will only lead to wasting food. Plus, unlike other food items, storing fresh produce isn’t that simple. In most cases you have to keep them in the refrigerator or in a cool place so they don’t start rotting. So don’t buy bulk produce at Costco if you don’t have enough room in your refrigerator.

Bulk frozen produce

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Compared to fresh produce, frozen produce is easy to store and has better longevity, but not that long though. If you live alone or have a smaller household, it can take you months to finish that 10-pound bag of frozen broccoli. Of course, unless you are on only a broccoli and chicken diet. Besides, if you think you are getting a good deal with that big bag of frozen berries, think again. All the reopening and refreezing of the berries can cause freezer burns, and it isn’t ideal if you are eating berries for antioxidants. So unless you have a big household, guests to serve, or a restaurant, buying these bulk frozen products can be a waste.

Skincare and makeup

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We understand that it can be very tempting to buy that six-pack of moisturizer for cheaper, but don’t forget about the expiry and shelf life of the products. If you think you can finish a 1000 ml moisturizer bottle in six months, then only buy it, no matter if it expires in the next 24 months. Most of us forget about the shelf life of a product, which is the duration for which the contents stay good after opening the seal. Once the shelf life is over, the product slowly starts losing its efficiency. So check the shelf life of the products and buy only if you can finish them within that time.


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Those big jars of mayo, ketchup, or mustard bottles do more harm than good. You might think that you are saving a lot by buying these jumbo sizes, but you are not. For most people, condiments like these go bad before you even finish half of it. However, if you take the challenge to finish it, then your health will suffer. Buying smaller sizes is usually more practical and cost-effective.


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Spices are best when they are fresh. However, it’s often not possible to always have fresh spices. Buying large amounts of spices isn’t recommended as they lose freshness each time the container is opened. Additionally, most people don’t use large amounts of spices quickly enough in their everyday cooking to justify buying in bulk.

Bread and pastries

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Bread and pastries lose their freshness very quickly, so you are always advised to buy them from your local bakery in the required portions. By the time you pick that bread loaf from the shelf, it may have already been a couple of days. Plus, the prices are not even the cheapest at Costco. Hence, there’s no point in paying more for a stale loaf of bread.


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Not everything is cheap at Costco. For example, the cereals. If you calculate carefully, you will find that you can get better deals from other places. Just because they are selling in multipacks, doesn’t mean it is super cheap. Compare prices per unit with other stores to ensure you’re getting the best deal.


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You can get multi-packs of soda for cheap at the local grocery stores. Sometimes, they can even be cheaper than Costco. Since sodas are a high-selling product with a good shelf life, Costco doesn’t provide a lucrative price for them. So you are better off picking that pack of coke from the store next door.

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