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Whether your Costco shopping list is for a few jars of almond butter or a massive meal prep haul, chances are you'll be sucked into the crazy deals being offered on products at your local store. While we're big fans of stocking up on some healthy staples at this big-box store, there are 10 grocery items experts, employees and even Costco superfans say you should steer clear of.
Produce prices tend to stay the same year-round at Costco, unlike at your local supermarket. Grocery stores typically offer in-season produce at a lower price, due to production and travel costs being lighter.
While stocking up on a massive container of blueberries at Costco for all your summer baking recipes might seem like a good idea, you'll actually get more bang for your buck buying several smaller containers at your neighborhood grocery store or farmer's market.
Unless you're hosting a big Sunday brunch, there's really no need to stock up on eggs at Costco. If your household typically eats a dozen or fewer eggs per week, buying the carton of two dozen eggs from Costco is just going to lead to food waste. We've actually seen cheaper prices per egg at the supermarket.
Additionally, Bobby Parrish, a popular YouTuber, shared that Costco's organic eggs are actually ranked as low as possible by The Cornucopia Institute when it comes to the chickens' quality of life, while still getting to tout they are organic. While they are fed organic food, they are held in cages and don't have room to roam freely.
Several Redditors noted they always avoid buying snack foods at Costco because it is more tempting to have so much around. Buying a 36-pack bag of your favorite potato chips does sound like it could cause some portion control issues!
Unless you're the team mom or hosting a kid's birthday party, your family is likely better off without the bulk packs of unhealthy snacks lurking in your pantry. We advise stocking up on big containers of hummus, peanut butter and other nutritious snack options instead.
Whether you buy ground coffee or whole beans, it's probably best to avoid purchasing it at Costco. This is because even whole bean coffee will start to lose its flavor, freshness and acidity after a while. Buying a bulk bag of coffee from Costco may save you money at first, but you will lose out on the enjoyment after awhile and could end up having to throw a good portion away in the end.
According to Death Wish Coffee—the producer of the world's most caffeinated coffee—bags of coffee really aren't worth using after two weeks or so, and you'd have to chug a whole lot of java to get through a two-pound bag of coffee. We get it—Peet's Coffee Major Dickason Blend is one of our favorites, too—but don't be fooled by the low price and massive bag offered at Costco.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
We wish we could polish off a one-pound bag of spinach each week with ease, but that just isn't the case. Unless you have a large family of herbivores, it's going to be pretty difficult to consume the volume of fruit and veggie containers offered for sale at Costco.
While most would admit their price for some product options are unbeatable—$4.99 for a pound of organic spinach, for example—multiple Costco employees have admitted they never purchase produce there, mostly for the food waste that usually follows when cleaning out the fridge each week.
Fresh meat is actually pretty pricey at Costco, and you won't save big stocking up on cult-favorites for the holidays, like beef tenderloin and steak. Unless you're seeking out one of Costco's famed rotisserie chickens, you're not really saving much when buying meat from the big-box retailer.
According to the Krazy Koupon Lady, a popular budget blogger, you can save money on meat at Costco if you buy it in a 60-pound case, but we think your best bet is to just buy what you need from the local grocery store, butcher or farm to prevent food waste. Not even keto dieters could (or should) eat that much!
Nuts and Seeds
While some healthy eaters swear by bulk nuts and seeds from Costco, they aren't the best option for everyone. Nuts and seeds possess a high amount of oil, which makes them go rancid faster than you might expect. Nuts have a shelf life of about 1-12 months, depending on the type.
Spices and Condiments
Spices and condiments also don't last very long. As much as we wish we used up a 12-ounce container of turmeric in a few months, we couldn't even tell you when we bought the jars we have in our pantries right now.
Costco's jumbo-sized condiments can be pretty appealing for their price per ounce, but they just aren't worth adding to your cart. Mayo in particular only lasts about a month or two in the fridge, and no household should consume a two-quart jar in that period of time.
Surprisingly, buying canned goods at Costco won't do your wallet any favors. Teri Gault, CEO and founder of TheGroceryGame.com, told Kiplinger that canned goods can be 40 percent more expensive at warehouse stores than at your local grocery store!
We're big fans of doing our grocery research beforehand to see which supermarkets are holding sales on our favorite canned goods and stocking up whenever a deal strikes. Canned goods aren't likely to go on sale at Costco, so you're better off skipping the bulk containers of canned green beans.
Rice is a major staple in most of our households, but we prefer to stock up on it at a supermarket instead of a warehouse store. Flo Lum, a popular food-based YouTuber, discovered rice at Costco costs 35 percent more than at her local Asian supermarket. Also, does anyone really need a 25-pound bag of rice in their household? All in all, steer clear of buying this pantry staple at Costco and do your wallet (and back) a favor.