10 Worst Things to Buy in Bulk at Costco

Costco gets big ups from shoppers and shopping experts alike for its high quality and low prices.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Costco gets big ups from shoppers and shopping experts alike for its high quality and low prices. During recent research trips we’ve been impressed too, highlighting some of the best things retirees should buy at Costco (opens in new tab) as well as some of the warehouse club’s best store-branded Kirkland Signature products (opens in new tab).

With annual membership fees ranging from $60 to $120, it’s tempting to wring as much as you can from every Costco run: bulk packages of toilet paper, eggs in 24-packs, 10-pound bags of flour or a 12-pound Japanese Wagyu boneless ribeye roast (just $999.99). But as enticing as buying everything in bulk at Costco might be, it’s not always the wisest choice, says Tracie Fobes of money-saving website PennyPinchinMom.com (opens in new tab). “For example, that big pack of toilet paper may look like a great deal, but what do you pay at your [local grocery] store? What is the price per roll there versus what you are getting at Costco?”

Understanding per-unit pricing is critical when buying in bulk. So too is understanding that you might not use up such large quantities before they spoil or expire. Here are 10 things you should think twice about before buying in bulk at Costco. Take a look at the list.

Bob Niedt
Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.