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If you want to know how to make the most of your Costco membership, you need to know about
the things you should avoid.
Here's some of the worst products you can pick up at Costco, along with a few select
items that you absolutely should.
With all the remotes, toys, and gadgets piled up in our houses, you can't blame us for wanting
to save a few bucks on AA batteries.
While Costco's Kirkland batteries might be less expensive than brand name competitors,
it turns out they could cost you more in the long run.
What's th e big deal?
A quick look at the user reviews for Costco's AAs on Consumer Reports tells the ugly story.
It's not just that the batteries aren't good — they're allegedly destructive.
The primary gripe across reviews is leakage and corrosion, arguably making these inexpensive
batteries not worth a buy at any price.
According to the reviews, the batteries have a tendency to leak to the point that they
could potentially destroy your devices.
As one Consumer Reports writeup says,
"Do not buy these batteries.
They are less expensive; but, all will eventually leak and destroy your devices.
[...] radios, flashlights, clocks, low power, and high power.
Does not matter."
So while these batteries may be cheaper, they could also ruin expensive electronics, losing
you money and causing you stress.
Though it may be tempting to pick up five pounds of, say, vine-ripened tomatoes during
your Costco trip, produce purchases might be one of the store's worst buys.
But it's not because of quality; it's because of quantity.
Business Insider spoke to Costco employees who explained that, for most regular consumers,
it's just too hard to consume that much fresh produce before it all goes bad.
In the words of one worker,
"While our produce department is one of the best in the business, I personally don't eat
veggies fast enough to buy in bulk, so two thirds of it will spoil before I eat it."
Which makes sense — unless you're running a restaurant, or feeding an army, it can be
difficult to use up all that produce, especially since it doesn't all freeze well.
Which brings us to our next point: If you do want to stock up on bargain produce, head
for the freezer aisle.
There's plenty of frozen fruit and veggies there that you should be buying, and there's
a much lower risk of it spoiling before you can get to it.
Not every product on Costco's shelves is the best deal out there.
You get caught up in the moment, and the next thing you know you've got a 24-pack of canned
corn and a 5-pound thing of baked beans in your cart.
If you really want to save money, put those cans back.
"You like canned food?"
"...No."
Canned goods can consistently be found in smaller quantities at supermarkets for a better
overall price, at up to 40 percent less than what you'd pay at a warehouse store.
And when the grocery store brands go on sale?
Forget it — nobody can beat those deals.
What about Costco's tempting bulk cans?
They may be great deals, but much like with the bulk produce, there's no way a typical
family is going to be able to eat all of the contents before they go bad.
Those cans make sense for restaurants — for you alone, not so much.
At the end of the day, you'll throw out too much to make it worth your while.
"Alright, well don't waste it, it's still food, jeez."
We know that when it comes to great quality at great value, Kirkland is hard to beat.
But it turns out that the products sold under Costco's private label aren't always top dog.
In strength tests of leading paper towel brands from Clark.com and Consumer Reports, Kirkland's
offering has consistently come up short, being considerably less durable than brands such
as Viva and Bounty.
Costco's paper towels may be affordable, but if you have to use three in place of one to
get the same results, are you really saving money?
Here's what you should do: Instead of shopping the Kirkland brand, buy your brand name paper
towels at Costco — those are often cheaper than you can find them elsewhere.
So those are the things you shouldn't buy, but don't get us wrong — Costco's not all
bad.
Far from it.
Here are some of the things you'd be crazy not to pick up on your next visit to the big
box superstore.
Bacon is something many of us would happily spend more on if it means superior quality.
With Kirkland Signature bacon, not only do you get the better tasting product, you also
get a better deal.
According to Consumer Reports, Kirkland bacon was the hands-down winner in a taste test
that included brand names like Hormel and Oscar Mayer.
And when it comes to cost, Kirkland bacon averages about $1.50 less per pound than other
name brand competitors.
And hey, don't worry about the fact that you're buying four packs at once.
Bacon freezes beautifully, and knowing that you're never without your favorite cured meat
on hand is priceless.
"I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon.
It is delicious, it's good for me, it's a perfect way to start the day."
We've all heard the warnings about how much of the extra virgin olive oil out there is
"fake," but that's not something you have to worry about when you buy Kirkland's brand.
According to a report from the UC Davis Olive Center, studying extra virgin olive oil sold
in California,
"69 percent of imported olive oil samples… labeled as extra virgin failed to meet the
IOC [International Olive Council]/USDA standards for extra virgin olive oil."
In fact, the Kirkland brand was the only imported olive oil sampled to pass muster.
So, if Kirkland organic extra virgin olive oil is such high quality, it must be expensive,
right?
Not so.
At less than $20 for two liters, the price is well below that of other brands.
When it comes to syrup, there are two camps: You either love the fake stuff, or you love
the real stuff.
And if you love the real deal maple syrup, you should be picking it up at Costco.
"I love maple syrup.
I love maple syrup on pancakes.
I love it on pizza."
It's hard to beat the quality or value of the Kirkland organic maple syrup.
In a comparison of eight dark maple syrups, Consumer Reports found that though Kirkland
brand ranked third in the taste test, it was 50 cents cheaper per serving than the syrup
that took first.
And don't let that ranking fool you — the flavor was still described as clean and complex.
Nobody wants to overpay for booze — and that's why you should make your alcohol purchases
at Costco.
The warehouse store is simply hard to beat when it comes to brand name booze, whether
you're buying beer, liquor, or wine.
According to some reports, you could easily recoup a membership fee with the alcohol savings
alone if you drink enough — not that we'd recommend that.
And don't forget, the brand name stuff isn't the only booze at Costco.
You can score an even better deal on Kirkland Signature alcohol, which The Kitchn reports
is typically 20 to 40 percent cheaper than brand name competition.
"Get me a glass of Kirkland and a Klondike bar, kid.
Will ya?"
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The Absolute Worst Thing You Could Buy At Costco

162 Folder Collection
April Lu published on July 31, 2019
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