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5 Most Overpriced Costco Items, According To Superfans

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Though many customers flock to Costco for deals, there are a few items that frequent shoppers will tell you are priced a little too high for what they’re worth. GOBankingRates sought out superfans of the warehouse chain to find the items that you’d be better off buying elsewhere. Here’s what they said to pass up next time you’re in Costco.

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Produce

It’s not so much that the produce at Costco is overpriced, as it comes in such large quantities that it’s unlikely you’ll finish it before it goes bad unless you have a huge family or event. Once it goes bad, it’s basically like throwing your money away. On the Costco subreddit, user mkecupcake said “Even if we could [get through the fruits and veggies before they go bad], shopping sales at my local grocery store is more cost effective.” 

We put this to the test: when you look at the numbers, 3 pounds of bananas cost $2.48 at Costco, whereas 3 pounds of bananas would only cost you $2.07 at Ralphs. At the grocery store, you also don’t have to buy 3 pounds if you don’t think you’ll get through all of them, whereas at Costco, that’s the starting quantity. 

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Milk

Reddit user Sowf_Paw on the Costco subreddit said when it comes to milk “Aldi is almost always cheaper for milk in my area,” in comparison with Costco. When we researched this, we found it cost $8.70 for 2 gallons 2% milk at Costco, and $8.58 for 2 gallons of 2% milk at Aldi. Ralphs also sells milk cheaper than Costco, with 2 gallons of 2% milk going for $7.98. Once again, another advantage the grocery stores have over Costco is that you don’t need to buy the two gallons if you don’t need them, whereas Costco sells their milk in pairs. 

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Salmon

At Costco, it will cost you about $16.16 a pound for Kirkland Signature Fresh Farmed Atlantic Salmon Fillet, whereas it’s only $9.99 a pound for Farm Raised Fresh Atlantic salmon fillets at Ralphs. However, some Costco superfans swear the warehouse has better quality salmon than the grocery stores do, like Reddit user Surprise_Corgi when they said, “I’ve never seen better quality beef for the price, though. Or salmon. Their cuts are a couple classes over the asking price.”

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Chicken Breasts

Chicken breast is a cooking staple, so if you’re looking to buy some, stick to your local grocery store. Reddit user drubhub wrote on the Costco subreddit “Chicken breast at Costco will be between 2.99 and 3.49 a pound, meanwhile Kroger had organic chicken breast for 2.79/lb.” When we checked, Costco had boneless and skinless chicken breast on sale for $4.34/lb, whereas Ralphs had boneless and skinless chicken breast for $3.99/lb. 

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Toothpaste

This one was surprising when Reddit user Futurama_Owl pointed it out, but once we did the math, it was hard to disagree. Costco sells 4-packs of toothpaste typically, which makes it seem like you’re getting a deal, but when compared to the grocery store prices, it really isn’t. For example, a 4-pack of SENSODYNE Advanced Whitening Toothpaste costs $31.99 at Costco, but at Ralphs, a 2-pack of SENSODYNE Extra Whitening Sensitive Toothpaste costs $13.99. Two of these would only cost $27.98, making it cheaper than Costco. Though Ralphs isn’t selling the exact same toothpaste, it seems to offer the same benefits, so it might not make sense to buy the 4-pack at Costco.

Reddit user helpme9282828 adds “If you have 2 minutes to clip digital coupons, you should never pay for toothpaste. It’s always free, [and] you even get it free with cash back quite often.” So, if you really want to save money on toothpaste, the trick is to clip coupons so you never even have to pay for it. 

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