The 6 Worst Costco Items To Buy in Bulk

Costco Wholesale Warehouse Outlet stock photo
Art Wager /

Costco can often save shoppers money in the long haul by purchasing items in bulk. But if you lack storage space or have a small household, some items may cause more stress and hassle than the savings are worth.

That was the topic of a recent Reddit sub-thread at r/Costco. Shoppers weighed in on the foods that may not be a value in every household. What were the top culprits?

1. Fresh Produce

The thread presented some debate over the quality of Costco produce. “I choose to spend more for better quality,” said one Redditor.

Others disagreed, with another chiming in, “[T]he produce we buy at Costco almost always lasts longer than most other chain stores.”

Regardless of quality, many Redditors agreed that it was a challenge to eat Costco quantities of produce before it went bad, especially with fragile fruits like avocados. And while there are ways to make avocados last, such as smashing them and mixing with lime juice and freezing in an ice cube tray or portioning them into vacuum sealed bags, for many people, it just isn’t worth the trouble.

2. Multi-Flavor Packs

Multi-flavor packs of anything, from yogurt to beverages or even cat food, got a bad rap from Redditors. “Sounds good in principal, but there was always one flavor my family didn’t like,” wrote one user. “My kids always disliked 1 of the 3 cereal flavors. My cats wouldn’t eat 1 of the Fancy Feast [cat food] flavors.”

Of course, if you’re trying to off-load Cool Ranch Doritos, you might have plenty of friends and family happy to take them off your hands.

But other items might be harder to share: “I keep telling my BF that I don’t want a case of yogurt cups because I dislike one of those flavors, and that’s 1/3 of the box. He doesn’t eat that flavor, neither does anyone at work.”

3. Ice Cream

Likewise, the same user pointed out, “I’d like to buy the signature premium vanilla ice cream, but I don’t need or want TWO huge gallons in one package.”

Related: Average Cost of Groceries Per Month: How Much Should You Be Spending?

4. Mayonnaise (in a 10-gallon Drum)

If storage space is a concern, you probably don’t want to splurge on that 10-gallon drum of Duke’s Mayo, either. Unless you’re shopping for a big party and planning to make potato salad and macaroni salad to feed a crowd, most people just don’t use that much mayo to make it worthwhile.

5. Over-the-Counter Medications

Another Reddit user pointed out that most people won’t go through Costco’s giant-sized bottles of OTC medications before they expire — nor should they. “Even people with chronic pain shouldn’t be taking NSAIDs that much!” they said.

Others agreed, with one saying, “In 2019 I bought a 365-count bottle of the generic Zyrtec. Given that it was basically the same price as other stores generic 30-count or so bottles at the time, I couldn’t resist the temptation. I still have about a fifth of it left.”

6. Baked Goods

Baked goods freeze well, but many Redditors don’t want the temptation of those giant muffins or delicious cakes taunting them in their freezer.

Of course, if you have tons of freezer space or want to share Costco finds with family and friends, these items could represent a tremendous value.

Helpful Tips for Costco Shopping

It’s easy to start strolling the Costco aisles and get swept up in the potential savings and the unique finds. Before you buy, it’s wise to think:

“Do I need it?”
“Will I use it or share it before it spoils or expires?”
“Do I have space for it?”

Explore: 20 Items That Are Always Cheaper at Costco
More: 5 Most Overpriced Costco Items, According To Superfans

If you aren’t sure, put it in your cart and continue walking around the store while you decide. You may find that you can cut your grocery bill and reduce clutter in your house with careful shopping choices.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
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