Although I’m a bit set in my ways when it comes to Costco buys, I’m also more than willing to take a chance on a new product. Case in point: A few years ago, I bought these Kirkland cashew clusters on a whim, and they’ve become one of my favorite snacks to bring along on a hiking trail.
One of my favorite things about shopping at Costco is trying out different products. And another thing I love is reaping savings thanks to Costco’s ultra-low prices. But I’ve also had my share of Costco purchases that just haven’t worked out. These items fall into that category — and I probably won’t buy them at Costco again.
The price of avocados at Costco varies based on the season as well as supply. But usually, a six-pack of avocados at Costco is equivalent to roughly three or four avocados at a regular supermarket where I live. That’s what tempted me to buy avocados at Costco in the past. But I won’t do that any longer because I’ve realized that avocados are just not a product I can buy in bulk.
I’ve found that when I buy a batch of avocados, what’ll happen is that they’ll be rock hard…until they aren’t. But it doesn’t help me to have six avocados ripen at the same time. And yes, I’ve tried the paper bag method. I find that it shaves maybe half a day off of the ripening time, which means spacing things out doesn’t really work.
Consumers often risk losing money to food waste by buying the wrong products in bulk. So think carefully before doing the same, especially when it comes to produce that isn’t ripe and ready to eat at the time you’ve bought it.
Kirkland paper towels tend to be a lot cheaper than Bounty, my go-to brand. A 12-count online costs $22.49, which is $2.19 per 100 square feet. Bounty costs $4.57 per 100 square feet, or $29.99 for a 12-pack of rolls. That’s clearly a lot more expensive.
But there’s a reason I’m loyal to Bounty — the stuff works. And when you have a household full of kids, you need a good paper towel.
Although I normally find Kirkland products to be high in quality, its paper towels are the one exception. As such, I don’t see myself buying them again.
You may have a certain budget you’re trying to stick to for things like toilet paper and other household essentials. But it’s important to recognize when it pays to spend a little extra. In this example, Kirkland paper towels are considerably cheaper than Bounty. But if you need four sheets of Kirkland to do the job of one sheet of Bounty, you’re not really saving money in the end.
Because my daughters take a sandwich to school for lunch almost every day, we go through bread somewhat quickly in my house. But I still find Costco’s two-pack of sandwich bread to be too large a quantity to buy at once.
It’s similar to the avocado issue — only with the bread, I don’t have to wait for it to become edible, because it’s edible as soon as you bring it home. But because of that, I find that it tends to get moldy somewhat quickly. By the time I’m only part of the way into my second loaf, I have to toss it out.
Buying in bulk can often be a big source of savings. But it’s important to know which bulk items do and don’t work for you. For me, bread is a no. Before you go shopping, think about your eating habits. You may find that even if you go through a lot of bread, you’re better off paying a little bit more at the regular supermarket and buying one loaf at a time.
Costco is a wonderful place to shop. But these three products no longer have a place on my Costco list.
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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Maurie Backman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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