Kirkland, a Costco brand, is my favorite. Kirkland sheet cakes, fresh-cut bouquets, bottles of maple syrup, and frozen dinners are home staples.
However, to save money on everyday necessities, I have to pass on some Costco-branded items. You’re better off going to Target or your local grocery shop or paying a few cents more for the name-brand version.
Here are 14 Kirkland-brand items you should avoid buying at Costco.
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Another item to avoid on your next run is Costco’s store-brand diapers. Kirkland diapers received mixed ratings from the few dozen moms I spoke with.
Although some people appreciate the convenience and quality, many mothers have reported that the Kirkland diapers caused their baby’ skin to break out in rashes.
And, if you’re looking for the least price per unit, Costco’s pricing aren’t the cheapest. Costco’s average pricing per diaper across all sizes is $0.24.
This is less expensive than Huggies, Pampers, or Amazon’s own brand, but Kroger, Walmart, and Target all offer cheaper store-brand diapers with at least a 25% per-unit savings.
2. Protein bars
When it comes to taste and texture, Kirkland’s protein bars are hit or miss. We have a massive half-eaten box of Kirkland protein bars in our house that we have steadily depleted over the last two years.
They’re fairly dense, too chewy, and have an unusual aftertaste that remains when compared to other protein bars. Cliff and Kind bars have significantly greater flavor and are available in the same everlasting quantities.
3. Nut bars
Skip the nut bars from Kirkland. According to reviewers, these taste okay but leave you with severe flatulence and gastrointestinal problems. According to one diner, “I had to learn a yoga pose that helps you pass gas.”
I tried these bars and found them to be bland. They don’t have a horrible taste. However, eating them is not a delightful or memorable experience.
Nature Valley granola bars with nuts may be a tastier, non-yoga option.
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4. Laundry detergent
If you’ve ever wanted to test a laundry detergent that’s “mystifyingly bad,” you should get a jug of Kirkland Signature Laundry Detergent and feel the aura for yourself.
While most customers have mixed opinions about Kirkland products, Costco’s store-brand laundry detergent is universally reviled.
Endless reviews caution shoppers to avoid it, citing recurrent skin rashes, machine damage (additional rinses required to clear the suds), and the detergent simply not cleaning the garments.
5. Bath tissue
Toilet paper should be a no-brainer for saving money, but it isn’t. There was no per-unit pricing difference between Kirkland and other rival store brands at Sam’s Club, Target, or Aldi in a consumer price comparison of store-brand toilet tissue.
Costco customers have different feelings about the product’s quality. Some people think the bath tissue is too thin and linty. Others are great admirers, praising the cost savings, comfort, and durability.
6. Olive oil and cooking oil
Cooking oil degrades, so hauling home a jug the size of a gas can not be a good idea. It can be stored in a bottle for up to 24 months, but once opened, it should be used within 30 to 60 days.
Even if it doesn’t go fully rancid, buying stale olive oil at per-unit discounts is pointless.
If you’re not cooking for a large family or using a lot of oil, get a smaller size and save your bulk purchases for shelf-stable items.
It turns out that those AAA battery packs aren’t cheap. Many customers advise against purchasing Kirkland Signature batteries, citing problems with battery leakage and longevity.
8. Dishwasher soap
You’d be mistaken if you assumed there was no such thing as defective dishwasher soap. Kirkland Signature dishwashing Pacs, according to many Costco customers, do not melt or release in the dishwashing load. Alternatively, they may leave a “horrible residue” behind.
Name-brand competitors, such as Cascade Free and Clear or Platinum Plus, also available at Costco, will suffice.
However, there is a silver lining to trying the Kirkland brand. You may return your Kirkland dishwasher pacs for a complete refund, according to one consumer.
Related Post: Costco Is Opening a New Sushi Counter
9. Bread and pastries
Skip the Costco bread and pastries unless you’re entertaining a swarm of carbohydrate fiends or intend to devour a tray of cheese danishes in one sitting.
These products deteriorate quickly and must be purchased in bulk. Many of these items require the purchase of at least two packets. Even then, you’re not always receiving the greatest deal. Other supermarkets will have lower per-unit costs.
10. Canned produce
As a ’90s kid, I’m biased toward fruits and veggies in cans of saline water and syrupy syrup.
Fresh tastes better, and Costco provides a plethora of non-canned produce that is inexpensive and free of added sodium and preservatives.
If you like canned goods, try your local store for lower pricing when purchasing only one or two at a time.
11. Frozen pizza
The $1.99 pepperoni pizza slices at Costco are wonderful and deserve a Michelin star. My family will go to Costco only to eat at the food court.
That’s why I bought six Kirkland-brand frozen pizzas for us to eat at home recently. I reasoned that the same brand meant the same pizza. It’s a few dollars less per pie and easier to bake at home for small children.
It’s not the same pizza. To reiterate, Kirkland frozen pepperoni pizza is not the same as Costco food court pepperoni pizza. It tastes like sugary tomato sauce on a two-size-too-thin cardboard crust.
12. Rotisserie chicken
Customers are flocking to Costco for its juicy rotisserie chicken (with others waiting to peck out your eyeballs if you cut them in line).
The five-buck cluck price tag appears to be too good to be true, and it is. Costco is willing to lose money on these adored birds in order to increase business, but in order to avoid cost losses, these animals are raised in horrendously terrible conditions.
Animal welfare organizations and Costco stockholders have filed lawsuits accusing the company of illegal neglect, abuse, and abandonment.
A massive jar of Kirkland spices and seasonings, like cooking oil, may not be a terrific value-add for your cupboard. Spices, particularly ground spices, can get stale and lose much of their flavor over time.
Whole spices can be stored for up to five years, but ground spices lose efficacy after six months.
If you won’t need all of it right away, go with a lesser size. You’ll pay more per gram, but you’ll end up spending less money and eating better food in the long term.
14. Caseloads of anything new and shiny
Costco is a visual feast, with a plethora of must-have frivolities on display. But don’t give up. Don’t buy anything new unless you are certain that you and your family will like it.
If you’ve never tasted cold brew coffee but have always wanted to, don’t buy a 30-pack at Costco. First, purchase a single can or a four-pack from your local grocery store.
Costco provides an exciting shopping experience, as well as the gratification of getting a super-low per-unit price when you buy in quantity.
However, you can avoid wasting money by not purchasing in such huge amounts that materials spoil and avoiding products that fall short of competitors’ standards.
Go to Costco with a list of what you need instead than just grabbing whatever looks good. You lose your hallway closet to plastic, see-through boxes of frosted animal crackers and cheese puffs if you do the latter.