14 Costco Products Superfans Say They Would Never Buy Again

Costco enthusiasts spill the beans on their shopping regrets.
Updated Dec. 5, 2023
Senior couple shopping

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While Costco offers many products and deals fans love, not everything at the famous bulk retailer is a hit.

Costco superfans will tell you that the store’s rotisserie chicken is a safe bet or that the Kirkland Signature wines are surprisingly good for a store label.

But some Costco items can be a miss. Here are a few that some superfans will tell you it may be better to avoid wasting money on.

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Mango smoothie

petrrgoskov/Adobe mango smoothie in a glass

Costco recently replaced its berry smoothie at food courts nationwide with a new mango smoothie. But the mango version has been a miss with many fans, with many urging you to keep more money in your wallet and skip it altogether.

Some have described it as tasting like spoiled baby food, and even kids have rejected the less-than-tasty treat from the food court.

So, it may be better to stick with the traditional hot-dog-and-drink deal at the Costco food court before trying the mango smoothie.

Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs

Vin.rusanov/Adobe blue and pink dishwasher pods

Keeping your dishes sparkling clean may not be the easiest thing to do if you buy the Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs.

Some superfans have complained that the dishwasher pods don’t get their dishes as clean as the name brands Costco carries, making this one product you can skip.


mandritoiu/Adobe cold room in costco store

Produce can be hit-or-miss at Costco, depending on what you’re looking for or how much you plan to use.

You may want to avoid Costco’s produce section if you live alone or won’t finish it quickly because it could spoil before you get through a bulk amount of bananas or pears.


scandamerican/Adobe childrens books in a Costco store

You may like picking up new books from Costco’s book table, but books are one item where you may not save much buying them at the warehouse retailer.

Before you pick up a new book at Costco, compare the price with online retailers such as Amazon or Target. You might find you can get a better deal online than at Costco.

Kirkland Signature milk

andy/Adobe kirkland whole milk

Like other grocery stores, Costco has its store-brand version of milk that you can buy in a gallon jug.

But you might be surprised that a Kirkland Signature gallon of milk is more expensive than other retailers nearby. Compare the costs of a gallon at Costco to stores like Walmart or Target to see if you can get a better deal.

Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue

MelissaMN/Adobe bathroom toilet paper tissue package

You may think toilet paper is toilet paper, but some superfans think you should ditch the Kirkland Signature stuff for other alternatives.

Toilet paper may be one of those items at Costco where it’s better to spend a little more and get the name brand that will hold up better to the less popular store brand.

Salty foods

Adriana/Adobe organic ground beef

Some foods on Costco’s shelves may be packed with extra sodium that you don’t expect. For example, if you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, check the labels and skip the Beyond Burger patties.

One patty includes 17% of your daily recommended sodium intake compared to the Kirkland Signature Ground Sirloin Beef Patties, with only 4% of your daily recommended sodium intake.


sheilaf2002/Adobe Sprite lemon lime soda

You might think buying soda in bulk at Costco will save you money, but keep an eye on the per-unit cost.

Costco’s prices may seem expensive because you’re buying in bulk, but breaking down the price into a per-cost number can make comparing costs with other stores easier.

For example, a 24-pack of Coca-Cola at Walmart costs 52 cents per can, while a 35-pack of Coke at Costco costs 53 cents.


JJ'Studio/Adobe people buying bagel inside Costco store

Like produce, Costco’s bread can go bad quickly, so you’ll want to make sure you’ll use it all soon before it gets stale or moldy.

One of the issues with Costco’s bread options is that you may have to pick two loaves and not one, so consider grabbing one loaf at the local grocery store instead.

Over-the-counter medications

MelissaMN/Adobe costco pharmacy

Medications can have an expiration date just like food, so consider that when buying a bulk-size version of pain medication at Costco.

You also may want to do some comparison shopping when it comes to certain drugs, as you may be able to find the same amount for a cheaper price at another retailer.

Don’t assume it will automatically be cheaper because you’re buying it from Costco.

Kirkland Signature Protein Bars

murziknata/Adobe energy protein bar

Kirkland Signature has its own line of protein bars in different flavors, such as chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate peanut butter, or brownie.

However, some superfans complained that the bars are hard compared to chewier name-brand versions or that the texture may differ from box to box.

Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes

Eric BVD/Adobe costco food court menu

A highlight for some shoppers is the chicken bakes at the food court featuring chicken, cheese, bacon, and other ingredients stuffed in a pastry shell and toasted up at Costco.

On the other hand, the box of Kirkland Signature Chicken Bakes you can buy in the frozen foods section may not be up to the same food-court standards.

Instead, grab a fresh one on your way out the door and leave the frozen ones in the Costco freezer.

Fresh muffins

mandritoiu/Adobe bakery aisle in a Costco store

Another potential perishable is Costco’s muffins from its bakery selection.

The muffins can be delicious and come in a variety of delicious flavors. But superfans complain that if you don’t eat your dozen muffins quickly, they’ll go bad, and you’ll have to toss them.

Kirkland Signature beer

ronstik/Adobe beer glass on wooden table

Kirkland Signature’s store-labeled beer can be hit or miss, so be wary of it if you’re worried about buying a pack. The store brand’s light beer was such a miss that Costco discontinued it in 2018, possibly due to buyers rejecting it.

Bottom line

Sarah Rypma/Adobe grocery cart inside kalamazoo costco store full of supplies and toilet papers

One of the great things about shopping at Costco is the store’s generous return policy. If you don’t like it, simply return it, and you’ll get a refund.

Costco is also a great place to save money on everyday items you like, but you may want to make a list before you go in to stick to your budget.

Remember to try Costco’s store label Kirkland Signature, which can also help you keep some extra cash in your pocket.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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