(Updated List!) Items I would NEVER buy at Costco…

This is a photo series of items I’d NEVER shell out money for at Costco.  I’ll be doing several of these as well as posts on what I WOULD buy at Costco.  Most of the items I list today I’d never buy at Costco, because we can almost always get them FREE or even as Money Makers.  How? By using coupons and waiting for a sale.  If you follow blogs like this one you will realize that it’s not that hard. It’s a matter of having the right coupon + the right sale = the perfect storm (in a good way!)  :)

Here are a few other popular Costco posts here on The Frugal Find…

  1. (Updated List!) Items I WILL buy at Costco…
  2. How to find Clearance items at Costco
  3. Why we bought a Costco membership…
  4. You can shop at Costco WITHOUT a membership!

$4.25 per box of cereal – Ouch! I’d pay up to $1.50 for Frosted Mini Wheats max.

We see deals on feminine products on a regular basis, often times even FREE!

Here is a 5ct package of Degree Deodorant for $13.49 or $2.69 each.  This isn’t a deal at all, almost on a weekly basis you can get deodorant anywhere from free to $0.99 each. I’m telling you, those coupons come in handy !!

I’d expect to be PAID to take anymore toothpaste home, let alone pay over $2 per tube! Seriously, you can get brand name toothpaste for FREE more often than not. Again, coupons + sales is the answer to this one :)

My mouth dropped when I saw the price over these razors, did yours?  Yes it’s true, sadly people still pay for these things. (Did I already mention the coupons?)  😉

Here’s one last item that we can get on sale, as low as $0.99 for a smaller bottle on a regular basis.


    • Anna says

      I have no idea where you shop for cereal. That amount of cereal in any other store near where I live would cost $12.00 minimum. I do not live in the far north, either. I shop for cereal for a breakfast program on a regular basis. Costco is by far the cheapest place I have found. By a lot.

  1. Judith says

    I LOVE this posting!! That is so true! I tried to get several of my friends into couponing but no one is willing to put the effort…they don’t know what they are missing…Although when I think about it, I think I should keep it a secret, or we would be racing to the stores when the really good sales are out there to get them first before they are gone!!! Like it is almost the case!!
    One thing I don’t think can be beat from Costco it is honey. 5 lb of honey for $10 I have not been able to match that price just yet…

      • Cindy says

        Judith, just make sure to check the honey ingredient and make sure it only is Honey! surprisingly some manufacturers will add corn syrup and flavorings to Honey. Sad but true.

      • Brandi says

        I buy honey locally, because raw honey is the kind that has all of the health benefits. Once honey has been heat treated (processed as the grocery store brands are) it loses it’s healing properties because the pollen is killed. Plus the sagey wildflower flavor is delicious! My kids won’t touch the grocery store stuff, they look for the “little milk jug” of honey for their snacks and sandwiches. YUM!

        • Blah Blah blah says

          I agree with Brandi. Honey is better locally so that way it has added benefits my husband no longer get allergies because of local honey.

    • natasha says

      how do you not pay for razors? my husband uses only one brand and i can never find coupons for them and when i do they are only 50Cents off and they are like $15. plz share?

      • Anonymous says

        I wonder the same thing. My husband uses gilette fusion, and I can barely find good coupons for it! Please do share!

  2. says

    These prices are totally crazy…but I remember 2 yrs ago when I was still paying these prices for these things…especially the razors..with a husband in the military he needs to be clean shaven everyday!! It used to kill us!! I remember stressing soo much over razor refills, now I can’t remember the last time I “paid” for a razor!!!

    • says

      I’d never thought of the military men needed so many razors, thanks for sharing – wow that must get SO expensive without coupons!

      • Stephanie says

        Yes…my husband uses a new razor a week because of the military…. We would drive down to san diego and go to bootcamp to buy them for $1/piece but free is always better….

        • Michele says

          According to Clark Howard (and he tested this) if you dry your razor it can last up to a year with daily shaving… worth the try even if it lasts only twice as long!

          • Diana says

            I would love to know how you get the razor replacements for free or cheap. My boyfriend goes through a lot and they add up fast

  3. Lisa Engle says

    Ha! You make me laugh. I LOVE being in the know. Thanks to you, that is :) My closets are overloaded with body wash, mouthwash, razors, hair products, feminine products, paper towels, cereal and deodorant. It’s a great, secure feeling being stocked up! I LOVE thefrugalfind.com!!

    • says

      Oh that reminds me, I was going to add feminine products to the list today but this totally awkward man wouldn’t leave the aisle and I didn’t want to take a random picture of tampons with him standing there. I’m sure he was just dying for me to leave too so he could grab them for his wife and RUN!

      • MaryBeth says

        I was just talking to a friend of mine about all my couponing. I told her all the things I get free now and she said, “yeah, but Tampons are 1 thing I’ll always buy at Costco. Can’t beat that price!” I didn’t try to convince her otherwise because I was still pretty stockpiled from my own Costco shopping pre-couponing, but just this week I did find some great steals!

  4. Lisa Engle says

    I agree with Judith. I email my sisters, mom and nieces pictures of my “hauls”! They all want to know “how’d you do that?” and I tell them. So far, only one has expressed an interest in attempting it. But I don’t have to worry about missing sale items – none of them live in my area :)

  5. Heather says

    I have a very limited budget now and have joined to try and learn how to get “free” stuff or cheap like you have posted. I really really want to learn how to do this any help I can get is appreciated.
    Thank You

    • Carrie says

      I must agree with Heather being on a very strict budget since I have started SSI/Disabilty and would be most appreciative of any help I can get as well. Bless you all and thank you for your time and knowledge !

  6. Sandy says

    Well…I am admitting that I was recently one of those who thought Costco prices were the best out there. I am a recent convert to couponing and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! It is so much fun. I can’t believe how much money I have been throwing away for years.

    • Kristin says

      Sandy, I am exactly the same! My mom is STILL a loyal Costco’er’ :) I’m trying to convert her, but it’s a JOB!

      • Dawn says

        I still go to Costco for a few items, and yes honey is one of them, and my mom goes with me. She gets such a kick out of it when I point to items and tell her I can get the for free or close to it. She know because she has been with me on many shopping trips to Target and watched me walk out without paying a dime. I LOVE COUPONING!

  7. Nina T. says

    This is an awesome post! Definitely way overpriced at Costco when you can get such good deals elsewhere! And I have to agree about the honey…..I just bought a huge bottle at Costco since I’ve been making my own granola, and I haven’t been able to match that price anywhere.

  8. Summer says

    It kills me to see what I used to pay for items at Costco because I thought I was getting a good deal! Those razor cartridge prices are insane! I was just doing some inventory today, and I’ve got a dozen of the Fusion razors in my cupboard, each package w/ 2 cartridges. Didn’t even realize how much we were saving there! The cereal is crazy too- I can’t imagine ever paying more than $1 a box now. And I will NEVER pay for toothpaste again!

  9. Carrie says

    after my dad’s bout with skin cancer last fall, we’re using a lot of sunscreen. it’s impossible to get it in the quantities we need at a consistently cheaper price than costco. we get what we can when it’s a good deal at the drugstore and supplement with some from costco.

    • Linda Hahn says

      Carrie, you could always stock up on sunscreen at the 99 Cent Store! Do you have one of those?! I’d never buy sunscreen anywhere else!

  10. Louise Herbert says

    WOW. Holy Cow !
    When Costco 1st came around I joined. I called it the 200 dollar club. Because by time I left it would cost me that much.
    Now it looks more like a 400 dollar club.
    I cant imagine…

  11. Holly says

    Those are all items I just walk right past at Costco. I don’t even go down those aisles. I NEVER pay more than $1 for any health and beauty and usually it’s free! My bill at Costco is high enough I can’t imagine buying that stuff on top of it! My husband shaves his head and face completely bald we go through a LOT of razors! We’d be broke if we had to pay for them!

  12. SueBee says

    Huh, I actually DO buy razor blade refills at Costco- but my hubby uses only one specific kind or he ends up with terrible skin problems. It’s a lot of money to shell out all at once but I didn’t think it was really overpriced, based on the prices at CVS/Target for the same item…I’ll have to check it out now!

  13. Roni says

    I just let my Costco membership lapse, I just don’t think it worth it anymore since I started couponing. My husband is not too happy about it, he loves those samples!

  14. Jody says

    This post is hilarious! I have only been couponing for about 8 months and I used to buy some of these items at Sam’s Club… I cringe just thinking of all the money I wasted!

  15. Dawn says

    I agree, I’ve been going to Costco for years but since I started couponing a year ago I’ve found I can save a lot more money now then I ever have at Costco. They are great for some items but…..

  16. Lisa Engle says

    this is a bit off topic, but is it weird that i want to pack my coupons for my vacation at the beach? it’s become an obsession! a good obsession, but an obsession none the less :)

  17. Laura K says

    HA! I was just talking to my 16yo daughter about this last night – how my stepdad always wants to buy us something when he goes to Costco, which is sweet, but I’d rather buy 3 small-sized products for nearly nothing (or nothing) than one giant one for 30% off. Who pays 30% off anymore? 😉

    Oh, and I’m not *allowed* to pay for toothpaste anymore. My daughter made that clear a looong time ago.

  18. Molomatic says

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about what I still think is a good deal at Costco…. I came up with vanilla and cinnamon. Though now that I’m a smarter shopper these days I’ll have to double check. :-)

    I’m lovin’ these Costco posts, thanks!

  19. says

    Sorry, know this is old but I just discovered it. :) I did a post awhile back (http://chocolateandoranges.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-does-costco-make-sense.html) about what I like to buy at Costco- organic spinach and carrots are my favorites since I can get organic for less than I can get conventional on sale at regular grocery stores most of the time. I also love greek yogurt cause there’s nothing I hate more than having to take home 10 individual yogurt containers, the case is much easier!

  20. Holly says

    I used to work at BJ’s (like sams club and costco). If there is a multi pack, (i.e. the 5 pack of toothpaste for $13.00) you are allowed to use 5 coupons. Anything that is a multi pack you may use more than one coupon. Plus if the wholesale store has a coupon of their own, you may also use that one. Same thing for the toilet paper, and any other multi pack. Now this was true 4 years ago, it may have changed my now, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

    • Carrie says

      As of a year ago it was the same thing with the coupons and the multipaks but I stopped going to BJ’s because they didn’t have the produce that they had at Sam’s so I try not to buy anything but the produce and my milk from Sam’s because no local store can beat their prices for alot of their produce nor milk.

  21. Cindy says

    ok so tell me how I can get free razors and toothpaste . Let’s just start with that. cuz I can’t figure it out. Everytime I go to a link for coupons it’s always Glade products! WTHeck

  22. Cindy says

    thanks Julia. Yes, I’ve watched all the Coupon Class videos thoroughly. Apparently not thoroughly enough though. I even have my binder (though it’s a mess right now) I wish I could buy a day with you. When I come out to visit my daughter (in Concord) I’ll send you a message and see if I can just tag along to one of your shopping trips. Maybe I’m just overwhelmed. I met a couple women at RiteAid this weekend and they invited me to their Yahoo site VancouverCouponMoms. *BTW they LOVE you! I asked them if they were familiar with your site. I’m not computer saavy so that is a challenge as well. I’m learning. Maybe for me there’s a steeper learning curve. Don’t give up on me…. I will get this down though! Keep on teaching

  23. says

    I agree that not everyone has the time or desire to coupon shop. I have found that Costco is especially good for item like non foods and items grocery stores never discount or coupon. I pay half for mozzarella cheese balls vs the grocery store. I don’t think people pay attention to their overall shopping bill. Bannas, milk, tuna fish, peanut butter are are all loss leaders for grocery chains. They kell you with the other stuff.

  24. Carol_R says

    From the prices around me dried cereal is cheaper at Costco. Now I don’t eat dried cereal but I’ve priced it there. You have to look at the price per unit. The amount that you are getting in 1 of their boxes is like 4 to 5 of regular grocery store boxes. Costco is also carrying a lot of organic items, unusual items, and items that are cheaper even if you used coupons somewhere else. Target these days is carrying more and more organic items which is good since they have good prices.

    Unless you’re getting the batteries for free they are always cheaper at Costco buying their store brand in bulk. Even a super deal advertised on a web site a while ago that initially I thought was good at Rite Aid and I did get some I was disappointed when I later realized that not on sale and without coupons they were still cheaper at Costco.

    Not everything there is cheaper. A lot of times it depends on the competition. Let’s take sodas. Some years ago they were always cheaper at Costco. Then they were cheaper thru deals at grocery stores. Then the grocery stores quit having soda deals for a number of years. Now the grocery stores and drug stores are having crazy soda deals a lot. I’ve noticed that the price is coming down on sodas at Costco recently – probably in response to that.

    Also, not all brands are comparable in quality. Basically you need to know what is a good price per unit for an item.

    Prices here in the DC area are not anywhere as cheap as in some areas that people are posting about their coupon deals. Unless it specifically states the item price in the ad, I can almost guarantee that it’ll be several dollars more than whatever someone is posting for me when I go shopping. Many of the deals posted on the web turn out not be good even with coupons if the store has much higher prices for the item.

    Also, not everyone can run out to be at the drug stores at 8am on Sunday. It seems that they don’t carry much stock of their sale items where I live so most all the deals are cleaned out by Sunday evening – sometimes earlier. The grocery stores typically carry more stock and will even purchase extra stock for big sales but I’ve got some real issues with the drug stores. For example, yesterday CVS had a sale of 10/$10 on Progresso Soup. I got 10 cans. The shelf only had room for about 20 cans total. They did have sufficient sodas for the soda sale but Rite Aid didn’t when I went there. It seems they only sell what existing stock they have on their small shelves.

    Also, with the price of gas what it is you have to factor that into your costs along with the costs of acquiring the coupons (the cost of buying newspapers).

    • Angie says

      I totally agree with the drug store coment!! I RARELY get the deals that are posted here. It’s been a month since Walgreens had a coupon for eggs .99 a dz. and they still dont have any! I only go out twice a week because it is summer vacation and refuse to spend it driving around and shopping instead of enjoying it with my kids. On top of that I work from home and need to make sure I get a least 2 days in for Mary Kay. Today CVS didnt have any of the items I went for!! It is VERY frustrating! Costco is so much easier aat times.

  25. Becky Warmuth Hiles via Facebook says

    My husband has such sensitive skin that he HAS to use those kinds of razors. For the most part I’m pretty good at buying them when they are on sale and/or I have a coupon. Thanks for the heads up on the other products. My mom and I did a Costco run this morning and used their coupon booklet I got in the mail yesterday :) thanks again.

  26. Dor says


    I think a handy list of what’s a good price vs what’s a killer deal price would be helpful.
    Sometimes you don’t have it in your stash, so it’s good to know what is a okay price.
    Have you seen how anyleaf.com posts grocery prices?

  27. Amanda says

    I will admit, I still buy toothpaste AND deodorant…and Im not ashamed of it! I like to use coupons, but I will not allow coupons to run my life (even if that means that I am paying full retail for something). The $50 membership fee seems expensive, but in my family, we come out ahead since we buy a lot of meat and produce at Costco.

  28. Kayla says

    Our family is right there with Heather when she says she has a “very limited budget.” Me and my mom have been wanting to learn how to coupon for a while now, and as hard as we try to get the “free” or at least really cheap stuff we can’t get it right! With a family of 9 it’s hard to stock up and still get it for the same price as if you were paying for your regular groceries. (Or cheaper!) Can you help?!

  29. Jo-Ann says

    There are many good comments. It seems that balance is the key: coupon when you can and shop without coupons at Grocery Outlet and Costco. Each has it’s advantages: Costco is good for in-season summer fruit and other bulk organic produce, chicken, fish, etc. Some people have pointed out that regional pricing, driving distance, gas prices, available time, and limited stock/cleared shelves also factor into the actual “cost” of buying something with coupons at the drugstores and grocery stores. Also, when buying from Costco, look at the unit pricing because the packages are large or in multi-packs as some have pointed out. The cereal pictured above is $8.99 for 70 ounces, which is 12.8 cents/oz. If Julia’s box of $1.50 cereal contains 15 ounces of cereal, then she buys cereal at 10 cents/oz., so at Costco it costs $1.96 more. The $1.96 may be worth the convenience not just of getting the cereal, but having it last for quite a while.

  30. Pauline Fletcher Magnusson via Facebook says

    Didn’t want to clutter your wall with this – just moved about 2 months ago to Southern CA and am pretty much starting over with my coupons. What’s the best strategy to be able to jump in quickly? Buying some whole inserts from the last couple of weeks? The paper with the decent coupons is so expensive here; I think we’ll end up buying more inserts going forward unfortunately. Thanks! About a year ago you gave some great encouragement about saving money and staying home with kids; funny how God provides opportunities! Hubby got a new job that required us to move so quit my job and we are blissfully expecting baby 4 this month. Thx for all you do!

    • Erin says

      You can buy whole inserts from various clipping services. You may also want to consider joining your local Freecycle group. Likely there are people that save their papers until they have enough to recycle. In our area, many people receive two papers (local small town paper and the major city paper). As a result, I can often find two sets of inserts from each family. I’m not sure which paper you are considering, but there was a deal a while back for a year of Sunday LA Times for $9.99. While that particular deal may not be available, you can often negotiate with the 800 subscription number. I renegotiate every term as they keep trying to raise my rates. I can’t remember if there is Dollar Tree in So Cal, but our local store has $1 Sunday papers. Enjoy the move, the lovely So Cal weather, and the new baby!

  31. Let says

    i’ve actually never shopeed at costco or any wholesale place like that bc I always found it too expensive for me even before I used coupons!!!
    i’ve always been a frugal shopper, not sure where I learned it from bc no one in my family is!!! but then again maybe thats why, I’d always see so much money being spend and knew there had to be another way :)
    but that pantene is what really got me bc a few months ago target had them on clearance for 1.48 and at the time i had a coupon $3/2 so i got 2 huge bottles of shampoos for free :) I barely ran out of my first bottle the other day!!! SO def still not shopping at costco!!

  32. Elizabeth says

    Those are also things I would never buy at Costco! You should add diapers/wipes. But there are still lots of things I normally get cheaper there – mostly fresh foods.

    • Pauline says

      I have got to learn how to coupon better on diapers and wipes! :-S That’s one particular category I’m not great at and still can’t often bring my price lower than Costco. :-S

  33. Raquelmarie Zapanta via Facebook says

    Pauline do you have that article/info saved? (saving money & staying home with kids)

  34. Raquelmarie Zapanta via Facebook says

    Also, is there anywhere I can find a DETAILED step by step (which site or papers, etc.) on couponing for the freebies (toothpaste, deodorant, razors, etc.)? I’m in California (bay area) – we don’t have any stores I know of the double coupons or anything like that.

  35. Noelle Linden says

    The only thing I would disagree with is I don’t often get Pantene that cheap. And since my hubby & I both use it, I am looking for deals on it often.

  36. Deborah Sauls via Facebook says

    When looking at the cereal it’s 12.8 cents a ounce. How much do you pay a ounce on average for cereal? Not the best bc I know in some places (not northern California) you can get it free…just an average?

    • Erin says

      I only pay $1 or less for cereal in Nor Cal, including the 18 oz boxes of Kellogg’s Mini Wheats. So my maximum price per ounce is 5.6 cents (less than half Costco’s price). Even without a coupon, the very common $1.99 Kellogg’s sales at Safeway and Raleys would only cost 11 cents/oz. The only grocery items I buy at Costco are bulk spices, edamame, and occasionally eggs, milk, and cheese (if there are no other sales and my stockpile is waning. I also hear that Costco an incredible price on Quinoa.

  37. says

    I’m just losing a whole lotta love for Costco, and we canceled our membership. They discontinue beloved items constantly, rearrange our store once a week it seems like, and a few other annoyances that sent me over the edge. I just order the good-priced bulk non-perishible foods on Amazon (free shipping and saving our gas!), and no long lines!

  38. Faris says

    “My mouth dropped when I saw the price over these razors, did yours? Yes it’s true, sadly people still pay for these things.” So what are you saying?? Are you telling us that we should steal these things rather than pay for them? You’re picking on Gillette and the nerve that they have to sell a razor cartridge for about $3.30 each. I agree with you that it’s ridiculous, but what does this have to do with Costco?

    • says

      Faris, razors are available free or nearly free all the time as samples and with coupons and sales – that’s what she meant by “Yes it’s true, sadly people still pay for these things.” We definitely don’t advocate stealing or being dishonest.

      • Finding Deals says

        I don’t know where you find fusion razors free or nearly free. I sure don’t get coupons like that. I will have to ask. where do you find coupons with that kind of a discount? I check my newspapers a lot, but they don’t have those coupons. Are they online or where?

  39. patrick says

    you find the saving in quantity, and the size of boxes, compared to the grocery stores, It does save money, and saves added trips to the grocery store.

  40. randy says

    You may be able to take advantage of promotions, beating them at their own game, but I bet most of the prices are cheaper than you would find at a regular retailer or online. The standard should be to get the item as close to the wholesale cost, and to have quality items available that I want, not just what the merchant or the manufacturer wants to sell me. I haven’t bought at Costco in years as I am a BJ’s member, but my impression is their prices are good on most items, probably slightly better than BJ’s. Sam’s Club seems to also be slightly less than BJ’s, but has the problem that they don’t want to compete with or undercut Walmart. I am a BJ’s customer because their stores are more convenient (to the point of saturation) than Costco or Sam’s, and gas is expensive. BJ’s also has more customer-friendly sizes; often they take two supermarket-size bottles and shrink wrap them together, so the secret is they aren’t really a wholesale club, but a retailer that looks like a wholesale club and has membership. I’ve gone into Costco by going into the liquor store then out into the store.

  41. Kristin says

    You do realize you should be looking at the ounces on the cereal, not the number of bags. I doubt your local grocer carries 35 oz. boxes of Mini wheats let alone sells them for $1.50. 2 bags does not equal 2 boxes.

    • Anonymous says

      I just bought an 18 oz. box of those mini wheats on sale for $1.99 a box at the local grocery store and if I bought 4 boxes that would be 72 oz for a total of $8.00 compared to the 70 oz. for $8.99 at Costco. So basically you are paying extra to buy in bulk if that’s what you’re after.

      • Anonymous says

        However, Costco periodically has coupons on their cereal. The most recent coupon book shows $2 off for these Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats. So with the coupon, Costco still comes out cheaper than the sale at the local grocery store. The good thing about the coupons at Costco is that they automatically deduct at the register, so you don’t have to spend additional money buying newspapers for the coupons or spend additional time clipping and organizing coupons.

  42. Leah says

    Are you saying you are able to get the SAME brands for those low prices/ free that you are mentioning? Because I had been under the impression that for a Pantene of that size, Colgate of that size, etc those are pretty decent deals. I would not want to use generic brands; I want to use Colgate, Always, and Pantene… Where are you shopping to get these brands so freaking cheap because I guess I’ve been shopping at the wrong places?

  43. jennie says

    wow!! you have some harsh readers! ’cause i too thought those were ridiculous prices and i agreed with you on each statement. i get pantene free-.99 at walgreens/drugstores… shavers at target/walgreens/cvs/rite-aid … colgate at walgreens/drugstores/sometimes target … deodorant at walmart/walgreens/target… you just need to know when and where to shop and often times these things are MUCH cheaper… if not free.

    • says

      Jennie, these aren’t our readers – most likely they’ve come via a google search for Costco. Our readers are the sweetest ever, like you! :)

      • Ricky B. says

        Your website, and your “readers” as you say, are on that next level of savings and being frugal so I don’t think it is quite fair to compare this level of savings with standard shopping at Costco. To compare Costco’s prices with something that is free because you spend an inordinate amount of time researching coupons is like comparing apples and oranges. Some things just aren’t worth buying at Costco, but on average it is good for those items you may wish to buy in bulk; albeit without entering the “extreme frugal zone”.

        • Greg46815 says

          It doesn’t take hours to use coupons to save. I spend about 30-35 minutes a week cutting out and organizing my coupons, and another 20-30 minutes matching coupons to sale items at my favorite stores. I consistently save 25-40% and often save 60-75%. So for a total of 1 hour per week, I save anywhere from $5-$50. It averages out to more than $20 an hour, and I stretch my dollars to afford things I normally wouldn’t buy.

          If you think 30 minutes is an inordinate amount of time, then you must consider your time to valuable to spend time writing on sites like this. ~wink~

          • Ricky B. says

            You are correct that I consider my time “too” valuable writing on these types of sites and for clipping coupons, although my wife does some. But I do have a passion for addressing incorrect information, which is probably why I typically need to stay away from political blogs. ~wink~

            I just do not feel that the cereal and deodorant comparisons above are presented fairly, which was also pointed out by others. And it seems is if they were purposely presented in that fashion. Not comparing prices by size or ounces and generally comparing a 35 oz. box with a $1.50 box that is actually only 15 oz. seems a bit misleading. And while you probably can buy deodorant for $0.99 with a coupon, is it the same (Degree Adrenalin) as Costco sales which costs $3.99 at Giant Eagle? Sure, not everything is a good price at Costco (I don’t buy cereal unless it is on sale at $5.99), but I just didn’t understand why the site needed to make comparisons in this fashion.

  44. jennie says

    i should also add… you may need to use coupons or take advantage of store promos on those items, but they’re still close to free!

  45. Wendy H says

    Thanks for this article! I have been wondering to myself what really is a good buy at Costco and I absolutely agree with everything on this list.

    To the other readers above – when she is talking about getting things for free/almost free/very cheap, she is referring to the SAME products!! I regularly get full-size (not Costco size, but regular ones you get at the store) Colgate, Always, Pantene, etc. for less than $1 which is still WAY cheaper than Costco’s price.

  46. Kim says

    Thanks for this post! We just bought our first Costco membership 4 days ago. I too was very pleased wih most prices but something’s I laughed and said “uh nope I KNOW I can get that for free!” Lol! I love the post about Costco clearance too. I was looking for a “section” when I was there.

  47. Yolanda says

    I do like the idea about not necesary has to have a costco membership card, but is the cash card/gift card will be accepted??with out buying a membership, Washington DC just open a brand new store and they are not letting no one come in to shop, with out the membership, :(((

  48. Phyllis Mikula says

    The canned goods are not cheap. We love the meat. Cheese is a very good deal. The Poise Pads are expensive,wait till the coupon comes out. I think the produce is great. I love the prices on most items. You have to know what prices are before you can get the best deals. We are so fortunate to have a Costco here. I shop every week.Purchase just about everything.Mattress, TV ,vacuum,spices,sheets,rugs. I really love Costco

  49. Namma says

    I would have liked this blog post MORE if you would have been honest about how you get items for free.

    Don’t get snarky about people who “google costco” and find your site. How in Hades do you think people find you in the first place?

    I can agree that some things are priced oddly at Costco, BUT, I think it has more to do with the manufacturer of the goods and what people demand Costco stock rather than Costco price setting policy.

    Again, if you amended your blog post to include that fact that you can only get items for cheap or free by using couponing strategies – well, I think it would make it a better post, more like a real journalist rather than the sensationalist opinews that’s infecting what was formerly journalism.

    • Anonymous says

      I very much agree with you. As one of those people who came across this blog through the magic of Google, I basically felt attacked for still buying some of these things. My interest in a Coscto membership stems from the ability to buy organic items in bulk where I can’t do that at Sam’s but I’m also not a person that spends the time looking for sales and coupons. Of course, that’s my own decision but coming across this post and reading “”Yes, it’s true. Sadly people still pay for these things” gives the impression that the writer truly wants to say “idiots still spend money on these things”.

      Regardless, I’m still glad I came across this post because it helped open my eyes and remind me to stop and really think about where my money is going but I certainly could’ve done without the snobby remarks.
      Seeing as the last comment was left over 2 months ago…maybe this post should be edited to firstly say “You can get these things for free by couponing” and taking out those remarks; it makes the writer look better. (Insert passive-aggressive smiley face here.)

      • Maria says

        Hi! Thank you for your comments. FYI, this blog post on what NOT to buy was written almost 2 years ago by the previous owner of this blog. Since then, The Frugal Find has changed hands. We now have a weekly post called “Oh yes … It’s FREE!” which showcases what items you can get for free using coupons and supermarket inserts. I apologize if the tone of this post sounded a bit harsh. And thanks for the advice about changing the introduction. I am going to update it so it doesn’t sound so off-putting. And please follow my blog so you can see how to use coupons and save money!
        I post deals AND the coupons that go with them, so saving money (or getting things for free) is easy to do! :)

  50. Lorena Hunter says

    For the last five years, my daughter has gone to Costco to get a gift card to give to her brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. She is not a member. Today, Costco refused to sell her a gift card. She had $200.00 cash to pay for it. They said, they could sell a gift card, if she wanted to become a member. She said no. They would not sell her a gift card.

  51. Julia says

    Don’t really buy many of the other items, but I would absolutely have to disagree with the bit on feminine products. I only use Always Infinity because it’s the only thing that has ever really worked with my endometriosis, and I’ve never been able to get it cheaper than at Costco. They usually have coupons every other little coupon booklet, leaving the price around 14 cents a pad and around 19 cents without a coupon. Granted, definitely more expensive than regular pads, but with the average price being around 26 cents a pad, I’m paying about $6.50 less for a pack of 54 with the coupon.

  52. Raga says

    Liz says: June 29, 2013 at 6:46 am You won’t necessarily find them free, but, I do have mfg coupons from fusion razors that are buy one get one 1/2 off (can be the razors and/or the refill cartridges) and if the store has their own sale, then jackpot!

    No one has pointed out that although Liz suggests her way of doing things yields things ‘almost’ free, buying something at full price (even if it is the sale price), and getting a second at half off is really only saving 1/4 on each. If you buy something for $1 and get the second (forcing you to buy the second) at 50 cents, you are paying $1.50 for two, or 75 cents each. That might be a reasonable or even a good sale, but questionable whether it is the “jackpot” if you add in a sale price, and certainly not free or close to it.

    Also, the shopper who wrote thie original post and those defending it seem to suggest that you can get alternate brands or even varieities within the same manufacturer of things like razors or deoderants more inexpensively elsewhere. They don’t seem to address the issue of quality, such as number of blades (which makes the product more expensive) or a certain variety of Degree as opposed to another, which for whatever reason costs more everywhere. Buying store name razors or deoderant is not necessarily equivalent to buying the equivalent name brand. It might be, but it might not be equivalent.

    Just as when you go to the supermarket, or anything else, you must know your prices.

    • Maria says

      Hi, Raga! Thank you for you comments. You make some valid points. One thing I want to point out is that there are certain items that regularly go on sale in supermarkets or drugstores, and many times you will find coupons that you can use on these sale items that will make your item free. The most common products we see is toothpaste, toothbrushes, makeup, shampoo, etc. And the brands are well-known ones like Colgate, Crest, Pantene, etc. I publish a weekly post called Oh Yes … It’s Free! and there you will find the complete list of what you can find for free every week. I hope you find this information useful :)

  53. Beth says

    Tip: I work Costco concierge services, the tech support line: NEVER buy TABLETS, especially any with windows or the Samsung, I’m telling you because I get calls about problems ona DAILY basis!! ALSO NEVER buy Westinghouse, Vizio, Hisense TV’s seriously WILL have problems and when they do support from manufacturers suck!!
    There should be a list for electronics..

    • Maria says

      Thanks for your input. I wonder why tablets would have so many issues? I would imagine that the quality of the ones sold at Costco would be the same as those you find elsewhere. Thoughts?


  1. […] up on Razors at Costco (100) to be exact, in an attempt to save money in the long run.  Remember this post about things I’d NEVER buy at Costco?  The above picture was taken just last week at my local Costco, a 14+1 pack for $44.99.  At that […]

  2. […] and are now back in the saddle.  You can read more about Why We Bought a Costco Membership and the Items I would NEVER buy at Costco.  The following is a photo series of items I do buy and would suggest you buy at Costco – […]

  3. […] The pictures above are from my shopping trip this past week, courtesy of Grocery Outlet.  I spent $33.63 and saved $54.76!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it feels NICE to shop and save without using a single coupon!  I’ll admit it’s nice to be able to walk in  get a great deal without too much thought or planning.  Not everything they sell is the best price possible, but you guys are such savvy shoppers you know how to pick, choose, and shop around.  It’s important to know your Buy It Now/Stock Pile prices anytime you go out to grocery shop, regardless of where you are but especially when you go to Costco. […]

  4. […] I thought back several years to when we were a young(er) married couple with 2 babies at home.  Costco trips were common because that was our way of “stockpiling“.  Those trips came at such a […]

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