Costco store in Markham, Ontario, Canada
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Costco Brand Products to Avoid, According to Shoppers

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Costco store in Markham, Ontario, Canada
JHVEPhoto/istockphoto

Brand Disloyalty

Costco is great for bulk buying, and customers can be fanatically loyal to products such as Kirkland Scotch whisky or the store’s signature balsamic vinegar. But devoted Costco shoppers know that the discount chain strikes out on a number of items when it comes to quality or prices that aren’t as cheap as they appear after comparison shopping. From bath tissue to tequila that can smell “disgusting,” here are Kirkland brand items that don’t always hit the sweet spot for Costco shoppers.


Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.


Related: Costco Brand Products Shoppers Rave About

Kirkland Bath Tissue
Costco
Kirkland Water
Amazon

Kirkland Water

Stick with a name brand — or, better yet, tap water — over a Costco product that customers on Reddit find “musty” and possessing an “unusual taste.” There is a whole string of readers with similar experiences. 

Kirkland Cat Food
Costco

Kirkland Cat Food

Kirkland Cat Foot gets a mediocre 6.5 out of 10 rating from All About Cats, which reviews all things feline. The product was downgraded for its recall history — in 2012, the cat food was taken off the shelves because of a potential salmonella outbreak — and ranked low on the variety of options.


Related: The Best Cheap Cat Foods

Kirkland Signature Coffee
Costco

Kirkland Signature Coffee

Two 3-pound containers of Kirkland Signature Colombian Coffee for $45? Coffee is best served fresh. Buying it several pounds at a time after it’s been sitting on a shelf for an extended period can push it into the stale range. You can find a similar brand at the local supermarket that is about the same price.


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Kirkland Signature Tequila
totalwine.com
Kirkland Facial Tissues
Costco

Kirkland Facial Tissues

Avoid the tissues at Costco, which don’t hold up to some of the bigger brands. Consumer Reports called Kirkland Facial Tissue “middle of the pack in terms of quality.” It’s too soft and too thin compared with Puffs, which cost about the same.

Kirkland Multigrain Bread
boxed.com

Kirkland Multigrain Bread

The first few slices of Costco bread are always good; buying two large loaves at a time isn’t a deal when the bread sits on the shelf at home for a week and starts to get moldy. There is a reason half-loaves of bread have become popular at grocery stores: You can finish them before they turn stale.


Related: Surprisingly Expensive Products From Costco

Kirkland Signature Detergent
Costco

Kirkland Signature Detergent

It’s tempting to saves a few bucks by buying a 194-ounce container of Kirkland laundry detergent, which washes 194 loads. But detergent lasts only six months after the seal is broken, meaning that unless you are washing for a large family, this isn’t worth it. Shoppers also have quality complaints that’ll make you think twice. Buy in smaller batches and your clothes will smell fresher and stay cleaner. 

Kirkland Signature Diapers
Costco

Kirkland Signature Diapers

Diapers aren’t universally cheaper at Costco, with Kirkland Signature diapers costing more when we looked than a box of Huggies Little Movers at Walmart (192 diapers for $40). It’s also not always efficient to buy diapers in bulk, as babies grow fast.

Kirkland Organic Eggs
Costco

Kirkland Organic Eggs

The quality is generally decent, but buying two dozen eggs at a time eats refrigerator space and diminishes their freshness if they sit too long. Buying fewer eggs is cheaper in the long run if you have to throw out old ones.

Kirkland Jeans
Costco

Kirkland Jeans

Fit and quality seem to be an issue for reviewers of the Kirkland Jeans. One review on Amazon suggested the size of the jeans was smaller than their measurements. Another complained about the crotch coming apart. If price is your only barometer, the jeans could be worth it — but don’t be surprised if they fall apart.

Kirkland Signature Chicken Bake
Costco

Kirkland Signature Chicken Bake

The Chicken Bake tastes great, but it’s an artery-clogging meal of fried dough, cheese, more cheese (Parmesan), bacon, and Caesar dressing. That’s 769 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 28 grams of carbs. Unless you want to fall asleep in the middle of the day, stay away from it.

Kirkland Signature Lunchmeat
Costco

Kirkland Signature Lunchmeat

Cold cuts with preservatives should be good for longer than fresh meat, right? But once the package of processed meat is open it has the same shelf life as fresh cold cuts, about three to five days. Stick with the local butcher for your cold cuts.

Kirkland Signature Milk
Costco

Kirkland Signature Milk

The price is cheaper, but is buying 2 gallons of milk worth it? It takes up space in the refrigerator, and starts to sour a week after its expiration date. It may be worth a few extra dollars to buy milk in smaller quantities from the grocery store to drink it fresh.

Kirkland Mixed Nuts
Costco

Kirkland Mixed Nuts

Kirkland mixed nuts come in a 2½-pound canister. Unless buyers can eat that much quickly, there’s a risk of the nuts’ natural oils turning rancid.

Kirkland Triple Blade Razors
Amazon

Kirkland Triple Blade Razors

Amazon reviews worry about the quality of this razor and blade package  — the handle is “poorly made and … will break long before you run out of blades,” a customer says — and price, with some name brands such as Gillette not much more expensive.

Kirkland Signature Frozen Atlantic Salmon
Costco

Kirkland Signature Frozen Atlantic Salmon

Salmon is best consumed fresh, and Costco sells excellent farm-raised and Atlantic Salmon. But any fish that is brined and frozen risks turning out mushy and soft, according to a chef who explained for Insider why she avoids the frozen fish at Costco.

Kirkland Signature Spices
Costco

Kirkland Signature Spices

It’s not that Kirkland Signature Spices are inferior, but that there is too much. The spices come in batches of four and are 18 ounces each — and some people won’t use that much cumin in a lifetime. Spices start to lose their flavor after about six months, so unless you cook for a village, stick to buying spices in 5-ounce quantities.

Kirkland Solid White Albacore Tuna
Costco