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Costco Products That Last So Long You'll Get Sick of Them

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People with shopping carts fill
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Bulk Regrets

We all love saving money by buying in bulk, but what happens when you've bought more than you can handle? It's easy to get sick of the food you buy in big quantities before you run out, whether that's due to finicky kids, freezer burn, or just plain boredom. Here are some products you might want to think twice about buying in bulk at Costco so you don't waste your money on unused goods. (Not a Costco member? You can apply here.)


Related: 22 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Costco

Costco Cooking Oil
Costco

Cooking Oil

Yes, oil does expire. Will you really go through gallons of canola or peanut oil within a few months, let alone a year? Not unless you're planning to deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey. And the one oil that is actually used for its flavor, extra virgin olive oil, loses its tasty qualities the fastest. 


Related: Insider Secrets for Saving Time and Money at Costco

Costco Plain Mixed Nuts
Costco

Plain Nuts

Unless you've got a bowl-a-day nut habit, buying 2 or 3 pounds of plain cashews or almonds at a time probably doesn't make sense. Let's face it: They're pretty boring, especially compared to the seasoned nuts and trail mixes Costco sells right next to them. An opened jar of nuts only lasts a few months before it starts tasting funky, and you'll definitely not finish them if it comes to that.


Related: 26 Prepared Meals at Costco to Feed Your Family

Costco sliced bread
Costco

Sliced Bread

If you have a very large family, the double-loaf bags of pre-sliced bread might make sense for you. But for anyone with a household under four people, two whole loaves means a ton of PB+J and french toast. Packing that many sandwiches to use up two loaves in a week or two is pretty tough.


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Costco taco seasoning
Costco

Seasonings

The commercial size containers of seasonings and spices like Old Bay and taco seasoning are so much cheaper to purchase per ounce than in smaller containers or packets at a regular grocery store. But they lose flavor over time, so unless you think you'll eat tacos three times a week for a year, stick to smaller sizes for the best flavor.

Costco Canned Tuna
Costco

Canned Tuna

If there's one thing that languishes in a pantry for way too long, it's definitely tuna. Sure, cans last a long time, but do you really want a dozen cans taking up so much space in your home for years on end? There's only so much tuna casserole and tuna salad sandwiches that you can eat.

Costco Shampoo
Costco

New-to-You Shampoo

You may be tempted by the assortment of shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products at Costco if you're not totally sold on the brand you're currently using. But trying out a new product in bulk is not the best strategy. There's a good chance you'll hate because it dries out your hair, makes your scalp itchy, or you don't like the smell. If that happens, you're stuck with multiple large bottles.


Related: Beauty Products Worth Buying at Costco

Costco Dip
Costco

Giant Dips

Those giant containers of creamy dips that tempt everyone in the refrigerated section are really only good for parties. If you've got a small household or only one or two people plan to eat the quart of tzatziki, chances are you'll get bored of it long before it reaches the expiration date. For things like guacamole and hummus, the better bet is to buy the packages of single serve cups.


Related: A Costco Shopping Guide for Small-Homes Dwellers

Costco Kraft American Cheese
Costco

American Cheese

Kraft American cheese singles come in a 4-pound package of 96 slices at Costco. Even if you love grilled cheese and that gooeyness on your cheeseburgers, almost a hundred sandwiches' worth of American cheese is an awful lot of boring, relatively flavorless cheese. Grab the smaller pack at the grocery store so you can switch things up with cheddar or Swiss without feeling guilty.

Costco Beef Jerky
Costco

Beef Jerky

How much chewing can your jaw handle? Because you'll have to do a ton of it to get through a Costco-sized bag of jerky. If your jaw doesn't get sore before the open bag goes rancid, you'll probably be consuming a lot of sodium, too. So unless you're going hiking, skip the beef jerky. 


Related: Addictive Costco Snacks You'll Be Happy You Bought in Bulk

Costco Granola Bars
Costco

Granola Bars

Kirkland chewy granola bars are kid-approved, but they come in a massive package of 64 bars. Unless your kids are thrilled to eat one every single day — without any flavor variation, since they only come in plain chocolate chip — then you might want to stick to variety packs at the grocery store.

Costco Vitamins and Supplements
Costco

Vitamins and Supplements

Everyone has the best intentions when they buy vitamins and dietary supplements like fish oil or calcium. But will you really be taking a handful of pills every single day for months at a time? It's a hard habit to keep, especially when you probably don't need to take them. Save yourself the money and just skip them.


Related: Health Products and Services That Cost Less at Costco

Costco Pancake Mix
Costco

Pancake Mix

How many pancakes does it take to use up 10 pounds of pancake mix? You can find out if you buy the Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake mix at Costco. You'll probably be craving omelets and french toast soon enough, leaving the bag of mix to be forgotten in your pantry.

Costco Ramen
Costco

Ramen

Eating ramen past college isn't a taboo anymore. But how many packs do you think you can eat before you get sick of being reminded of dorm life? If you're the only ramen eater you're buying for, it's probably best to stick with smaller quantities in various brands. We all know that half the fun of eating ramen is the adventure of trying new varieties.

Related: 15 Hacks to Make Instant Ramen More Delicious Under $1

Costco Muffins
Costco

Muffins

Have you seen how big those bakery muffins are? Each one is around 600 calories or more, making for a very filling — and sugar-fueled — breakfast. Though they come in packages of six, you have to buy two packs. Since they're freshly baked, they don't last more than a week. A dozen of those big bad boys is a lot to get through.

Birthday Cake for Joaquin from Costco
flickr

Sheet Cake

The sheet cakes at Costco are so good that people sometimes look for an excuse to buy one — plus they're so cheap. But if you're just having a small party with a dozen or less people, you're better off with a more reasonably sized cake lest you be eating leftover cake for days on end. It sounds way more exciting than the reality. 

Costco Deli Trays Swiss Rollers
Costco Deli Trays Swiss Rollers by BrokenSphere (CC BY-SA)

Roller Tray

The trays of pre-made chicken and Swiss roller sandwiches in the deli department look and taste amazing. It's tempting to do your entire week's worth of lunch meal planning in one swoop with a package, but by the third day, you're bound to be sick of them. Not to mention, they start getting pretty soggy after a couple days.

Costco Frozen French Fries
Costco

Frozen French Fries

The bags of Ore-Ida frozen fries at Costco weigh 8 pounds. That's four times the size of a typical grocery store bag. What are the chances your family will go through them all before they start getting freezer burned, or just lost in the back of the freezer all together? 

Costco Tortilla Strips
Costco

Tortilla Strips

Kirkland Signature tortilla strips made by Mission are delicious, but the only size the bag comes in is 3 pounds. That's three or four times the size of a typical bag, so without a party planned or an all-chip diet, it's going to take a while to get through them all before you're absolutely sick of salsa or they go stale.

Jamón Serrano Ham at Mercado Central (Central Market) in Valencia, Spain
Moonstone Images/istockphoto

Serrano Ham

One of Costco's most infamous products is the whole Spanish Serrano ham that appears in stores every holiday season. It weighs about 15 pounds and costs $100, and considering you serve it by cutting paper thin slices, it lasts absolutely forever. Even if you serve it at multiple parties, it's a slog to get through. So unless you plan to be enjoying fancy ham well into the next year, skip it.