Unless you are doing boatloads of laundry, you should avoid buying detergent in bulk since they only maintain their cleaning power for six months to a year, per Good Housekeeping. Plus, other stores tend to have more coupons and deals for detergent than Costco. One blogger found a detergent on sale that equals $0.03 per load compared to Kirkland’s $0.115 per load. The Kirkland Signature Gel dishwashing detergent isn’t much of a hit either with a poor overall score from Consumer Reports.
Kirkland facial tissues
Tissues from Kirkland don’t have the best reputation. A test from Consumer Reports found that these tissues are just so-so compared to other big name brands like Puffs Basic, even though they cost the same. Puffs ranked higher in both strength and softness.
Kirkland toilet paper
Similarly to facial tissues, skip this other important Kirkland paper product. Consumer Reports found that although the Kirkland toilet paper is soft, it only offers so-so strength. The consumer ratings on Consumer Reports aren’t any better, and the majority are in the one-star section.
The quality of Kirkland diapers isn’t an issue, but buying one size in bulk isn’t a great idea. Cheapism reports that the smallest quantity of diapers available at Costco is 192, so a child might outgrow them before finishing the whole box. Smaller packages are available at Target or Walmart, and stores like Amazon even have convenient subscription services.
Pre-ground coffee starts going stale in as little as 30 minutes, according to some coffee experts. Others say roasted coffee is only at peak freshness for two to three weeks. So it’s best for your palette to buy a smaller, fresher portion that lasts a week or two.
There are better deals for rice at ethnic supermarkets, one blogger told MONEY. She found a 25-pound bag of rice for $14 at her neighborhood store; that’s 35 percent less than the Costco price of $40. In addition to the price difference, rice and other whole grains contain oil that attaches to the grain and could cause them to go rancid sooner, Eat This Not That reports.
The prices and quality of Kirkland milk aren’t anything special. The reason you might want to avoid buying this at Costco, however, is because of the square-shaped jugs. According to Reddit discussion boards and food bloggers, the unique packaging that causes frequent spills might be reason enough to buy your milk elsewhere.
Any Kirkland item you haven’t tried before
Buying in bulk is a commitment. That’s why it is better to be safe than sorry and buy small amounts to test instead of allocating money and space to large quantities of items you may not like.