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3 products you’re better off buying elsewhere

3 products you're better off buying elsewhere
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One of the reasons Costco has such a loyal fan base is that it’s known for offering a nice range of products at competitive prices. But that doesn’t mean shopping at Costco will always result in the best deal. Here are a few specific items that you may want to purchase outside of Costco.

Before you do all of your shopping at Costco, crunch some numbers to see whether it pays to stock up on certain items outside of Costco when they’re on sale. You may find that doing so lets you shave some money off of your grocery bills – and run up less of a credit card tab as a result.

1. Condiments

Buying condiments in bulk can seem like a good idea, especially during barbecue season. But in many cases, you’re better off purchasing things like ketchup and mustard at your regular supermarket once they go on sale, and for a couple of reasons.

First, grocery stores tend to offer nice discounts on condiments before holiday weekends, so you might snag a lower price point at the supermarket than at Costco. Also, condiments tend to sit out a lot. It’s common to leave them out baking in the sun during a barbecue, or on the table during regular dinners.

All told, that means condiments won’t always have the longest shelf life once opened. And so it could actually work to your benefit to not buy giant bottles of them at Costco.

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2. Cereal

Costco tends to offer a nice selection of bulk cereal. But cereal is one of those things that tends to go on sale frequently at the supermarket. And when it does, you’ll often find that Costco’s price doesn’t hold up.

Plus, Costco tends to carry brand-name cereals, while many supermarkets carry their own store-brand versions that taste just as good. But the thing is, those store brands will often cost a lot less per ounce than what you’ll get at Costco, despite the bulk discount.

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3. Pasta

Like cereal, pasta is one of those items that tends to be deeply discounted at times at the regular supermarket. And when that happens, the cost per pound is often cheaper at your local grocery store.

What’s more, pasta is one of those items that consumers don’t tend to be brand-specific about. Your kids may prefer one brand of cereal over another, for example. But chances are, they don’t care what name comes on the box of the macaroni you buy for them as long as you smother it with melted cheese. And that means when pasta does go on sale at the supermarket, it should be easy enough for you to capitalize on those lower prices.

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Don’t spend more on food than you need to

These days, food prices are soaring due to inflation, so it pays to do what you can to eke out some savings. While Costco definitely offers its share of bargains, it’s wrong to assume you’ll always get the lowest price or best deal there.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Maurie Backman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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