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May 07, 2010

Is Costco a Good Deal?


According to my Alexa tool bar, 15 Things Not to Buy in Bulk was one of the hottest hits on the web today. I think it helped that whoever was optimizing SEO (search engine optimization) added, “Is Costco a Good Deal?” onto the title bar and that grabbed people’s attention. It grabbed mine because anyone raising a family finds it easier to purchase things in bulk.

As I scanned the article I was surprised at some of the items on the list. It got me curious about who wrote it. I did a little sleuthing. The author graduated from college in 2008. I don’t know for sure, but chances are high he does not have a family of his own, or if he does he might have a newborn or a very young child. In any event, some of the items on this list surprised me and I think they’d surprise you (assuming you are reading this blog because you are a mom.)

Paper towels and toilet paper
Excuse me? I should avoid stocking up on paper towels and toilet paper? The article says that although you can save money by buying in bulk the problem is storing these products. I am sorry. I would personally give up space in my clothes closet to store extra tp. The people women making these purchases (mainly moms) know that the reason you do it is because your household runs through them quickly and the last thing you want to do is run to the store every few days to get more. 

Interesting side note: I learned from a Costco employee that the reason toilet paper and paper towels are in the far back corner of the store is because they are the #1 selling items in the store. By placing them in the very back shoppers have to pass by all the other goodies on the way. Clever marketing!


Really? The article cautions mothers to avoid bulk diapers because babies grow so quickly you will be stuck with lots of too small diapers. It’s been 18 years since I’ve had kids in diapers but I can assure you I was always conscious of when my babies were approaching the next size and planned accordingly. Besides, I would far rather know I had a comforting supply at hand than worry about running out.

At my local Costco you get eggs in 1½ dozen packages. Is that considered bulk? Between baking, pancakes and eggs for breakfast (and sometimes dinner) my family can easily handle 1½ dozen eggs without fear of rancidity.

Some of the items on the list made sense. I agree that unless you are a caterer or restaurant owner, it’s practically impossible to use up those large containers of spices and the like. Item #2 on the list is candy. The article says not to buy candy in bulk because you’ll just eat it. Well, duh.

So I’m scratching my head over this article and it’s popularity. I didn’t find it helpful. I think a good, experienced mom could come up with something more useful, practical and based in reality. PSSSST: MSN Money, if you want to really blow the socks off the web hot list, ask us 50-something-moms about how to save by buying bulk!

This is an original 50-Something-Moms post.

Nancy is off buying toilet paper, paper towels and eggs at Costco. When she gets back she'll be blogging at Just the Right Things.