Costco's Steak Dinner Deal May Not Be Worth It. Here's Why

It's no secret that a Costco membership offers quite a few privileges to shoppers. For example, members are privy to a 100% satisfaction guarantee that covers most items found in the store. That means you can return an item that left you unsatisfied and receive a full refund (provided the product doesn't fall into one of the excluded categories, such as alcohol or electronics). Costco is also known for offering numerous discounts on the everyday items people need, especially when it comes to products bearing the Kirkland Signature label.

Costco offers the private-brand Kirkland Signature products for less than name brand items. Additionally, the store concerns itself with quality, so Kirkland-brand items often rival national brands when it comes to customer satisfaction. 

Based on these facts, one might think that Costco is a veritable paradise for the deal-minded shopper. And while that might be true in some instances, Costco can actually cost you more, depending on what you buy.

A steak dinner not worth its weight in gold

The combination of steak and potatoes is a down-home, hearty meal sure to satisfy even the most famished person in your family. That's probably why Costco thought it was a stellar idea to offer a prepackaged meal consisting of New York steak and creamer potatoes. While you certainly can't beat it when it comes to convenience, the price of this dinner option is a little off-putting. With a unit price of $10.99 per pound, some packages can cost more than $40 and only feed two to three people.

On the other hand, you could purchase steak and potatoes separately and end up getting more food for less money. Consider that some Costco locations offer six 6-ounce frozen top sirloin steaks for $25.99. As for potatoes, you can usually find a whole slew of spuds for as little as $1 to $2 a pound. That means you can afford an entire meal for your family for less than what Costco's prepackaged option goes for. 

Add this to the list of items you should avoid at Costco to keep your shopping budget in check.

When bulk buying is a bad decision

Buying in bulk can save shoppers money, as bulk goods are usually priced lower than items packaged individually. However, you'll only be privy to impressive savings if you're actually able to use all of what you buy in bulk before it goes bad. And that's precisely where many shoppers go wrong at Costco. 

Take cooking oil, for instance, a staple of home chefs everywhere. Once opened, cooking oils tend to go bad in a little over a year. If you're not able to use up what you purchased in bulk, you'll need to discard what's left. As a result, you'll be wasting food as well as money.

Condiments are another seemingly good deal from Costco, especially if you use them frequently. Once again, time might not be on your side once your bottle of ketchup or mustard has been opened. In this case, you have about six months before the quality of the condiments starts to degrade. It's absolutely true that a Costco membership can save you money, especially when you have a big family and are choosy about what you buy. However, it's not a good option for all households, especially when it comes to certain products.