The 3 Weirdest Things I’ve Ever Bought at Costco

Young adult girl helping children in a kayak.

Image source: Getty Images

Have you ever strayed from your usual shopping list?

Key points

  • Many people rely on Costco for bulk groceries and household essentials.
  • Although these are the things I usually buy there, from time to time I end up branching out.
  • You might be surprised to learn that Costco also sells toilets and chainsaws.

Although weekly shopping at Costco ends up saving my family money, things could easily go the other way. The reason? Costco’s warehouses are full of products ranging from outerwear to toys to seasonal decor. And so it is very easy to accumulate a huge credit card tab while shopping.

Now, for the most part, I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to shopping at Costco. I usually make a list of groceries we need and stick to it. And that means most weeks I limit myself to things like produce, milk and dairy, and boxes of snacks (which may seem like an unnecessary purchase, but are actually a necessity for my kids perpetually greedy and their perpetually hungry friends).

From time to time, I’ll add other items to my Costco list to meet a specific need, like getting Halloween costumes for my kids (almost always your cheapest option, provided your kids aren’t difficult) or stocking up on things like food storage containers. These purchases may seem quite mundane. But in my day, I actually bought some pretty weird things at Costco. Here are a few that stand out.

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1. An inflatable kayak

My family loves the outdoors a lot, and my husband and I have rented kayaks a number of times and enjoyed fun outings on the water. A few years ago we decided to invest in our own inflatable kayak, which we admittedly bought on impulse when Costco had one on sale.

Unfortunately, we didn’t end up loving this kayak and ended up returning it (and were grateful to Costco for taking it back). But in a way it was a good thing, because given how much time we spend kayaking it probably makes sense for us to save a bit and invest in a better one than we would be using by praising.

2. A toilet

Although my husband and I bought a new house 13 years ago, since then we have had to make some updates. And that included replacing our perpetually leaky toilet. We learned a few years ago that Costco’s bargain prices aren’t just limited to fruit, cheese, and deli meats — you can also get a discount toilet if you need it.

3. A chainsaw

I’m probably the least handy person I know, but luckily my husband is pretty good at fixing things around the house and doing renovations. Some time ago he needed a chainsaw for a project he was working on. And unsurprisingly, he ended up buying one at Costco because the price was right.

Admittedly, I wasn’t very involved in this purchase, simply because I couldn’t tell you what makes one chainsaw better than another. But I still count.

A host of options

Limiting myself to purchases like groceries and household products helps me avoid breaking my budget at Costco. But once in a while, I venture outside my normal shopping list and buy something a little less mainstream. And if the price works, I think there’s nothing wrong with that.

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