3 Things I Always Get on Amazon Prime Instead of Costco

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A dad helping his young son with his homework while sitting at a desk in front of a laptop, notebook, and crayons.

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Costco isn’t always the best source for everything I need.

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Key points

  • Shopping at Costco generally results in major savings.
  • There are some items the store either doesn’t stock or doesn’t have the best prices on.
  • I tend to buy school and office supplies, pet food, and sensitive skin products from Amazon.

When I first started shopping at Costco over a decade ago, it took me a while to truly appreciate the wonder of buying in bulk. But now that I’m tasked with maintaining a household that includes me, my husband, three kids, and a large dog, I’ve come to rely on Costco even more.

Shopping there often results in a lower credit card tab than I’d rack up at other stores. And buying in bulk sometimes spares me the hassle of having to make repeat trips to the store too often.

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At the same time, Costco isn’t the only retailer I rely on regularly for essential purchases. I also do my share of shopping on Amazon. In fact, I’ve been a Prime member for years, and while I wasn’t happy that the cost of a Prime membership rose to $139 last year, I also knew that canceling due to that price hike was not at all a possibility.

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Not only do I depend on Amazon for last-minute purchases I need shipped out in a pinch, but there are certain items I pretty much always buy on Amazon — even though I tend to visit Costco on a weekly basis. Here’s a look at those items.

1. School and office supplies

Between working from home and having school-aged kids, I find that I pretty regularly need to restock things like pencils, notebooks, and other supplies required to do my job. But those are items I can’t rely on Costco for.

For some reason, my local Costco doesn’t tend to stock those items regularly. And when it does, the price doesn’t tend to be all that great. Amazon usually saves me money when my kids need yet another glue stick, or when my printer runs out of ink or paper.

2. Pet food

It’s more than possible to find pet food at Costco. But if your pet is a picky eater, then you may not find food there that works for you.

Amazon offers a wider range of pet food and related products, so that’s become one of my go-to sources for feeding my giant dog. Plus, with Amazon, I can sign up to have pet food delivered to me automatically each month via the Subscribe & Save program. That allows me to snag a discount on those purchases — and it also spares me from having to lug massive bags of food home in my car.

3. Sensitive skin products

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You can find a host of personal care products at Costco — everything from soap to shampoo to face lotions. But if you have sensitive skin like I do, then Costco’s selection may not work for you.

As is the case with pet food, Amazon tends to offer a much wider selection of personal care products than Costco does. And so I tend to rely on it for the different items I need.

I love shopping at Costco, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do my fair share of shopping elsewhere. And in many cases, buying goods on Amazon makes more sense for me.

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