The 3 Strangest Things I’ve Ever Purchased at Costco


Young adult girl helping children in a kayak.

Image source: Getty Images

Have you ever deviated from your usual shopping list?


Important points

  • Many people rely on Costco for large groceries and housewares.
  • While those are the things I usually buy there, I occasionally branch out.
  • You might be surprised to know that Costco also sells toilets and chainsaws.

Although shopping at Costco weekly saves my family money, things could easily go the other way. The reason? Costco’s warehouses are filled with products ranging from outerwear to toys to seasonal decor. And so it’s really easy to make a huge credit card bill while shopping.

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

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From time to time, I’ll add more items to my Costco list to meet a specific need—like getting my kids’ Halloween costumes (almost always the cheapest option, assuming your kids aren’t fussy) or myself Stock things like food storage containers. These purchases seem to be fairly commonplace. 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 is quite close to the outdoors, and my husband and I have rented kayaks many times and enjoyed fun trips on the water. A few years ago we decided to invest in our own inflatable kayak which we admittedly bought as an impulse buy when Costco had one on sale.

Unfortunately, we ended up not liking the kayak and ended up returning it (and grateful that Costco took it back). But in a way that was a good thing because given the amount of time we spend kayaking it probably makes sense that we could just save up a bit and invest in something better than what we could rent out.

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2. A toilet

Although my husband and I bought a new construction home 13 years ago, we have had to make some updates since then. And that included replacing our perpetually leaking toilets. We learned a few years ago that Costco’s great prices aren’t limited to fruit, cheese, and charcuterie — you can also get a toilet at a discount if you have that need.

3. A chainsaw

I’m probably the most unwieldy person I know, but luckily my husband is pretty good at fixing things around the house and doing DIY jobs. A while 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 heavily involved in this purchase simply because I couldn’t tell you what makes one chainsaw better than another. But I count it anyway.

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A variety of options

By limiting myself to purchases like groceries and household products, I can avoid breaking my budget at Costco. But occasionally I venture outside of my normal shopping list and shop a little less mainstream. And if the price point works, I think there’s nothing wrong with that.

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