Costco has a reputation for offering great deals on grocery staples. Even amid skyrocketing food costs over the past year, the warehouse club has tried to hold its prices steady, at least on some items, in order to keep its members content.

“In our view, people do notice those price differences,” Costco’s Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said during an investor call last month.

He’s right. People are noticing. Complaints about rising prices at Costco have piled up in a recent Reddit thread, with several shoppers suggesting that they’re now turning to more traditional supermarkets in search of better bargains on certain staples.

We took note of the complaints, checked the prices at our local Costco and compared those to nearby NYC-area stores for perspective. Here are six items that customers are not at all happy about paying more to purchase at Costco.

RELATED: Your Costco Membership Is About To Get More Expensive

Kirkland Signature flavored sparkling water
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Thirsty Redditors are less than thrilled about the current prices for soft drinks at the warehouse. “Nearly $17 at Costco for 36 pack of Coke,” one wrote, adding that an ever bigger bulk buy at Kroger often costs less: 48 cans for $14. “Local grocers usually run sales that beat it, not to mention more variety,” agreed another. The same goes for sparkling water. “We’ve completely stopped buying it and just drink still water from our reverse osmosis filter,” noted one commenter, who listed a bunch of recent price spikes, including the in-house Kirkland brand jumping from $6 to $10 for 32 cans, while brand-name La Croix doubled from $5 to $10 for 24 cans. Costco’s prices are still cheaper than what we found at Walmart in Bayonne, N.J., which charged $31.35 for a 35-pack of Coca-Cola and $11.99 for 24 cans of La Croix. 

Kirkland organic butter
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Redditors were quick to point to the price of Costco’s Kirkland-brand butter, which the warehouse club tends to sell in 2-pound bundles. One noted the cost had recently jumped from $8 to $14.99. “Yeah, I about cried in the store a couple of days ago over the price of butter,” griped another. During a visit to Costco in Brooklyn, N.Y., in early January, the Kirkland organic butter cost $11.99, or about $5.99 per pound (only the organic kind was available). Meanwhile, the Brooklyn location of Wegmans was offering its basic sticks of butter for about two bucks cheaper: $3.99 per pound. Wegmans’ organic variety, however, was priced the same as Costco’s. The cheapest butters at nearby Aldi, Walmart, and Whole Foods locations cost $4.39, $4.48, and $6.18 per pound, respectively.

Kirkland Signature cage free eggs at Costco
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Higher prices on other basic kitchen staples like eggs and milk are similarly rattling the Costco faithful. “What’s crazy is my Costco’s milk and eggs are more expensive than Walmarts,” according to one Redditor. Let’s start with eggs, the supply of which has been severely impacted by an ongoing avian flu epidemic. One commenter groaned, “I haven’t seen eggs in the two stores near me since Thanksgiving.” The supply also looked thin when visiting the Brooklyn Costco in early January, with customers limited to purchasing only two packages of five dozen eggs at a time. Each package cost $14.69, which works out to $2.94 per dozen. No other retailer in our survey sold them cheaper. Whole Foods came closest, offering a dozen 365-brand large brown eggs for $3.39. Nearby Aldi and Walmart locations charge $4.35 and $4.56 per dozen for their most basic varieties. Upon returning to Costco on Feb. 2, the price for eggs had increased to $15.99, or $3.19 per dozen. The average retail price for eggs nationwide is currently $4.25 per dozen—an increase of 138% since last year—according to the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey.

Whole Milk gallons inside a Costco store.
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Costco’s Kirkland-brand milk has its fans, but even they aren’t immune to sticker shock. “Their super milk seems to last forever,” noted one Redditor, “but it costs much more than my local grocer.” A gallon jug cost $4.15 at Costco in Brooklyn in January. Among the stores in our survey, only Wegmans and Aldi offered a cheaper jug at $3.99 and $4.09 respectively, while the closest Walmart location charged $4.26. The average retail price now stands at $4.21 per gallon, up 12% since last year, per CPI.

Kirkland Signature sliced bacon
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Four-pound packs of Costco’s Kirkland Signature Sliced Bacon surged in price to $21.99 last year, according to one Redditor, before eventually dropping to a more reasonable $16.99. That’s the same price we found in Brooklyn in early January. Even so, the bacon is still too pricey for some critics. “I can find it on sale much cheaper,” one noted. We, on the other hand, could not. At $4.25 per pound, the Kirkland slices are far and away more affordable than the national average—almost $3 less, in fact. Only the Walmart in Bayonne, N.J., could top our local Costco (and just by a penny) among the surveyed stores in our area. Aldi, meanwhile, charged $5.15 per pound. 

Chicken packages seen at a local Costco store.
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We’re not talking about the famously low-priced rotisserie variety, of course. Costco’s forever-$4.99 cooked bird remains an unbeatable bargain. No, we’re talking about regular uncooked chicken. “Their prices for chicken thighs and drumsticks are now (and have been for a few months) higher than the grocery store,” lamented one commenter. We found bulk packs of Kirkland-brand boneless skinless thighs for $2.99 per pound at Costco in Brooklyn in January. A similar family pack cost a little less at the nearest Walmart: $2.86 per pound. Aldi and Wegmans charged more at $3.29 per pound. As for Whole Foods, eh, fuhgeddaboudit — $5.49 per pound.

A version of this story was originally published on Jan. 4, 2023. It has been updated to include new information.

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