The Overlooked Reason Why You Should Buy Milk From Costco

Milk is one of the staples of many grocery lists. The next time you need a gallon, head to Costco instead of the competition. There's a seriously underrated reason why many swear by the chain for dairy products.

It's the milk's lifespan, which is often days or even weeks further in the future than at other places. There are several reasons and theories why Costco milk seems to have such an extended life. The biggest may be the unique logistics of Costco, which keeps the milk at proper temperatures and in proper conditions for the entirety of its lifespan, from the processing plant to the moment you grab it off the shelf. 

As anyone who's purchased it knows, Costco milk is typically stored in large refrigerators where buyers walk inside to select their products. This keeps the milk colder (and therefore fresher) than supermarket glass cases which are relatively poorly insulated and constantly opening. Over time, this can make a major difference in the growth of bacteria and other things that spoil your milk.

Why milk lasts longer

People on Reddit suggest the high volume of milk sold at large stores like Costco ensures a steady turnover, meaning any milk buyers grab has likely recently arrived instead of sitting in the case for extended periods at the grocery store. Some Kirkland brand milk products are also ultra-pasteurized (also known as UHT), which can further extend the life of dairy by processing it at higher temperatures.

While comparatively, Costco's milk is more expensive than Aldi or Trader Joe's, its longer shelf life will be a relief to many especially smaller families. However, it's also important to remember why some will regret buying milk at Costco. There's no getting around the large quantities that the chain sells its products in, and this can be problematic for perishable items, even with the extra time for milk and other dairy. According to the Guardian, around one in six pints of milk goes into the garbage bin every year. Buyers who end up throwing out a significant amount of milk that went bad may essentially be pouring any Costco savings down the drain. It's worth considering whether Costco milk fits into your habits and budget, along with the other best (and worst) things to buy at Costco