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What do you recommend at Costco?


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#1 llc45

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:28 PM

My husband and I looooooooove Costco, even though we only have a family of three. Who says you need a big family to shop there? We tend to buy staples that we believe offer good value/quality like meats, fish, cheeses, cereal, etc. Unfortunately, I think we still lose money because we also tend to buy lots of non-food items that are a "great buy", even if we didn't need em or want em in the first place! :biggrin: There's a reason Costco puts the food all the way in the back (so they can reel in suckers like us on the way there). Anyway, that is a different topic altogether and probably needs it's own 12 step program.

We tend to rush through the food section to buy the same types of items we always get and don't generally look around much (in the food section that is :wink: ). However, now I am wondering what I am missing. I recently read elsewhere on this site that the Costco tuscan olive oil and balsamic vinegar are quite good. Ditto the organic chicken broth for times when you don't have time to make stock. I generally buy these types of items at a higher end purveyor, never thinking that Costco would hit the mark in this area, even for every day use. I also think I saw a thread on mixed dried mushrooms. Interested in finding out what everyone recommends buying from Costco...

(Do I really have to admit that I also have a Sam's Club membership? Nope - but if you have any recommendations, I'd sure like to hear them! They had a great buy on lawn furniture this summer that made it worth while. Really)

#2 Joe Blowe

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 05:30 PM

For the price, Costco fresh-roasted coffee kicks ass.
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#3 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 08:39 PM

I always buy:

fresh Costco salmon filets,
colossal green stuffed olives in glass jars,
skinless, boneless salmon in cans (packed 6 each),
hearts of palm in glass jars,
and roses @ $15 for 2 dozen ...

the rest of what I bring home depends upon my needs and what looks nice that day ...
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#4 Raoul Duke

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 09:10 PM

Chanterelle mushrooms are back, fresh 16 oz. for $ 7.99. Living in Paso Robles I find their wine prices cheaper than the wineries at times and this includes a large local selection. The cheese selection here has grown large and extremely diverse with imports and domestics.
"I drink to make other people interesting".

#5 gperls

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:12 AM

I always get their pasturized lump crab in a can, in the refrigerated section. Also, their 3-pack of baby back ribs and U-12 frozen raw shrimp. And when they're on sale, their Alaskan king crab legs are great.

#6 BekkiM

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 09:02 AM

My staples at Costco (and we too have a family of 3, so you're not alone there!) are:

* Organic chicken broth
* Olive oil
* Maple syrup (my parents in Vermont can't make enough to keep up with our demand)
* Dried fruit and nuts
* Meats of all kinds (Costco's quality is significantly better than our local grocery stores and I can't shop at Whole Paycheck every day)
* Fruit (we go through an amazing amount of blueberries, applies, bananas, strawberries and cherries)
* Organic salad mix (Costco's just seems to last better than the bags at the grocery store)
* Parmesan cheese
* Frozen shrimp
* Frozen edamame

At Christmas time, I also buy my eggs, butter, cream, sugar, flour, etc. for the massive quantities of cookies I make to distribute.
Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

#7 Terrasanct

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:23 AM

I live in a town with no good grocery stores, so I'm glad to have Costco. There are only two of us at home, so I don't buy as much produce there as I used to, but there are some things I always get there--

Coffee, sharp Cheddar, eggs, maple cured bacon, rosemary olive oil bread, balsamic vinegar (it's aged for quite a while, I think), salad mixes, canned chili for my husband, salmon, and the meats, which are better than any other store here. Sometimes I'll pick up wine and beer, too. Oh, and cream cheese in the big block if I'm going to make a cheesecake.

I don't use a lot of convenience or processed foods, but I like to try the samples, anyway.

#8 muichoi

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 10:59 AM

Clearly no concern about their MO, then!

#9 Raoul Duke

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:15 PM

MO?
"I drink to make other people interesting".

#10 SuzySushi

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:35 PM

Family of four here.

Our Costco staples (I have this list pretty miuch memorized and we just go aisle-by-aisle!):

Shelf-stable:
Cheerios
Kirkland canned chicken chunks
canned mushrooms
hearts of palm
Del Monte (I think) pears in glass jars
Splenda packets
during the holiday season, Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix
Kirkland pepper grinder, salt grinder, and vanilla (but these last a long time)

Refrigerated:
Hormel/Kirkland fully cooked bacon

Frozen:
Occasionally shrimp scampi or shrimp tempura
Kirkland sirloin beef patties

Deli:
Kirkland smoked salmon -- that alone is worth our Costco membership as there are few other places to buy decent smoked salmon here
imported cheese -- our local Costco recently increased its selection of imported cheeses and we can now find good Gruyere, AOC Comte, Ossau-Iraty, and other cheeses we like.
domestic cheese -- coils of Karoun Lebanese string cheese
Carnegie Deli/Kirkland pastrami
Costco rotisserie chickens!!!

Meat/Poultry/Seafood:
steaks
leg of lamb (occasionally)
fresh fish -- salmon, catfish, trout, or whatever else looks good that day
sashimi
Alaskan king crab legs

Fresh Produce:
bananas
whatever other fresh fruit looks good that day
salad greens
grape tomatoes
miniature bell peppers
artichokes
other fresh vegetables as desired

Bakery:
La Brea Bakery rosemary olive oil bread
Country Hearth raisin bread

Soft Drinks:
cases of soft drinks
cases of Kirkland bottled water (for the car)

Non-food:
Kirkland AA batteries
Kirkland toilet paper
laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dishwasher detergent
SuzySushi

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#11 Special K

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 12:41 PM

I was a bit disconcerted to see the Costco truck making a delivery at Top Banana yesterday, so I guess I might as well buy my fruits and vegs at Costco. Of course, Top Banana is right across the street from work, their prices are good, and I can buy fresh daily, so I guess I won't change my ways.

When we do make the trek down to Costco, though, we buy Australian wines by the case, and small bottles of Perrier. I like the big packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs - all the meats, really. I do like their olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and I load up on various cheeses. For a while they had an awesome artichoke dip, but it's gone now, along with a cheddar chipotle one I loved. And I used to be able to buy pre-cooked half-ducks, which were very good - so much wow for so little effort. Alas, gone now.

My downfall are the books and DVDs!

Edited to add: Oh, yes, and thick cut bacon! Just don't let it slip under the car seat and stay there for a week until you need to use that car again! Whoof!

Edited by Special K, 17 October 2007 - 12:43 PM.


#12 David Ross

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 01:17 PM

I don't go to Costco much, but when I do, I always stock up on meat. Their NY Strip steaks are very good-thick cut, choice grade. They always have rack of lamb at around $11 a pound-an incredibly low price for rack of lamb in my area. And you normally can't find rack of lamb in the regular stores.

I especially like the Costco 'Seafood Extravaganza' specials that they offer about every 6 weeks. The extravaganze usually includes huge diver scallops, king crab, dungeness crab, mussels, clams, oysters and my favorites when in season-fresh Alaskan halibut and fresh Alaskan spot prawns.

#13 Marlene

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:05 PM

I very much like Costco meats, and if you don't have a regular butcher that you use, and have to choose between regular supermarket meat and Costco, I'd choose Costco everytime. And their prices for meat are excellent.

Cheeses and olive oil and balsamic.
Almost all of our paper goods, kleenex, paper etc.
Up here, every now and then our Costco has Jamacian Blue Mountain coffee, so I grab it when I see it.
laundry detergent and fabric softener
the large bottles of water for our water cooler
cases of coke for us and cases of gatorade for the lad
frozen cookie dough. Yes I know I can make my own, but sometimes, for a kid's bake sale at school this is just more practical.
Butter
Bacon


I'm sure there's other stuff, but I can't think of it right now.
Marlene
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#14 llc45

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:20 PM

I definitely second the recommendation for the baby back ribs (excellant quality - very meaty). We routinely buy the sharp cheddar, parmesan, fresh seafood, chicken thighs, frozen shrimp, and mesclun salad mix as well. Since I haven't found a butcher in my area that I like, this is our go to place for all things beef.

I must confess, we buy one convenience food just about every time - the chicken potstickers. There always great for a quick lunch. For awhile, they started carrying a different brand and we were devastated. Does anyone else really like any of their frozen convenience foods?

Special K - I remember that Artichoke dip as well!

Can't wait for my next trip to look for some of these extra items. Now, I'll never get out of the store in under 2 hours. Please keep it coming.

#15 Matt_T

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:28 PM

In the cookware dept, the Tramontina 5-qt Deep Saute is a steal at $30. I'd been shopping for a large stainless saute for a while, and seen many inferior pans sold as seconds, for double the price.

MT
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#16 llc45

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:36 PM


In the cookware dept, the Tramontina 5-qt Deep Saute is a steal at $30.  I'd been shopping for a large stainless saute for a while, and seen many inferior pans sold as seconds, for double the price.

MT

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I read about that somewhere else on this site. Unfortunately, my Costco doesn't seem to carry them. :sad:

#17 Terrasanct

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 04:53 PM

I forgot the rotisserie chicken! I've got one in the slow cooker right now, making some chicken noodle soup with the homemade-style noodles also from Costco. The chicken makes the best broth. Since my husband won't eat chicken, I prefer to buy it already cooked because he doesn't like the smell of it cooking, either. *sigh*

#18 slschnur

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 05:08 PM

Kirkland Tuscan EVOO, Starbucks French roast coffee, crab, shrimp, lamb, mussels at the seafood road show, basmati rice, spinach, chanterelle mushrooms, chickens ($0.69/lb) for broth, ribs, flank steak, brisket, cookbooks (from time to time), cokes, yogurt for husband's lunches, cottage cheese, milk, butter, oranges (for fresh juice), limes, lemons, grape tomatoes, wine, port, cheese - the selection's getting better & better, all those wonderful surprises that you happen upon in roaming the aisles!

#19 BekkiM

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:35 AM

I've been buying the big blocks of Manchego to have on hand for impromptu "weeknights with wine" with my girlfriends--it keeps well enough that it doesn't get mouldy before we've finished it.

This might be better posted in the "I'm a fraud" thread in Cooking, but I've also bought the spinach artichoke dip, dumped it into a baking dish, and brought it to friends' houses (I do fess up if anyone asks, though) and during this kitchen renovation marathon I've been in, I've bought the chocolate lover's cake several times when we needed a dessert.
Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

#20 Matt_T

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:53 AM

About the Tramontina saute - make sure you ask. Last time I asked, a Costco mgr told me they could order stuff that other Costcos carried (non perishable, I'd assume). That was a few years ago but hopefully it's still the policy. I have to do some shopping there tomorrow and will get the sku to post.

MT
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Matt T

#21 halogenic

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:32 AM

I always get the one pound tub of hummus (yes I know I'm lazy and should just make my own), massive quantities of gatorade and water (I swear I lose three pounds sweating it out on the line), and popcorn.

#22 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:24 PM

One of my friends got addicted to the Costco tapioca. She can't get it at her Costco (Ft. Lauderdale). Whenever she travels, she goes to the local Costco, and if they have it, brings a couple of tubs home in a cooler. :huh:
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#23 CaliPoutine

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 01:41 PM

I always get their pasturized lump crab in a can, in the refrigerated section. Also, their 3-pack of baby back ribs and U-12 frozen raw shrimp. And when they're on sale, their Alaskan king crab legs are great.

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Are you sure its Lump Crab? I always thought it was leg meat?

#24 Toliver

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:26 PM

One of my friends got addicted to the Costco tapioca.  She can't get it at her Costco (Ft. Lauderdale).  Whenever she travels, she goes to the local Costco, and if they have it, brings a couple of tubs home in a cooler.    :huh:

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This reminds me that some Costco's will offer local items that aren't available at other locations. For instance, some of the San Diego Costcos sell a two-pack of salad dressing from a local restaurant chain called Pat & Oscar's. It's a sort of lemony Greek-style dressing that is quite good. I always stock up when I visit my family since I can't get it at my local Costco. :angry:

A friend swears by the pre-made ribs (in the frozen section...not the hot ones next to the rotisserie chickens). She also enjoys the frozen salmon filets. She can take out what she needs and leave the rest in the freezer.
I like the Foster's twin pack of cooked chicken strips. Although they have those fake looking grill marks I find that the meat comes in handy for everything from stirfrys to chicken salad.

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#25 RunBe4UFly

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 05:30 PM

1. Who chicken @ .79/lb
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. Rice
4. Soy Sauce
5. Milk and Eggs
6. Stainless Steel Roast Pan
7. Napa Style Santoko set of three
8. Lodge Cast Iron skillet 12" and 10" set for $25
9. and Yoshida sauce (the bomb!)

Edited by RunBe4UFly, 18 October 2007 - 05:30 PM.


#26 highchef

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:23 PM

1. Who chicken @ .79/lb
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. Rice
4. Soy Sauce
5. Milk and Eggs
6. Stainless Steel Roast Pan
7. Napa Style Santoko set of three
8. Lodge Cast Iron skillet 12" and 10" set for $25
9. and Yoshida sauce (the bomb!)

View Post



Try the yoshida sauce as a marinade for cornish game hens! I put them on the grill after letting them soak in the sauce for a bit and they come out beautifully browned, and crispy..moist and tender. lovely things.

#27 lemniscate

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 06:50 PM

In the refrigerated section:

The herb-marinated in olive oil fresh mozzarella.
The carnitas and barbacoa.
Carnegie Deli pickle spears.
The uncooked tortillas.
The grape tomatoes.
The romaine lettuce.
The cheese selection (especially now as the Holidays are approaching, they seem to load up on some great stuff. The last couple years they had the Guinness infused cheese for Ireland! yum!).
sliced Salami and sopressata and roast beef.
Organic milk.
Eggs.

Frozen section:

Tilapia loins.

Grocery section:

Columbian Supremo coffee beans.
Chicken Broth.
Long grain rice.
Kirkland Olive oil
Kirkland Balsamic vinegar.
Dried fruits: apple, pear, blueberry, mango.
Bacon Bits

Adult Beverages:

Kirkland triple distilled French Vodka.

****Rotisserie Chicken of course*****


We have a Costco Business store here in Phoenix also. It caters to all kinds of businesses, but restaurants are a huge customer there. Any member can shop there also. Lots of open stock pots and pans (by the piece, not the set). I got a Sitram saucier there for about $30. They had Sitram pressure cookers for around $40 one year. I gave a couple as Christmas presents.

My occasional items at the Costco Business (besides kitchenware) are:

Quarts of heavy cream.
Torani caramel sauce.
Elbow macaroni and egg noodles. (the regular Costco does not stock these)
Wedge of gorgonzola (another thing the regular Costco stopped carrying)
Restaurant rye bread (sold by the loaf).

I <heart> all my Costcos.

(we even have a Costco Home furniture store here......)

Edited by lemniscate, 18 October 2007 - 06:52 PM.


#28 Chris Amirault

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:25 PM

Please note, non-Costco shoppers, the absence of other big box grocery retailers. Having finally made it to a Costco in Coeur d'Alene ID a few months ago, I can personally attest to the quality of Costco relative to, say, the wretched Sam's Club or BJ's stores.

If I lived in the area, I'd have grabbed those wild salmon steaks myself, as well as a few cases of wine.
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#29 Ted Fairhead

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:46 PM

I always get their pasturized lump crab in a can, in the refrigerated section. Also, their 3-pack of baby back ribs and U-12 frozen raw shrimp. And when they're on sale, their Alaskan king crab legs are great.

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Are you sure its Lump Crab? I always thought it was leg meat?

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They do have both in virtually identical cans, if its the same brand I am thinking of, "Philips". The cans look the same but its contents are shown in small print whether its lump, or not. My local Food Lion made a mistake, I guess, and sold the 'lump' cans for a little over $5. Stupid me, I only bought two!!!

#30 llc45

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 04:02 AM


In the refrigerated section:

The herb-marinated in olive oil fresh mozzarella.
The carnitas and barbacoa.
Carnegie Deli pickle spears.
The uncooked tortillas.
The grape tomatoes.
The romaine lettuce.
The cheese selection (especially now as the Holidays are approaching, they seem to load up on some great stuff.  The last couple years they had the Guinness infused cheese for Ireland! yum!).
sliced Salami and sopressata and roast beef.
Organic milk.
Eggs.

Frozen section:

Tilapia loins.

Grocery section:

Columbian Supremo coffee beans.
Chicken Broth.
Long grain rice.
Kirkland Olive oil
Kirkland Balsamic vinegar.
Dried fruits: apple, pear, blueberry, mango.
Bacon Bits

Adult Beverages:

Kirkland triple distilled French Vodka. 

****Rotisserie Chicken of course*****


We have a Costco Business store here in Phoenix also.  It caters to all kinds of businesses, but restaurants are a huge customer there.  Any member can shop there also.  Lots of open stock pots and pans (by the piece, not the set).  I got a Sitram saucier there for about $30.  They had Sitram pressure cookers for around $40 one year.  I gave a couple as Christmas presents.

My occasional items at the Costco Business (besides kitchenware) are:

Quarts of heavy cream.
Torani caramel sauce.
Elbow macaroni and egg noodles. (the regular Costco does not stock these)
Wedge of gorgonzola (another thing the regular Costco stopped carrying)
Restaurant rye bread (sold by the loaf).

I <heart> all my Costcos.

(we even have a Costco Home furniture store here......)

View Post


I always check out the carnitas but never tried them. What is barbacoa?

A business Costco and a Home furniture Costco???? I am way jealous.