Saturday, April 6, 2013

The price is always right at Costco Wholesale

Kirkland Signature Parchment Paper eliminates the need for aluminum foil when you broil chicken, roast unsalted almonds and prepare other food.
Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon is preservative free, sliced and packaged in two half-pound pouches. Recently, the price went up 20 cents, to $15.59, but it is still lower than smoked wild salmon sold at Whole Foods Market, Fairway Market or other stores.

Editor's note: Today's buffet includes a review of prices at Costco Wholesale, Starbucks v. Dunkin' Donuts, an inexpensive Korean meal and a restaurant that serves naturally raised meat.

Costco Wholesale offers high quality and prices that usually can't be beat as a reward for buying larger quantities.

Ten pounds of sweet potatoes are $5.99, and 10 pounds of carrots are $5.49.

Four full half-gallons of Tropicana orange juice are $11.19.

Two dozen organic brown eggs are $6.99, and 1 pound of pre-washed Earthbound Farms Organic Spring Mix is an unbeatable $4.99 or less.

Earthbound Farms Organic Spring Mix with tomatoes and cucumbers from Costco.

For $9.39, we buy a 6-pound bag of frozen, large, California-grown strawberries for smoothies.

Bananas are 3 pounds for $1.39, and no one matches that price.

Raw, sodium-free almonds we roast at home are $12.99 for 3 pounds.

Eight 14.5-ounce cans of Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes -- I add them to rice and pasta, and poach fish in them -- are $5.99

Trader Joe's prices seem never to change, and the California-based chain charges the same price in Paramus and Manhattan for organic whole-wheat pasta and other items.

But Costco prices fluctuate, up and down.

A 2-pound package of Jarlsberg Light reduced-fat Swiss cheese, which I use in omelets and eat with fruit, was $8.59 on Tuesday, compared to $9.99 as recently as February. 

Sunset Beefsteak Tomatoes. Costco cashiers will count the tomatoes in each box to catch customers who try to sneak out with an extra tomato or two.

But a 5-pound box of hothouse-grown beefsteak tomatoes from Sunset were $7.59 on Thursday -- 60 cents more than the previous time we bought them.

Last week, we bought our first roll of Kirkland Signature Parchment Paper after years of using expensive aluminum foil to roast chicken, fish and sodium-free raw almonds.

We have never been sure whether the aluminum foil can be recycled after we use it, and have been throwing it away.

The box is labeled "Genuine Vegetable Parchment," and a roll (15 inches by 164 feet) is only $5.99. 

The paper can also be used for baking or for wrapping food you want to boil or steam. It withstands temperatures up to 420 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the package.

The cabbage kimchi and other free side dishes were unusually fresh last Saturday night at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park, above, where I ordered a seafood pancake ($11.99), below, instead of my usual spicy tofu stew and big stone bowl of steamed white rice (118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, 201-313-5550).

Other members of my family had tofu stew and meat-filled dumplings, rear.

The small or tall coffee at Starbucks is 12 ounces, compared to 10 ounces at Dunkin' Donuts. Although Starbucks is more expensive, the coffee is far superior, and there often are deals on custom-ground coffee beans for $6.95 a pound, with $5 added to your Starbucks card.

When is the last time you saw a sign like this outside a restaurant in North Jersey or Manhattan? Kristophe serves antibiotic-and hormone-free "eastern European-inspired comfort food" in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to its Web site.

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