Friday, January 31, 2014

Riding the price roller coaster at my Costco Wholesale warehouse

The price of Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon rose by more than $3 -- to $18.89 for a 1-pound package -- but it wasn't the only recent increase at Costco Wholesale.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss the up-and-down prices at Costco Wholesale, a new frozen vegetable blend and an old Fort Lee diner that has gone upscale.


Another one of my favorite foods -- the 3-pound bag of raw almonds sold at Costco Wholesale -- is more expensive.

We stopped buying roasted almonds and other nuts with salt; roast raw, salt-free almonds at home and dust them with Saigon Ground Cinnamon from Costco.

They are a favorite snack.

But the 3-pound bag of U.S. No. 1 raw almonds was $14.49 on Jan. 23 at my Costco in Hackensack, compared to $12.99 on Dec. 3, 2013.

A little Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto goes a long way to boost the flavor of tofu in a takeout dinner salad, above, or two organic brown eggs from Costco Wholesale,  served with organic brown rice, below.

Up and down

Prices seem to go up and down at Costco, but at the far smaller Trader Joe's, prices stay flat.

For example, Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix at Costco is $4.49, $4.79 or $4.99 for a 1-pound tub, and the price fluctuates.

The price for other produce, such as Sunset-brand tomatoes, also varies, but 3 pounds of bananas at $1.39 is a constant and the lowest price I've found in North Jersey.

Three products with lower prices than before are Jarlsberg Lite Deli Thin Sliced Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese (2 pounds for $8.59), salted cod from Canada (2 pounds for $11.99) and fresh mahi-mahi fillets ($5.99 a pound).

On Tuesday, my wife bought 10 pounds of organic carrots at Costco for the usual price of $7.99, and 10 pounds of sweet potatoes for the same price.

Asian-style veggies

A new frozen product, Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry Vegetable Blend, is $7.59 for a 5.5-pound bag that is labeled product of "USA, Canada, China, Mexico and Thailand."

Costco charges only $6.79 for a 5-pound bag of organic mixed vegetables.

The stir-fry blend turns mushy if you cook it in a covered pan, and when I followed the instructions and stir-fried the broccoli, snap peas and other vegetables in a wok for 5 minutes, they were still cold and had to be heated up in the microwave.

A cup of organic coffee at Chillers Grill in Fort Lee is $1.99, plus tax, with at least one free refill. It doesn't measure up to a good cup of non-organic coffee. The upscale diner at 2191 Fletcher Ave. replaced the Red Oak Diner.

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