Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A cheap import at Costco Wholesale doesn't go down easy

At Costco Wholesale in Hackensack on Tuesday, large jars of Del Destino-brand Quinoa with Basil Pesto from Peru were so cheap (see price below) I couldn't pass up buying one.

Ingredients include quinoa, basil (listed third), Grana Padano Cheese, virgin olive oil and garlic. This product is not to be confused with refrigerated Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto for dressing pasta.


I blinked a couple of times, but the price for a 34.5-ounce jar of Quinoa with Basil Pesto at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack didn't appear to be a typo.

The product combines two of my favorite foods --quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) and pesto -- but probably is best eaten as a salad right out of the jar or warmed up for a side dish.

A recipe on the label for Pesto and Shrimp Quinoa Bowl calls for Quinoa with Basil Pesto to be added to the pan after the shrimp are cooked and heated for 5 minutes.

I opened the jar, tried several unheated spoonfuls with dinner and liked how it tasted, but noticed a lot of oil on my plate.

I discovered it didn't agree with me after I went to bed, and plan to return it to Costco for a refund.

At Costco, a full liter of Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is $10.99, compared to $1.99 for a half-liter of Ponti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, below right, from Jerry's Gourmet & More on South Dean Street in Englewood. Both have similar ingredients, an acidity of 6% and no added caramel color. 
I was served Ponti Balsamic Vinegar in almost every restaurant I patronized during a 2010 trip to Milan, Venice and Lake Maggiore in Italy.

Costco's 100% Egg Whites and whole Organic Eggs, plus shredded cheese, went into the mixture for this frittata, which took advantage of a sale on scallions I came across at a Korean supermarket. I started the frittata on top of the stove until it set, covered the scallions with slices of reduced-fat Jarlsberg Swiss, also from Costco, and finished the frittata under the broiler.

Kirkland Signature Basil Pesto was used to garnish the frittata after it was removed from the oven, where it finished cooking and browned.

Costco prices

A 32-ounce package of Georgia blueberries was $6.49 on Tuesday at the Hackensack warehouse store, 50 cents less than a week before, but they are not the sweetest I've bought recently.

Costco first carried blueberries from Chile -- for as much as $9.99 for 18 ounces -- and ShopRite offered Florida berries.

Fresh wild sockeye salmon from the Copper River in Alaska was $14.99 a pound at Costco, but I found only two packages amid the artificially colored farmed salmon and steel-head trout, and they had been packed on Sunday.

Three 32-ounce jars of Classico Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce were $2 off ($4.79), and a new label says fresh basil, onion and garlic are used.

Two 40-ounce jars of Kirkland Signature Natural Peanut Butter -- made only from Valencia Peanuts and salt -- were $10.99, and when I got them home, I put them in the refrigerator to prevent separation.

A 1-pound tub of pre-washed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix was $4.99.

Target in Hackensack has good prices for the store brand of lactose-free milk. A half-gallon of Lactose Free 1% Reduced Fat Milk was on sale on Tuesday for $3.14. The regular price is $3.39. I also saw a half-gallon of fat-free Horizon Organic Lactose Free Milk for only $3.99. 

Groceries at Target

There aren't many grocery bargains at Target, but the Hackensack store is having a promotion through May 31.

I picked up two frozen Newman's Own  Thin & Crusty Pizzas with Uncured Pepperoni for $5.99, usually the price for one.

I also saw a promotion for 16-ounce jars of Salsa Verde at $2.99 each. If you buy three, you get one free (three for less than $6).

An employee said I could "mix and match" the different types of salsa available, but when I got to the register, one of my choices was $3.02 and I couldn't get the deal with two jars of salsa verde at $2.99 each.

Target is one of the few stores left that gives you money back for a reusable bag (5 cents). And if I had brought and used my Target credit card, I would have gotten 5% off my grocery purchases. 


  1. I also was at Costco Wholesale and brought a large jars of Del Destino-brand Quinoa with Basil Pesto from Peru. I couldn't pass up buying one. I mixed mine with brussel sprouts and roasted in the oven. It was great. Try cooking with it.

    1. Thanks. I took mine back and got a refund.

  2. It was $1.97 because it was a closeout. I can't believe anyone would go to the trouble to being that back and demand a refund. Seems petty, as does complaining about paying $3.02 for a third jar of salsa, instead of $2.99.

    Seriously, are you trolling?

    1. Also, I don't think my post is close to "trolling," which is making "a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting."

      You obviously don't know what the word means.


Please try to stay on topic.