|A box of California peaches sells for $11.99 Canadian in Montreal, compared to $9.99 at my Hackensack warehouse store.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Not long after we drove across the New York State-Quebec border on June 26, we saw our first Canadian Costco Wholesale.
We didn't know it at the time, but we were entering a sort of Costco heaven -- five warehouse stores within 6.5 miles of each other -- including three on the French-speaking island of Montreal, where my wife and I enjoyed the 35th annual International Jazz Festival.
We visited the Costco on Bridge Street in Montreal twice, purchasing bottled spring water, men's briefs, unsalted mixed nuts, salad dressing and other non-perishables.
But most of the food at Costco in Canada costs more than the same or similar items in northern New Jersey, where we live and shop in the Hackensack, Wayne and Clifton warehouse stores.
For example, the low-quality Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken, which is raised on antibiotics and seasoned heavily before roasting, is $7.99 Canadian, compared to $4.99 in the United States.
(A Canadian dollar is worth about 95 U.S. cents.)
Of course, that poulet de rotisserie is no bargain nutritionally in either country.
Costco rotisserie chicken makes great dog food
|Kirkland Signature Egg Whites or Blancs D'Oeufs.|
|A 32-ounce package of fresh blueberries from Georgia was $4.79 in Montreal, a lower price than the last time I bought them in Hackensack.|
|In Montreal, you won't find the 1-pound plastic tub of Earthbound Farms Organic Spring Mix, but there are plenty of salad greens from Mirabel, a Canadian company, though none of them appears to be organically grown. Packages are 11 ounces.|
Plenty of wine
Like the Wayne Costco, the Montreal store sells wine and beer, but none of the wine bottles carry the Kirkland Signature label.
I didn't see any wine for under $10 Canadian a bottle.
In Wayne, I've purchased 1.5 liter bottles of Kirkland Signature's smooth Cabernet Sauvignon from California for the equivalent of $4.49 a bottle.
Briefs, nuts and water
I bought three packages of Stanfield's-brand Men's Briefs, which are 100% cotton and made in Canada (they are called "Calecons" in French).
Each package of five briefs was $19.99 Canadian.
I also purchased a 1.13-kilogram jar of Kirkland Signature Unsalted Mixed Nuts (Noix Melange) for $17.99 Canadian; and 35 500-milliliter bottles of Kirkland Signature Spring Water for $3.99 Canadian.
Taxes on these and other purchases totaled 14.975%, compared to 7% in New Jersey.
We stayed eight nights in Montreal, and the weather was unusually warm and humid, prompting us to shower twice a day.
Costco came through with water to keep us hydrated, unsalted mixed nuts for snacking and the extra briefs I needed -- all at great prices.
|Wild sockeye salmon fillet, above, and farmed salmon steaks and fillets, below. Prices for fish and chicken are per kilogram or 2.2 pounds. The wild salmon fillets were about $12.58 a pound, comparable to the price in the Hackensack Costco.|
|In Montreal, Costco shopping carts and members are sheltered from the elements, a great idea that would be welcomed in northern New Jersey.|
Costco Wholesale, 300 Rue Bridge, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 1-514-938-5170.