A rainy day at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, where home cooks find many high-quality ingredients at prices that usually beat the competition.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
You won't appreciate Costco Wholesale if you spend most of your food dollars on takeout and restaurant meals.
Some of the prepared food at Costco isn't very good, but the warehouse store is filled to the rafters with wild-caught fish, organic poultry, exotic spices and other ingredients at great prices.
Costco is a playground for home cooks, especially those who want to serve more organic and non-GMO foods to their families, including fig bars, spring mix, quinoa and versatile diced tomatoes.
For years, Costco has had the lowest price anywhere for 3 pounds of bananas, only $1.39, but last week, my wife found organically grown bananas next to the conventional ones for only $1.99.
On my home kitchen scale, the bag weighed 3.3 pounds.
Costco's union workers
You can't beat a food store that takes a fixed profit on every item it sells and employs a unionized work force.
Costco could never be confused with greedy Walmart, which peddles low-quality food and fattens its bottom line on the backs of its workers, many of whom earn so little they have to apply for food stamps.
Is the annual Costco membership fee of $55 or $110 a deal breaker?
With a no-fee Costco American Express True Earnings credit card, you earn cash rebates on purchases at Costco and other stores, restaurant meals and gasoline that more than cover the membership fee.
The wine section at the Costco Wholesale in Wayne. You can also find Kirkland Signature's delicious California Cabernet Sauvignon in a 1.5-liter bottle for only $7.99.
These Kirkland Signature 100% Italian Silk Ties also were $17.99 each, though I find the patterns too conservative. This week, we picked up a wool-and-cashmere overcoat for our growing teenage son for only $69.99.
Egg whites, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and smoked wild salmon -- all from Costco -- were poached in bottled pasta sauce and served over mashed sweet potatoes for breakfast.
These aged, sharp cheddar slices were $6.99 when introduced at the Hackensack warehouse store in March. On Monday, they were $7.99, still a good buy for 2 pounds of cheese.
About a month ago, I picked up this 2.2-pound bag of organic coffee at the Hackensack warehouse store for only $14.99 after trying a sample of coffee brewed from the beans. I also was able to get it ground to my specification -- Turkish.
The Ruta Maya Organic Coffee helps me brew two or three strong, smooth cups in the morning.