Friday, July 10, 2015

At Costco Wholesale, price of fresh wild salmon drops to under $10

Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack grilled on the stove top and served with salsa and chopped garden herbs.

The price for wild sockeye salmon at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack dropped to $9.99 a pound this week from $13.99 a pound on June 23.

Editor's note: We're back from a vacation in Canada and Vermont, and preparing the simple foods that say, Welcome home. We noticed that wild salmon, rotisserie chicken and other items at a Costco Wholesale in Montreal were priced higher than in our Hackensack Costco.


This week, we returned from a vacation in Canada to find a dramatically lower price -- $9.99 a pound -- on fresh wild sockeye salmon at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

Even at the old price of $13.99 a pound, this sockeye is cheaper than the wild salmon sold at the Costco Wholesale on Bridge Street in Montreal.

In fact, many of the items we saw in the Montreal Costco on June 29 were more expensive than the same or similar product at the Hackensack Costco.

At the moment, the U.S. dollar is worth about $1.20 against the Canadian dollar. 

In Montreal, we bought six Ataulfo Mangoes ($6.99 Canadian), 3 pounds of bananas ($1.99 Canadian) and Vita Coco Coconut Juice ($17.89 Canadian), all for snacks in our hotel room.

I also bought 20 Stanfield's Briefs in black, gray and white ($19.99 Canadian for a package of five).

Made in Canada, they are 100% cotton. And they're the most comfortable men's briefs I've ever found. 

Changing money

When we visited the Montreal Costco last year, we paid a 3% surcharge on everything we bought in the form of a foreign-currency transaction fee imposed by American Express.

This year, we bought Costco Cash Cards in U.S. dollars online to pay for our purchases, and it looks like we got a discount of about 20% on all of our purchases at the Montreal Costco, including the photo service.

The U.S. dollar was worth about $1.20 Canadian during our visit.

I also brought a Capitol One Visa Card with no foreign-currency transaction fee to charge nearly everything else.

At the Hyatt Regency Montreal, where we stayed, the front desk gave me $46 Canadian in exchange for $40 U.S. -- less than the $48 I expected.

At an ATM machine, I withdrew $40 Canadian and my New Jersey bank debited my account $33.50 U.S. 

I used the machine after walking into the bank, where a teller told me I would have to pay a one-time fee of $5 Canadian to change money.

This Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese from Italy at a Costco Wholesale in Montreal is around $10.90 Canadian a pound, which is about what I pay for the same cheese in Hackensack, but the Ambrosi brand is aged longer, 30 months v. 24 months.

At $22.99 Canadian for 2.2 pounds, the Castelli brand of Parmigiano Reggiano costs about $10.45 Canadian a pound, and also is aged for 30 months.

In Montreal, Kirkland Signature Egg Whites come in four 500-gram cartons for $8.49 Canadian, compared to the six 454-gram or 16-ounce containers we bought in Hackensack for $9.99, up from $7.99 a year ago.

Costco's popular but low-quality Rotisserie Chicken is $7.99 Canadian in Montreal, compared to $4.99 in Hackensack.

Ingredients include salt, rice starch, sugar, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate and sodium triphosphate. The birds also are raised on antibiotics that are harmful to humans.

In Montreal, 2-pound packages of Jersey Fresh Blueberries were a good buy at $5.19 Canadian.

At $15.90 Canadian a pound, this fresh wild sockeye salmon cost more than the Alaskan fish offered in Hackensack, where the fillets cost $14.99 a pound and $13.99 a pound in June. This week, sockeye salmon dropped to $9.99 a pound in New Jersey.

Artificially colored farmed salmon in Montreal, where the price is given for a kilo or 2.2 pounds.

At the end of June, regular gas at the Costco in Montreal was about $4.67 Canadian a gallon ($1.22.9 per liter). Premium was over $5 a gallon.

One item I would love to see in Hackensack is this Vegepate, made from sunflower seeds, vegetables, soy sauce, spices and other ingredients. I tried a free sample and thought it contained meat.

You get three 227-gram pates for $6.99 Canadian.

Onions, carrots and potatoes are the vegetables used.
After our return to New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon, the first dish I prepared at home was a pound of organic whole-wheat capellini in bottled marinara sauce with added anchovies, red wine, extra-virgin olive oil and seasonings. At the table, I added grated Pecorino Romano Cheese and chopped herbs from the garden, including mint and parsley.

For breakfast the next morning, I ate two Costco organic brown eggs with leftover capellini, a great bread substitute.
For breakfast today, I had trouble completely folding this Egg Whites omelet stuffed with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, za'atar thyme mixture and salsa.

Tonight, leftover fresh wild sockeye salmon right out of the refrigerator crowned a dinner salad.

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