Saturday, October 31, 2015

Paradox at Costco: Walk through the entire warehouse to save energy

GOOD EXERCISE: The most efficient way to shop at the bigger Costco Wholesale in Teterboro is to walk each and every aisle, picking up items on your list as you see them, instead of going on individual searches, which takes more time and energy.

HOT AND COLD: After walking aisles with packaged, canned and bottled goods, turn your attention to the section of the store with fresh food in refrigerated cases and rooms, such as seafood and salads, and again, walk each and every aisle, picking up items on your list. Then, it's time to check out.


I've conquered Costco Wholesale's huge new warehouse in Teterboro.

I returned to the Teterboro warehouse on Friday, eight days after a previous visit that exhausted me as I tried to track down items on my shopping list in a totally unfamiliar setting.

Then, I gave up without finding a bouquet of flowers my wife wanted, and when I asked another customer for directions to the bottled water, he pointed to the farthest corner of the huge warehouse.

This time, I walked every aisle and picked up items as I saw them.
Once a week

This year, we reduced our Costco shopping trips to once a week.

We can make the most of those visits by getting in and out as quickly as possible, with a minimum of effort, but we still rely on Costco for most of our food purchases.

On Friday, I spent 1 hour and 15 minutes in the Teterboro warehouse, stopping first at Optical just inside the entrance to pick up two pairs of new glasses I had ordered.

Then, I started to walk the aisles of packaged, bottled and canned goods until I got to Pharmacy at the other end of the warehouse.

There, I picked up a prescription I had called into the smaller Hackensack warehouse before it closed on Oct. 13, about 21 years after it first opened.

Fresh fish

I left the section of the Teterboro warehouse with refrigerated fresh food for last on Friday. 

A highlight was picking up two fresh whole red snappers, which were wild caught in Nicaragua and scaled ($6.59 a pound).

At home, my wife seasoned the fish, rubbed minced fresh garlic inside the body and head, and cut them in half to fit into a pan with hot olive oil.

She fried them for about 7 minutes on each side, and they made a delicious dinner with a splash of fresh lime juice. 

Other purchases

On my stroll through the aisles, I picked up my favorite snack, one that allows me to skip lunch, Nature's Bakery Fig Bar, 36 2-ounce twin packs that are non-GMO, dairy free, kosher and made without high-fructose corn syrup ($10.99).

A 1-pound package of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix was a low $4.29, compared to $6.99 in a supermarket.

A 96-ounce jug of Lactaid 2% lactose-free milk was $4.99, a dollar less than at ShopRite.

I returned a grinder of Kirkland Signature Sea Salt ($2.79), because it didn't contain iodide (an important nutrient), but the label on the shaker of Kirkland Signature Mediterranean Sea Salt I bought doesn't indicate whether it does or doesn't ($3.49).  

Limited parking

The new Costco opened on Oct. 14 in Teterboro Landing, a shopping center off of Route 46 that hasn't been completed, and parking is tight.

On Friday, I arrived a little after 10 in the morning, and parked at the back of the lot, which had plenty of empty spaces.

An hour and 15 minutes later, when I rolled my shopping cart to my car, the lot appeared to be full.

One big improvement is that lazy shoppers waiting for spaces nearest the warehouse door in Teterboro don't block the parking lot's entrance road, as they often did in Hackensack.

Costco Wholesale, warehouse and gas station, 2 Teterboro Landing Drive, Teterboro, across from Teterboro Airport; 201-596-7001.

NEW IN TETERBORO: Costco's oversized shopping carts are sheltered at the new warehouse in Teterboro, as well as stored outside in parking-lot corrals.

WE SHALL RETURN: The Teterboro warehouse has a separate entrance for returns. There was no such thing at the old Hackensack warehouse, where the line for returns often blocked the exit.

GROWING SELECTION: Among items I didn't see in the smaller Hackensack warehouse are these Chanterelle Mushrooms from Canada. The woman whose head is visible in the photo methodically examined more than a dozen containers of berries before selecting one. 

BIGGER IS BETTER: California Pomegranates are back in 9 pound boxes for $14.99. At 1.5 pounds each, they are much bigger than pomegranates sold at ShopRite and other supermarkets.

OH SAY CAN YOU SEE: A view of the Teterboro warehouse from the Pharmacy. In the distance is Optical, which is near the entrance.

I'LL PASS: These previously frozen Farmed Black Tiger Prawn are from Vietnam, but Costco provides no information on where or how the large shrimp are raised. I stopped buying them more than a year ago, and wait until I can find wild-caught shrimp at other stores, including H Mart and Whole Foods Market.

Costco also has sold bigger Farmed Black Tiger Prawn for about $15 a pound.

GO APE: Organic bananas ($1.99 for 3 pounds) are a better deal than the conventional bananas sold at Costco ($1.39 for 3 pounds).

SAY CHEESE: Costco is still selling aged Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy, one of the world's greatest cheeses, for a low $8.49 a pound, a few dollars less per pound than before. 

CLEAN BREAK: With Kirkland Signature Dishwasher Pacs, you get more for less money than Cascade Complete Acton Pacs, even with an instant coupon, below. And they do a better job.

With Cascade Action Pacs, I would sometimes find grit on the back of plates, a problem I don't have with the dishwasher packs from Kirkland Signature, Costco's private label.

NAME THAT EGG: The sign says Pete and Gerry's Free Range Brown Eggs, but the package label says Nellie's Free Range Eggs. Anyway, at two dozen for $6.49, it makes more sense to buy 24 Kirkland Signature Organic Brown Eggs, also free range, for $6.99. Costco still sells white eggs from caged chickens years after the company pledged to stop doing so.


  1. You have the telephone number transposed; it is actually (201) 596-7001.

    1. Thanks. I've corrected the number in my post.

  2. Pete and Gerry's is Nellie's Egg same company one is their free range certified humane and P&G is organic certified humane and both are better than the costco organic eggs (the kirkland eggs were rated on the "worst" organic egg list). Just crack them open and compare side by side and you will see for yourself.

    1. I don't see "organic" on the sign for Pete and Gerry's eggs. What make them "better"? They look better?

      I often have the Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs sunny side up, and they taste terrific.

      And, Chris, what does "CMM" after your name stand for?


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