Sunday, January 31, 2016

We're loving Costco Wholesale more, but visiting the warehouse less

Triple-washed Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix is ready to go from the package to your plate, and Costco Wholesale's price is the best in northern New Jersey.


The price of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, the world's best store-bought salad, hit a low of $4.29 a pound last week at Costco Wholesale.

And the Teterboro warehouse has added more organic products under the Kirkland Signature house label, including marinara sauce and pignoli nuts.

Still, we're cutting our visits to once every two weeks from once weekly, because the Teterboro Costco, like the smaller Hackensack warehouse it replaced, is just too popular.

The Teterboro Costco opened in mid-October in a Route 46 shopping center that is a work in progress, and parking is always tight.

And the store itself is far larger than the Hackensack warehouse, so we're still familiarizing ourselves with where everything is.

But even with all that extra room, the warehouse always seems to be crowded, and that may be because Costco signed up more than 1,000 new members in the days after the Teterboro warehouse opened. 

The one salvation is that check-out seems faster and more efficient than it was in Hackensack, and the receipt checkers at the door don't hold you up when the warehouse is busy.

Costco Wholesale sells smoked wild Alaskan sockeye salmon two ways, including this fully cooked fillet made with brown sugar that doesn't require refrigeration before it is opened. 

The slow-smoked salmon fillet from Trident Seafoods lists only 1 gram of sugar for a 2-ounce serving. The 1.5-pound fillet I bought in December was $15.97, and carried a use-by date of 2021.

Smoked salmon 2X

One must be kept refrigerated, and tastes like salted slices of raw fish -- good in omelets, salads and eaten out of hand.

The other, with a shelf-life of more than 5 years, is both sweet and salty, and tastes great on its own or in salads.

The Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon from Kirkland Signature and Trident Seafoods both use the same heart-healthy fish, but the resulting product couldn't be more different.

The thicker, skin-on sockeye salmon fillet from Trident Seafoods tastes closer to canned fish. Add it to a salad for a light dinner with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
Pitted olives, shaved Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Campari Tomatoes and cucumbers over Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, all dressed in extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

An organic spring-mix salad with organic pignoli or pine nuts.

Pine nuts are one of the ingredients in Costco's wonderful prepared Basil Pesto, so they make a terrific garnish for Organic Whole Wheat Shells with Pesto and Black Truffles. The small $10 bottle of truffles from the Teterboro warehouse didn't have much flavor, but that may because I didn't have enough for the pound of pasta I prepared. On a travel show I saw recently, a waiter in a restaurant in Italy shaved a couple of ounces of large black truffles over a single dish of pasta.

Snowy fillets of fresh wild-caught flounder after they were poached in pre-heated Roasted Poblano Salsa made creamy with no-fat Greek yogurt. The fish was $7.99 a pound at Costco Wholesale, and the salsa came from Whole Foods Market, where the 365 Everyday Value brand contains no added sugar.

Price checks

My wife made our last visit to the Teterboro Costco on Wednesday, about two weeks after her previous trip. 

She brought home: 2 pounds of Campari Tomatoes, the only way to get through a winter without Jersey tomatoes ($4.99); 10 pounds of California carrots ($6.49); 5.5 pounds of Gala Apples from Washington State ($9.99), and that 1-pound tub of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix ($4.29).

The price of the organic salad mix fluctuates throughout the year, but the highest I've seen at Costco is $4.99, compared to $6.99 at ShopRite supermarkets.

Three large, long hothouse cucumbers were $3.49. They carried a label with a weight of 2 pounds, but were fatter than usual and on my kitchen scale hit 3.3 pounds.

A 2-pound bag of Organic Green Beans -- washed, snipped and ready to use -- was $5.99.

Raw, sodium-free California Almonds were $17.99 for a 3-pound bag. We roast them and dust them with cinnamon for snacking. 

A 5-pound bag of large limes from Mexico was $5.79. Six Hass Avocados from Chile were $3.99.

Two 3-liter bottles of Pure Olive Oil, a cooking blend that includes extra-virgin olive oil, was $27.99 or about $4.67 a liter.

Olive oil doesn't contain genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), unlike many others for cooking, including soy, canola and corn oils.

Organic Whole Wheat Fusilli from Whole Foods Market dressed with no-added-sugar Botticelli Marinara Sauce from ShopRite, and sardines and anchovies from Costco Wholesale. I also added a few ounces of red wine, extra-virgin olive oil, red-pepper flakes, granulated garlic and other seasonings to the sauce before I heated it up.

Rebates on way

In the next few weeks, I'm anticipating the arrival of rebate checks from American Express and Costco that more than cover my annual executive membership fee of $110.

A regular membership is $55 a year.

The American Express rebate is 2% for purchases at Costco, and we also earn cash back at restaurants, gas stations and other stores.

On top of that, we get a 1% rebate from Costco on everything we buy in the Teterboro warehouse.


  1. I told a friend of mine who frequents Costco about the pesto you rave about. She finally broke down and bought some and is addicted to it!

  2. Yes, it can be addictive. I'm finishing my jar tonight with organic whole wheat linguine (pesto expiration is Feb. 10).


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