Thursday, December 22, 2016

Members don't always welcome constant change at Costco Wholesale

On Tuesday, when I went searching for the Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix I have been buying from Costco Wholesale for years, I found another brand, above and below.
The price, $4.79 for a 1-pound package, was the same, but when I made a salad at home, I didn't find the organic radicchio or arugula I've enjoyed in the Earthbound Farm mixture.


I try to eat a salad after dinner every night, and probably go through more than 50 pounds of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix a year.

Costco Wholesale always has the best price -- under $5 -- and a 1-pound package lasts me about a week.

On Tuesday, I walked into a cold room at the Teterboro warehouse in search of Earthbound Farm and found another brand, Wholesome Garden.

I enjoyed the salad I made that night, but missed a couple of ingredients I usually find in the Earthbound Farm mixture.

At the fish case, I searched in vain for the long-line caught cod fillets from Iceland that are one of my favorites.

I planned to poach the skinless-and-boneless wild cod in a Mexican-style salsa from Whole Foods Market, but settled for another wild-caught fish from Iceland, flounder, at only $7.99 a pound.

Going, going, gone

I've learned to roll with the punches at Costco Wholesale, which runs out of, moves, stops selling or substitutes another product for a surprisingly large number of items.

I waited years for Costco to sell lactose-free milk, but all of sudden, the product disappeared from the refrigerated case, never to return.

I loved the 16-ounce cartons of Kirkland Signature 100% Egg Whites, but again, they disappeared for many months before returning this year.

The Egg Beaters the warehouse stocked instead were a lot more expensive than Costco's own product.

And where oh where are the Frankly Fresh Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves -- delicious when heated -- that I found at Costco several years ago?

One change for the better was when Costco started selling only cage-free whole and liquid eggs.

At the Teterboro Costco on Tuesday, only three of the fish fillets were wild caught.
The Teterboro Costco has started baking its own baguettes (2 for $4.99) and other specialty loaves every day, above and below. But the retail store at Balthazar Bakery on South Dean Street in Englewood sells a superior baguette for only $2 each.

Last week, my wife got a refund at Costco for a 5-pound bag of Moroccan Clementines, which we didn't like. On Tuesday, I bought a 5-pound bag of small, sweet clementines from Spain for $5.49. Today at the Super H Mart in Ridgefield, a 5-pound box of Bagu Clementines was $6.99.

My son, a dedicated carnivore, couldn't resist a 6-pound package of Seasoned St. Louis Ribs ($2.49 a pound), 5-plus pounds of Coleman Organic Chicken Drumsticks ($1.99 a pound) and a rack of Kirkland Signature Lamb Chops from Australia ($9.99 a pound).
I enjoy sunny side up Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs served over Kirkland Signature Organic Quinoa. Costco now sells 2 dozen cage-free organic brown eggs for a lower price, $5.99, and the house-brand organic quinoa comes in a larger bag (4.5 pounds instead of 4 pounds) for less than the national brand Costco once sold.
Thick Icelandic flounder fillets from Costco poached in under 10 minutes in a covered pan after I brought to a boil a 16-ounce jar of Roasted Chipotle Salsa from Whole Foods Market, a few ounces of chicken broth and fresh lemon juice.
I ate my flounder over leftover organic quinoa, which I prepared in an electric rice cooker with Kirkland Signature Organic Diced Tomatoes, black-eyed peas and olive oil.

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