Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Oct 27, 2006 05:26 PM

Best bargain at Costco (or Sam's Club)?

Of the regularly stocked items, what do you consider to be the best bargain at Costco? Or Sam's Club?

I think for me, when I'm about to do alot of baking, it's the 18 ct. eggs.

Sometimes, there are good bargains in the wine bin as well.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You didn' specify "food only", so here goes for Costco:

    Kirkland diapers and baby wipes

    Food-wise, it has to be the big bag of roasted almonds. Compare that with the price of a small can at the grocery store.

    1. besides the $1.50 hot dog and soda?

      At least here in Phoenix two pounds of fresh mozzerella(alas cow's milk not buffalo though) for $5.99 is a pretty good deal.

      Actually in general most of the cheeses are a great value but in our case iwth only two the pieces are cut much too large so we don't buy much. We do regularly buy the 1lb white cheddar block which is also a great deal(can't rememebr the price off the top of my head but a considerable savings over other places in town).

      1. I don't know that this is a bargain, but the housemade granola that they sell in their bakery section is like crack.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mollyomormon

          I just tried a sample of the granola ... did not find it all that great. Little too sweet and heavy.

          Maybe I'll have to give it another try ...

        2. COSTCO:

          frozen chicken tenders. Those suckers are a nice and easy start of a meal paired with a foreman grill. 5lbs for like 10 bucks.

          Rostissere chicken: have to eat 1st or 2nd day or it isn't as good.

          Pinwheels: love those things.

          Salmon: good stuff....also the LOX (or smoked salmon) is 10bucks a pound.

          Tilamook Cheese

          Salad in A Bag

          Everything @ the food court

          19 Replies
          1. re: Xericx

            Agree on the Rotisserie Chicken being very tasty, but not sure if it is all that great of a bargain.

            That being said, I really wish Costco would sell the chicken at the food court.

            Sometimes all I want will be the chicken, and having to go through the whole check-in, check-out process for one lone chicken is generally too big a deterrent.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              The whole chicken being $5 isn't a great bargain? I was floored when I went to Bristol Farms and saw a $14 rostissere chicken that looked 1/2 as fresh and 1/3 as large as the costco one. I love that thing with hummous...i make my own "Mock Zankou chicken" experience @ home.

              1. re: Xericx

                I can get it at Ralphs for just a bit more than $5 when it is on sale.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  The chickens at Costco are much bigger than the chickens at any supermarket I've been to, including Ralph's. They are easily 3 1/2 to 4 (or more) lb. birds. The rotisserie chickens at most supermarkets are 2 - 2 1/2 lbs. Costco gives you a real deal -- and the chickens taste good, too. Julia Child, by the way, was a fan of these cooked chickens and also of Costco's beef roasts and steaks.

                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                    Why are the chickens so big? Someone told me that it tasted extremely fatty and full of chemicals (granted, he likes organic). I haven't had it but (don't live in the states or country with Costco) but I've only read good reviews here. What gives?

                2. re: Xericx

                  I don't understand all the raves about Costco roast chicken--it's just a Foster Farms bird, iirc, which is nothing special in my book. My Bristol Farms has nice, fresh plump organic Rocky and free range Rosie, which I think has much better flavor and aren't fed feed with growth hormones and pesticides--I'd take those any day, even though they are more expensive.

                  I have found two new tasty things at Costco recently:

                  1. Cuisine Solutions New Zealand Lamb Shanks slowly cooked in Rosemary and Mint Sauce. Package of 4, individually packged and very good, meat falls right off the bone.

                  2. Pasta Prima Spinach & Mozzarella Ravioli. Very homemade, fresh tasting triangular ravioli with grated herbed cheese to sprinkle on top.

                  1. re: Moka

                    The Bristol Farms Chickens are $14.99, aren't they? I've seen those, they usually sit underneath a heat lamp for a while. At costco, you see the chickens being cooked and they seem to have a really high turnover rate. They are brined pretty heavily and they are a big bird...sometimes they can get a bit dry, but for the price they're hard to beat.

                    And foster farms doesn't use hormones and pesticides IIRC.

                    Are costco chickens the absolute penultimate of rotissere chickens? No. But for $5 a pop, they're a fantastic deal.

                    1. re: Xericx

                      Xericx, our Bristol Farms stores may be different. The Rocky roast chicken at my BF are roasted in the store's kitchen and they're visible cooking from the counter, too. They sell for $4.99/lb., the sizes vary slightly, so the cost of them are all different according to size. They are the best-tasting and best-textured roast chicken I've eaten of all the supermarket roast chicken in my area, and then they are organic. They look good and sell fast. In fact, if I wait too long in the day to buy one, they are all sold out.

                      Foster Farms birds taste too salty to me and there's a "chemical" flavor in the background that I don't like. They do say "no added hormones", though I guess it depends on how strictly they interpret the word "added".

                      So, if you like the taste, the $5 Costco birds certainly are a great value for you, but they're not a great value for me.

                      1. re: Moka

                        The bristol (westchester) I go to just has them under a heat lamp in aluminum wrapped up. I've never tried them. This BF is probably one of the worst I've been to, but its just down the street. I like the MB locatation better.

                        And the problem with the costco chicken as far as the taste goes is the brine they use to flavor the chicken before cooking it. It seems like its unaturally "plump" for who knows whatever reason, but I doubt Costco is the type of operation that lends itself to creative interpretation on addition of hormones.

                        For my uses, its a great value. I often eat them in wraps, make into chicken salad or sandwhiches, so the salinity is quite muted.

                        1. re: Xericx

                          I don't blame you for passing on the BF foil-wrapped roast chickens--who'd want to buy that? The store needs a heads up!

                          Costco's (Foster Farms) birds are factory-injected with a solution of salt and sodium phosphate, plus binders that trap moisture in the meat. This "enhancement" explains why the birds look so plump to you and why I get so thirsty after eating them. Using the meat mixed with other foods, like you do, is a great idea to get around that issue.

                          I meant that it's Foster Farms interpretation of the "no added hormones", not Costco's. Afaik, Costco just roasts the birds. If there's no hormones, that's great, but it's a sad fact that mass-produced birds like these are raised in unhealthy "feedlot" conditions. Their chicken feed contains FDA-approved drugs which kill microbes and fatten the birds (some of which contain arsenic), antibiotics (even if they say they aren't using them routinely in the feed, they're using them), corn and soy that are grown with pesticides and most probably are genetically-modified, and other additives that consumers aren't told about.

                          On the bright side, organicly-raised birds don't have those concerns, which I love--and they taste better. Now, if we could just get Costco to start roasting Rockys at a good price, that would really be a good value, at least for me.


                          1. re: Moka

                            I'll give it a try at a better location though!

                            FYI, I went to costco last night, now they're selling "Rotissere chicken salad" for 4.99 a pound. probably the leftover chicken they don't sell.........its pretty good....comes with some cherry tomatos

                            1. re: Xericx

                              oh that's funny. earlier today i posted about using the Costco chicken to make my "famous" chicken salad. Well, it's famous at the W. house anyway.

                              You can pick a ton of meat off those Costco birds.

                            2. re: Moka

                              I know I am late to the party but I have a friend who has been contracted and certified through Petaluma Poultry to raise their Rocky and Rosies. Interestingly enough, she told me Petaluma Poultry is simply a division of Foster Farms.

                              1. re: EAH

                                Not true. Petaluma Poultry (originally part of BC Natural Foods) is now owned by Coleman Natural Foods LLC.


                        2. re: Xericx

                          FYI, no chicken produced or sold in the US has added hormones. It is illegal to give poultry or pork added hormones, and pointless anyway. Poultry and pigs grow so quickly, feeding them hormones does no good.

                        1. re: michele cindy

                          I don't know how Xericx does his/hers, but for me that means picking up some fresh pita and then mixing best foods mayo with tons of ganulated garlic to make a simple version of their garlic sauce.

                          is it equal to Zankou? Nope. But it's easy, and very good!

                        2. re: Xericx

                          The other day, just for kicks, I looked up the prices on the same big fat chickens Costco sells roasted for $4.99, fresh off the rotisserie. The raw ones were in packages of two, each of which went for around $15.50. That's almost $8 for a raw bird that you can buy freshly roasted for $4.99. This is in Hawaii ... raw-chicken prices here may or may not resemble those at mainland U.S. Costcos. But still, for shoppers out here at least, the roasted birds are a HUGE bargain.

                    2. Vitamins - just vitamins and supplements alone justify the cost of yearly dues.

                      Food items - I always buy their brand canned salmon, Tonnino yellowfin tuna in olive oil and King Oscar sardines <= nice to have around for a quick lunch. They have best prices in town for Manchego, comte and picorino romano. they have best prices on australian leg of lamb -$4/lb (boneless). I generally find their meats a good value for the quality you get.