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What are the best foods to buy at Costco? [Moved from General Topics Board]

I have decided to become a Costco member. My best friend swears by the place, and always finds really cool and high-quality foods there, as well as good deals on other things. He even bought his fiancee's engagement ring there! Also, every article I've read about them says they treat their employees VERY well, and I'm happy to support a company like that, in this day and age of corporate amorality.

Also, I'm throwing a small party this Saturday -- a vaguely Halloween-themed costume party blended with a belated apartment-warming for myself. I'm expecting between 12 and 20 guests, and I'd love to get some good stuff. I really like those fresh mozzarella cheese balls that come marinating in oil and herbs, which I know Costco carries, but what other cool party foods should I look for? And what staples should I buy there as opposed to the supermarket (Publix and Albertson's, in my area)? I understand they have really good meats at a fraction of the cost of the supermarket, decent produce, good baked goods, and some affordable gourmet stuff. (I am a sucker for cold cuts, sausages, other salty cured meats, and cheese of all kinds.) Any advice would be welcomed. Just keep in mind I'm a grad student and I live alone in an apartment, so I don't have a limitless budget to be Foodie of the Century. I love good deals and saving money wherever I can!

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  1. Here are the food items we buy:

    Kirkland extra virgin olive oil
    Phillips jumbo lump crab meat - in the tin - bought it in the plastic a month ago and had to pitch it b/c it was mushy - the recipe for crabcakes on the tin is great.
    Rack of Lamb
    Beef Tenderloin
    Cheeses - they sometimes have some very nice high end cheeses
    Nuts - you could make spice nuts
    Instant Coffee (egads, I know)
    Pretty decent smoked salmon
    Wild salmon in season

    Good luck!

    1. My advice is to just visit the store and see for yourself what they offer - in my opinion your eyes will be a better judge than listening to our opinions on this board. You will see so many tempting, delicious-looking things (and at good prices) that it would be better if you picked based on your own judgment. The thing is, their return policy is great so in the off chance you wind up choosing something that isn't good, you can still get your money back.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monkuboy

        That's a good point - and they often have various "food sampling" stations, which might help you! Also a great place to pick up cookbooks.

      2. Costco ROCKS!

        I know this may sound crazy, but 2 nights ago we had boneless ribeyes from Costco -- 1.5-2lb boneless ribeyes. They were honestly better than the Whole Foods ribeyes.

        So, I know you are a student (as am I, though on a hiatus) but if you havea gf/bf you can go and get one of these gargantuan ribeyes, throw it on a grill and share it with your significant other for not-so-much money.

        1. i love the fresh lamb.
          rotisserie chicken
          crossiants
          cheeses

          i live in a little apartment. so occasionally - i have bought a large package of chicken/sausage/romaine lettuce/etc and then split w/ the friends. so that way your whole fridge/friedge isn't full of just one thing. and you can share the good quality and cheap costs w/ other people.

          just be careful of buying those huge jars of sauces etc. i once bought this gigantic bottle of bbq sauce - over a year later - it was still 1/2 full. i had to chuck b/c it smelled funky. so in that instance - i didn't save any $. even though i'm tempted to buy a lot of stuff - now i only stick to items that i really need or know i'll eat within a certain time limit - or you can go nuts shopping there.

          1. Cans of marcona almonds -- $6.99/lb. Simply irresistable!