Costco Produce - P's & Q's
I am planning a trip with friends who drive out to the suburbs for a Costco run next week. I know a lot of people here are Costco fans, so I was wondering if I could get a heads up about how their produce prices and quality stacks up against a regular market. We were talking about possibly splitting some stuff if the quantities you have to buy are too much for a two person household to reasonably consume. I live in Philadelphia, PA (I mention this as I imagine there are some differences in what produce is available where & when).
I buy a lot of their produce, and we are two adults and a toddler. I try to plan around the stuff that doesn't last too long..that way I end up with veggies I can use over time.
Prices change a bit, but everything on my list is usually much cheaper than a regular supermarket
- baby spinach - organic
- baby kale mix - organic
- spring mix - organic
- berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
- grapes (usually will split with family member)
- fingerling potatoes
- mango (both pre sliced and whole)
- medjool dates
- Brussels sprouts
Stir fry mix
The Brussels sprouts are a screaming deal at $4 or so for a 2 pound bag. I also buy the Cremini mushrooms, red or multi bell peppers, cherry or grape tomatoes and big bags of onions regularly. If they have them, the pre-trimmed haricots verts are a good deal and very convenient. I occasionally buy baby bok choy and pre-cut broccoli, which are also very good.
For fruit, they often have nice big pineapples for $3, which is way cheaper than I can get them elsewhere. Grapes are usually a good price and good quality. They also have great prices on frozen berries of all kinds.
1) You're in the mushroom state. buy some of the baby bellas!!
2) Carrots'll keep (I bought 20lbs two months ago, and the 5lbs I have left are fine.)
3) If you see white potatoes, they're local to PA. I prefer the big russets, which are fab.
4) If you can pull any Poconos apples, buy 'em!!
5) American oranges are fa-bu-lous!
6) buy garlic. distro to as many people as necessary.
7) Onions. Seriously, they go in everything!
8) Red Peppers (6 to a pack) yum!
9) Celery's good.
Either plan on cooking in bulk and freezing, or know which things will last (potatoes/carrots/onions/garlic) and buy those.
I've got a ton of frozen veggies from costco in the freezer.
My favorites are:
Organic baby spinach clamshell. $3.99
3pk butter lettuce clamshell. $4.49?
6pk romaine lettuce. $3.99
6pk mesh bag avocados. $4.99
sweet baby bell peppers.
Seasonally, fresh figs and apricots!
frozen organic broccoli florets.
I live alone and I don't find the sizes to be too big to consume before they go bad (I don't buy all of the above at once... And I eat a lot of fruit and veg!) and it's almost always been great quality too. I primarily shop in NC but I've had positive experiences with the produce in NJ/NY as well.
re: c oliver
re: c oliver
I'm surprised about your luck with the avocados too c. oliver. My technique is to put the newly purchased bag in the fridge for a week, and then take out one avocado and put it on the counter and keep a close eye on it. As soon as it feels a bit soft I use it up and take out another avocado. I'm surprised at how well this works for me.
I regularly get organic carrots, I believe aprox. 45 cents per pound. Blackberries are 3.79 for 18oz. Most supermarkets don't even come close with produce like romaine, mushrooms, celery, broccoli crowns and most fruit etc. The size and quality of fruit and produce are also superior to the markets.