I recently went to Costco. I thought I was going to fill my tank with gas and get a tub of cheese balls. Also on my list of possibilities was anything fresh that looked good, string cheese, and water.
I first forgot a cart but there were plenty by the registers to grab one inside. Then I slowly went through the aisles looking for cheese balls. If I saw something of interest, I put it in the cart to decide on later.
I grabbed grassfed beef jerkey and a dried fruit and nut variety platter on a nice wooden cutting board. I like to eat a range of food so a huge bag of any one thing is generally not my preference, if for no reason other than I can't finish it alone before it turns.
Next I had some dried blueberries. They eventually went back. I had 5 pounds of grapefruit, a tub of hummus, and 2 pounds of fresh french green beans. They went back.
The string cheese included 48, not the 24 I was thinking. Way too many for my fridge to fit if I also want other food in there and I do.
I took the 40 pack of water bottles to try, the idea being that I can freeze some, fridge it(I keep water in my cabinet, not my fridge), and it was cheaper per gallon price. Worth a try as I know I can refill or buy a new jug anytime. I got Kirkland mineral water as I've been enjoying the Pure Baby water with minerals lately.
I also got a mango juice. I like it and was in the mood once I saw it, also figuring it would freeze and make a tasty dessert of sorts.
When I put the big hummus back, I noticed the package of single serves including 20 of them. It costs more yet is better because I can eat them over time so I took one.
- A couple of meals lately. The small hummus is a good size for a serving and the Veggie Straws are light, tasty, and satisfying. The cheese slices are good, too! The chips pictured are Crunchmaster, also sold at Costco and delicious! I still had some so didn't buy more. They've a favorite.
This store did not carry cheese balls. Instead, I got a big bag of Veggie Straws which now includes sweet potato straws! And I got 2 pounds of four cheeses, pre-sliced and ready to eat. Again, I like variety and it seemed like something I'd enjoy.
As I walked through the store, I thought of what good prices many things were and then how much I'd be throwing away both of money and food because it would simply be more than I could consume. I'll also point out that storage is something to consider! The frozen aisle? Maybe the smallest product they sell there could fit in my freezer, otherwise there was no way!
So, here are a few things I took away from this experience.
My tips for what to get:
1. Anything you know you love and will eat and can fit.
2. Get the singles in bulk if you can fit them because it will last longer and may still be a better deal over time, especially if they can be stored in varuous places(often better than one large item.)
3. The water is cheaper than buying new jugs but more than refilling if you go for gallons. I paid $2.99 for 5.28g of water in the bottles whereas it was about 75 cents a gallon for the jugs. The jugs were sold as a 6 pack though- where would I put those?!
4. Plan to eat on the way out. I tried the pizza this time and it was tasty.
5. Check that it is a gas station Costco first. I thought it was and this location was not. The gas stations usually have a lower price and a higher quality fuel.
I do think shopping at Costco can still be useful as an RVer, it's just a matter of what works best for you. I was given a giftcard and don't currently have a membership. Depending on what you shop for and your eating habits, plus if you are near the ones with gas stations often, it could be a good deal to have a membership. For now, I appreciate the chance to try it and see how often I'm near a Costco to decide if it would be worth it to join. I travel solo, however, I do think that if a meet up were planned and a Costco nearby, it'd be worth seeing if folks wanted to go in on the bigger items and split them. For example, the paper towels are awesome! One roll lasts me a long time and the package is around 15 rolls which would likely last me over a year. Buying together and splitting would be worth it.
Anyhow for this trip, I got 7 items.
- Dried fruits and nuts- lots, variety, and easy to store. The jerky is really good as are the Veggie Straws. They sell them in individual bags, too. My preference this time was one big bag as the little ones would actually be more work for me to store in my space.
What I bought:
1 package 40 water bottles
1 package grassfed beef jerkey
1 cheese variety pack
1 mango juice
1 dried fruit and nut on a cutting board tray
1 bag of Veggie Straws
1 package of single hummus
And a slice of combo pizza on my way out.