As we get submerged under the autumn leaves, the prelude to a winter that is predicted to be very cold, there are some things that you want to stock up in large amounts, just in case of snowy storms and, for that purpose, Costco is my favorite place because of the size of the packages and for the good prices that you get by larger quantities.
However, not all bulk purchases Costco are a good idea because some bulk products may be of dubious quality, and you don’t want to get stuck with a lot of something that tastes ugly or that can get spoiled easily.
Coffee: smaller packs are better than Costco
It is inevitable for me not to think of coffee as a ritual. My Latino family taught me that coffee should always be good quality, and from sustainable, respectful sources. So, I strongly recommend buying ground coffee, and not that undrinkable instant stuff. First, because ground coffee is 100% natural and has no artificial additives, while instant coffee has other ingredients, like preservatives, that can compromise its quality, aroma, and taste. Some of the worst brands I’ve tasted, has less than 1% of actual coffee. It’s absurd to even call it coffee!
If you wanna go further, opt for the whole beans, and grind them at home. Personally, I have a coffee grinder at home and, when I’m felling picky, I grind that morning’s portion. In any case, its recommended to consume the entire package within two weeks from the opening date, according to experts in the field.
How to avoid the biggest pitfalls when shopping at a department store like Costco
If you’re planning on buying anything from a department store, it’s important to know how to avoid the pitfalls that can come with it. Department stores are known for their high prices and tricky return policies.
Department store traps to avoid
Do your research
The first step to avoiding traps when buying from a department store is to do your research. This means reading reviews, talking to friends, and looking for any red flags. For example, if a store is known for having bad customer service, you’ll want to avoid it.
Check the return policy
Before you make a purchase, always check the return policy. Make sure you understand the store’s return policy on returns, exchanges, and refunds. Some stores have very strict policies that make it difficult to get your money back, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you make a purchase.
Understand the store’s policy on sales
Many department stores have sales throughout the year, but some are more generous than others. If you’re looking to save money, it’s important to understand how the store handles sales. Some stores have regular sales that offer deep discounts, while others only offer sales on certain items or during specific times of year. Knowing this information in advance can help you plan your purchases and save money in the long run.
Costco’s food court meals
You will always grab, at least, a hot dog from the Costco’s food shop. And when felling intrepid, one or two rotisserie chicken, which has a great price/value proportion in the market. BUT, it’s opportune to eat it the same day or, as much, the second day after purchase, so you better don’t buy more chicken than you are gonna need in the next 48 hours. I don’t recommend saving it more days because it can lose its texture and flavour within the days. Also, it is not recommended to keep cooked food that many days in the fridge, due to the risk of food poisoning if not conserved in the proper temperature and humidity.
Mattresses: Don’t spare on your sleep
You can skimp and save on everything, seriously, on anything BUT your mattresses. When you are buying a new one, always keep in mind that you are going to spend a third of your life sleeping, so your beautiful body should rest on something of good quality.
Although Costco offers high-end mattress brands, the specialized magazine Sleep Advisor recommends buyers to investigate thoroughly before buying, at the same time that suggests monitoring prices on the different holidays of the year, because in some months the deals are better than in others (and not to mention Black Friday, the date of discounts par excellence).
Sauces and dressings: A double Don’t!
It may sound super cool to have a large bottle of mayonnaise in your fridge, but would you eat it in time before the expiration date arrives? What about ketchup, or mustard? The lifespan of mayonnaise is three to six months after opening, and it should always be stored in the refrigerator. Most brands recommend that it be consumed, at most, two months after it has been opened. Ketchup, if it is from a good brand, can keep its freshness for up to a year, but mayonnaise by its composition (egg-based) is more delicate.
It may sound like enough time, but before you buy a very large bottle of mayo, think about how many times a month you add it to a dish.
Flour: keep it small to keep it fresh
Unless you have a bakery, and you will use industrial amounts of flour, you better buy the small packs and not the bulk ones. Flour attracts water, and is prone to easily going rancid.
If you store flour too much time, it may attract little insects, like the despicable flour bugs, pantry weevils, rice bugs, wheat bugs, or flour worms, tiny beetles that feed on the dry food in your pantry. Flour, cereal, rice, cake mixes, and pasta. Even if you buy a 2 lb. bag, you better put it into a hermetic lid after opening, to keep undesirable visitors outside.
Fruits: As delicate as a banana
Honestly, I have to say that Costco never disappoints me with the quality of most of their products, but there is something that I don’t usually buy in their stores, and that’s fruits.
There are very delicate fruits, such as bananas o strawberries, which can rot quickly. The problem for Costco is that they buy gigantic amounts of inventory, and they may not get to move fast enough so, sometimes, they rot in their shelves. Such a shame.