Yesterday Brett and I did our monthly Costco shop-athon. As always, I both loved and hated the experience: Loved it because I honestly always enjoy food shopping, but hated it because it involved pushing a huge, unwieldy cart around while we dodged tourists (were we that obvious before we moved here?), followed by getting everything loaded in the car, home and put away before it melted.
We avoid most processed food at Costco, and stock up on basics that can be used to create meals throughout the month. We always shop with a list, and with a very, very few exceptions do not buy something that’s not on the list. No matter how much we like a sample, or see something else that catches our eye, it goes on the list for the next shopping trip. What would be an exception? If we spot a limited supply of an item we would otherwise buy from Amazon and the price is the same or better, we’ll buy it then even though it’s not on the list. Why? Because we know it won’t be there next time. This week Costco had organic Triscuit crackers, so we picked up a box of those because we know we won’t see them next month when we’ll need crackers.
Costco has become a fantastic source for organic and vegan food items, and our Costco here also carries many Hawaiian products, such as Kauai-made granola, manapua (steamed BBQ pork buns), organic honey from the Big Island, guava danish, pineapples from Maui, ahi poke, fresh locally-caught fish, and other favorites. The Spam selection is very impressive ;-). They also stock several locally grown produce items.
Combined with our weekly trips to the farmers’ market, and the few items we buy at other local groceries, our once-a-month shopping trip at Costco goes a long way toward keeping our food budget manageable. Costco also supplies the cheapest gasoline on the island. It’s more than it costs on the mainland (yesterday it was $2.37/gallon), but less than what we’d pay in town.
Here’s what’s coming up on this week’s menu:
- Tuesday (this evening): Bacon, lettuce, tomato & avocado sandwiches; potato salad (no bacon on my sandwich)
- Wednesday: Grilled fish tacos with fresh mango salsa; corn on the cob
- Thursday: Spaghetti with greens, toasted pine nuts & parmesan cheese; garlic toast
- Friday: Grilled mahimahi skewers with pineapple-mandarin sauce; cilantro rice
- Saturday: Leftovers
- Sunday: Hamburgers; sweet potato fries (veggie burger for me)
- Monday: California Roll Salad
A few days of outdoor cooking, sandwiches, and a main dish salad will hopefully keep things cool in the kitchen this week. I’ll let the girls fix the spaghetti with greens ;-). Only one thing got changed on last week’s menu – I served chicken flautas with guacamole and pico de gallo instead of potstickers and lo mein yesterday evening.