My Opinion on CostCo

My sister, Beans, has a CostCo membership, so she took me on a preview trip to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Armed with my trusty price book, I set out for some serious comparison shopping.

On most items that I would normally buy, it looked like my neighborhood grocery store was cheaper. “Normally buy” is important here. It’s tempting to buy 8 pounds of seaweed salad, but it’s not a necessity. Stick to your normal list, because bulk impulse purchases add up QUICKLY.

The gas was also the same price as my usual store, though I’ve heard it’s usually significantly cheaper. The lines of cars waiting to fill up attest to that also.

The things that I found to be good deals were hummus, quinoa, dishwasher tabs, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Some of the other produce were cheap, but not cheap enough to justify the risk that some of it might spoil before we got to it. They do have very high quality produce, which is nice.

I didn’t price compare on larger purchases, like tires, TVs, and appliances. If you plan to buy something like that, the savings might justify the membership cost. As always, just comparison shop.

On cheese, eggs, and dishwasher tabs alone I save about $19. An annual membership is $55, so I’d have to save this much 3 times per year to justify the cost. Honestly, seems like it would pay for itself pretty easily. Personally though, since the store right by my house is almost as cheap, I’d have to debate making the special effort. As you can tell I’m still on the fence.

Overall, it seems like the store brand, Kirkland, is usually cheaper than my normal grocery store. Unfortunately, it’s not available on all items. If name brands are important to you, or you buy lots of prepackaged foods, or what I consider “luxury foods” like goat cheese and smoked salmon, you will probably save a bundle at CostCo. If you’re more like me, and tend to buy staples like chicken and rice, it might not be worth it, especially if you succumb to impulse buys. That reminds me, anyone want some mayonnaise? I have a 14 gallon drum I need to use up.

April 9, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Thriftiness is Cool. 3 comments.

More kitchen Efficiency

The other day I was yet again in the kitchen chopping vegetables. As I was preparing to make soup I thought, “Why should I chop veggies for just one pot of soup when I make it all the time?” So I chopped double, and put one batch in the freezer! If you’ve been following the blog as religiously as I hope, you can one day end up with a perfect storm of tastiness in your freezer: shredded chicken, your pre-chopped veggies, and some amazing broth, all ready to be assembled.

Any time you’re chopping stuff, think to yourself “What else could I be chopping?” This saves time and mess later, and makes it that much easier to cook at home rather than going out, or living on mac ‘n cheese.

Below, left to right we have onions for breakfast tacos, freezer soup veggies, current soup veggies, compost for scraps, veggies for chicken salad, and veggies for my dog, Flapjack. He freaking loves frozen green beans and the ends of carrots.

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Also, this is my 500th blog post! I have been blogging for about 4 years now, which just blows my mind. I wish I had something special planned, but you know, just had a baby and all that. As a mini-celebration, I will send a hand-crafted item to someone who comments on this post. For real! You will get something created by my elegant hands. I will choose a comment using secret and completely arbitrary criteria, but if you make me laugh you have a good chance. I know you can barely contain yourselves, so have at it minions!

April 5, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Cooking. 4 comments.

New Meaning for Dog-sitter

As most of you know, I recently had a baby. Now that he’s over three months old, I don’t have to watch him like a hawk the way I used to. We’ve been working with our dog, Flapjack, this whole time so he can take over some of the baby-watching duties. It’s important to start early, so that dog and baby are familiar with the routines by the three month mark.

Start training your dog by rubbing peanut butter on the baby. Allow your dog to lick it off. This will train him to bathe the baby for you. I recommend creamy peanut butter, and start with just a few smears, like on the cheeks, chest, and hands.

You can also train your dog to notify you when the baby needs something. Start by laying your baby down on the floor a couple rooms away from you. When the baby starts to cry, give your dog a treat. Gradually move the baby further away, and train the dog to sit by the baby until it starts crying. Give it a treat when it comes to notify you. Next thing you know, you can be on your porch sipping cocktails for hours, while man’s best friend keeps watch.

Dogs and babies love to nap together. Train your dog to roll your baby to his back for naps, and to his tummy for tummy time, by hiding treats under the baby.

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Training your dog to change diapers is the most challenging, but the most rewarding, in terms of time savings. Start by training him to open the diaper tabs, then to throw the diaper in the garbage. The hardest part for dogs is using baby wipes. Make sure to leave the package open with the top one hanging out so it’s easy to grab. You may have to experiment with different brands to find ones that are durable enough. The time invested early will pay dividends when you’re catching up on Game of Thrones while your dog does the dirty work.

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Having your dog read to your baby can be rewarding for both of them. Babies don’t speak English, and neither do dogs, so they can bond over that commonality. Those big plastic books make it easy for your dog to turn the pages.

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It’s possible for your dog to help feed the baby, but you should probably at least prepare the bottles yourself, for sanitation reasons. Dogs can easily hold bottles for babies who are too young to hold them themselves.

If you haven’t figured it out, April Fool’s!! Please, don’t rub peanut butter on your baby.

 

April 1, 2014. Tags: , , , . Baby Stuff. 3 comments.