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Old 06-18-2009, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I am venturing out to Costco this weekend, to try and cut my grocery budget even more.

My question is, do you guys buy meat at Costco? I read that Cooks Illustrated rated their meat #1, I think the beef tenderloin. Also, Alton Brown said on his show that Costco was the place to go for beef, also the tenderloin.

Do you all go there? I am thinking for ground beef, but wanted to know if it's good there. I don't really eat Beef, or haven't for years, but I really would like to buy some, and perhaps replace some of the ground turkey I buy (at $7/lb.) with some ground beef. How does Costco stack up, say to Jewel or Dominick's, for beef?

Also, I was just told by someone else that their produce can't be beat. What do you all think?

I also have a trader joe's near the Costco... if I am going all the way there, what do you think I should try there? Is the meat at Trader Joe's any good?

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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The ground beef at Trader Joe's is awful. Do not buy.

I buy lamb at Costco because it is grass-fed and on the natura side, but do not buy any other meat there on a regular basis. The times I have had filets from there, they have been delicious!!

Produce-wise I buy organic, so there aren't a lot of options at my local Costco yet.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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I buy all our meat at Costco and have for years. Never a problem and they stand behind their products 100% so if there is anything questionable to you, take it back and you will get a refund.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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We don't shop Costco as much as we used to and that's only because it's in such a congested area of town and now that we're down to only two of hubby's kids staying every other weekend instead of four kids as they are becoming adults so we don't bother much anymore. But yes, we have bought beef and chicken there and they have very meat products at very good prices.

Don't know about the other grocery stores you mentioned, never heard of them but our Costco's meat prices are better than the local Kroger's. We never bought produce at Costco as the kids flat out won't eat most of it and the quantities were way more than we could use.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:11 PM
 
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We have been buying our steak at Costco for years and have never been disappointed. We just started getting their ground beef as well. It is amazing. Honestly, makes the best tasting burgers I have had in a while. All it needs is a little salt and pepper. It is defintely better quality than what I have gotten at Dominicks or Jewel in the past.

In Chicago we are paying $2.99 a pound for the big packets. I did also try their organic and it was good but too expensive for everyday.

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Old 06-18-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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We get almost all of our meat from costco. My MIL does roast beef every sunday and she buys huge roasts there and cuts them up herself. They usually run about 25 dollars for one that could be cut into 2 which serves 4 people always with enough left overs for sandwiches etc.

We buy sirloin steaks from them and they are very good. And I buy whole chickens by a 3 pack for ~20 dollars.

I've never had any complaints.

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Old 06-18-2009, 01:28 PM
 
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It is cheaper and better quality as it doesn't have the "tenderizing solution" that most meat at the regular grocery store has, as far as beef cuts and pork goes. Their chicken was yucky. We only eat grassfed ground beef, since I find that all other ground beef is gross in comparison. We would rather eat only ground beef and never have steak just to afford grassfed.
Produce is so-so. We buy the dirty dozen organic, which they don't usually have. Sometimes there are GREAT deals, like in January I got a case of 10 lbs of sweet potatoes for 3.99, but most of the time it isn't stuff I want or use.

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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We buy meat at Costco. Frozen chicken breasts, drumsticks, beef, pork, and fish sometimes. Ours has quite a few organic options. Lots of organic frozen vegis. 5lb bags of org carrots, org spinach, lettuce, etc. I find that you can get it cheaper if you look for sales but I don't have time to go to several stores since we have one car now. And the quality makes up for it in my mind. We also have an executive membership which gives us 2% back on our purchases. Last year we paid for our membership as well as an additional small shopping trip later so about $200 back.

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I like Costco for many things, but I don't typically buy meat there since it actually seems fairly expensive here. I do buy Coleman nitrite free bacon and Coleman Organic whole chickens there on occasion, but the rest of the meat seems very overpriced for non-organic. We found that buying meat in bulk direct from the farmer is the cheapest way for us and we get the best quality.

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like Costco for many things, but I don't typically buy meat there since it actually seems fairly expensive here. I do buy Coleman nitrite free bacon and Coleman Organic whole chickens there on occasion, but the rest of the meat seems very overpriced for non-organic. We found that buying meat in bulk direct from the farmer is the cheapest way for us and we get the best quality.
Oh, I'm sure that's true, but nowhere around here is there a place to get from a farmer direct.

I am loving the responses keep them coming!

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Old 06-18-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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I've never bought their meat because it seems significantly more expensive than grocery store sales.

I don't buy their produce very often because absolutely none of it is local. All the grocery stores around here have local or at least semi-local strawberries, tomatoes, lettuce, cukes, zucchini, etc. in season and carrots, cabbage, apples and onions year round. Costco's produce always comes from very far away. Buying strawberries trucked in for 100s to 1000s of miles in July when there are literally tons of local berries available seems absurd.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Costco meat is inexpensive from an everyday price view. Whole chicken is always 99cents a lb here, for example. You could do better watching for store sales & stocking up then, but I remember other threads of yours about you not having much time or desire to drive to many different stores. If so, then Costco is your best bet. Regular Costco prices for meat are lower than regular grocery store prices for meat. Also, Costco is VERY focused on quality, so all their meat is good. Never had a bad one.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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My local grocery store has much better prices with sales than Costco does, but they also are one of the best meat markets in the state, so I buy meat at my local store instead of Costco.

Like the PP said for an everyday price Costco does have good prices on meat.

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just as concerned with quality as I am with price, because I have paid a lot for meat at the grocery store that wasn't really that good.

I am loving hearing that costco has good meat, though. Very very happy.

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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I'm just as concerned with quality as I am with price, because I have paid a lot for meat at the grocery store that wasn't really that good.

I am loving hearing that costco has good meat, though. Very very happy.
The quality is incredible, and where I live, much cheaper than other grocery stores, so I'm getting superior meat for way less!

The steaks are amazing! We always get top sirloin. The pork tenderloin is awesome, the pork loin steaks are so tender and juicy, the roasts are really nice, the ribs are great! The chicken is good, especially the roasting chickens.

I am not crunchy enough for this forum. Everyday I get a little crunchier though! :
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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I don't know how Costco meat compares in price (though others have commented on that already), but I have bought some of their meat and have been pleased with the quality. I can find lower prices at the grocery store, but the everyday price at Costco is decent.

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Old 06-18-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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When we don't have locally raised meat in our freezer we buy ours at Costco. They get a big from our family. We especially LOVE their beef.

We buy large pieces (I forget the names) and DH cuts them down into roasts and steaks.

They're not organic, but the flavor is far superior to any other conventional beef I can get in local supermarkets.

ETA - the way we buy the beef the price is much lower than our supermarket for beef. We usually pay in the neighborhood of $4.99/lb for ribeye steaks when buying via Costco.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I get fresh chicken breasts there for 3.29/lb I think (maybe 2.99 but that might be the old price). I have also seen ground turkey there but don't remember the price-we eat it so rarely that the quantity wasn't small enough for me.

I don't buy too much fresh fruit there because its rarely organic, has too much packaging and all ripens at the same time! In my experience, you have to really know the grocery store price too. If there is fruit on ad at the grocery store, Costco doesn't always beat their price. They do have frozen organic blueberries, organic dairy, organic baby carrots, organic greens, etc. Another thing I've been getting is the large (23oz?) Maranatha Almond butter for about half the cost at Whole Foods. And bars-Lara, Bora Bora, etc. And organic chicken broth, whole wheat spaghetti and Annie's mac and cheese.

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Old 06-18-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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We don't eat beef or pork.

I buy whole chickens (2 to the pkg) for about $7. The organic, free range ones are more expensive, but still cheaper than our local CSA. I cook the chickens in the crock, usually one every other week. Any leftover meat is used in enchiladas or chicken noodle soup.

I also buy chicken sausage links there. They are also organic, and they are cheaper than at Sun Harvest or Whole Foods.

I buy shrimp in the frozen food section, but the price is pretty much the same as the local grocer, so I don't know that it is a deal.

I get fish from Sun Harvest when it goes on sale (under $5lb). If it is good fish, like Alaskan salmon, I will grill or broil it and serve it with lemon and dill, nothing else! If it is "fishy" fish, like pike or farm-raised tilapia, I will use it in a dish like fish tacos or ceviche.

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Old 06-19-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Oh, I'm sure that's true, but nowhere around here is there a place to get from a farmer direct.

I am loving the responses keep them coming!
It sounds like you are around Chicagoland?

There are places to buy in bulk around Chicago, both from a farmer direct and via a butcher.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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It sounds like you are around Chicagoland?

There are places to buy in bulk around Chicago, both from a farmer direct and via a butcher.
If you're not concerned about receiving grass-fed, organic beef, do a search on butcher Chicago in google, and it'll return to you a bunch of butcher shops. I know that many of them have done quarter and half cows in the past. Call around, and get quotes. Many of the small butcher shops, but not all, have gone organic beef.

If you are south of the city, also check the butcher shops in NW Indiana. It's a whole heck of a lot more common to order quarter and half cows in Indiana--most of our Indiana relatives, even in the region, still only purchase their beef this way. Since it's more common, it may be cheaper to find a butcher shop in Hammond/Highland/Valpo or something that'll do it for you.

Also, if you're south, you might want to call the County Fair Market butcher shop (the grocery is at 108th and Western, in Chicago) and ask if they do bulk beef. My parents swear by them, they have lovely meat at good prices, but I don't know if they do bulk. They might be able to refer you to someone who does bulk.

If you're interested in organic, grassfed around Chicago, check out

Flying S Farms: http://flying-s.com/beef/?page_id=12
They sell half, quarter and have a pickup in Wheaton, IL

Nature's Pasture: http://naturespasture.com/
They sell whole, half, quarter with pickup in Frankfort, IL

MooGrass Farms: http://www.moograssfarms.com/welcome.php
Also Wheaton, IL for pickup, prices on their site appear to be screwy though

Wallace Farms: http://www.wallacefarms.com/
hmm, they don't have references to bulk buying on their site anymore.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:29 PM
 
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I love everything from costco... i saw one OP about the cheap almond butter and I can confirm that - I buy that stuff by the crate! It's like 7 bucks for a huge jar, and since I eat it at least 2 times/day it's so much more cost effective than what I can get around here (we have no whole foods

We also buy their meat, although we don't eat alot of meat. We get the frozen filet mignon and it is super good.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like you are around Chicagoland?

There are places to buy in bulk around Chicago, both from a farmer direct and via a butcher.
Where?!?! Feel free to PM me. :

Oh.. wrote this before I saw your above post.

Also, I am in the Northern Suburbs.

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Old 06-20-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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I buy most of our meat at Costco; we are big meat eaters and eat a lot of beef. That said, I can get cheaper deals at the local grocery stores depending on their sales, but honestly, the quality at Costco is better than 90% of what I can find at the groceries. And, I just don't have time to drive to several different grocery stores to buy steak on sale at one, ground beef at another, etc. Price per pound for the quality is excellent at Costco, IME. Been buying there for 10+ years and have never had to take any meat back.

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Old 06-20-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Where?!?! Feel free to PM me. :

Oh.. wrote this before I saw your above post.

Also, I am in the Northern Suburbs.
Call around the Chicago meat markets.

I know that WTTW did a special on the beef industry in Chicago in the past two or so years, in which it was mentioned that some of the specialty butcher shops in Chicago still did half/quarter beef orders. I swear that Paulina Meat Market in Chicago was one of them listed by the show but they don't mention it on their web site.
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