So for the new year, one of my mini resolutions is to shop smarter. I didn’t formally make this a goal but it’s something I’ve been meanging to do for a while and with the new year upon us it kind of just hit me like a truck. Just do it already!
The resistance comes from doing most of my food shopping at Whole Foods. It’s a lazy man’s approach to food shopping because I know I can get most anything there from specialty items to meats to produce and anything in between without much compromise. Like, I H.A.T.E. the mulit-stop food shop. Nothing gets my goat more than that feeling of wasting time pogoing from one store to the next for organic almond butter here and frozen calui rice there. But one day last year I came out of Whole Foods with three bags of groceries and $300 poorer and I knew I was being had.
Not to mention this type of food shopping is creating and perpetuating an “us/them” rift in this nation. It’s called the people who can afford to buy healthy real food and those who can’t and it’s not right. Access to real food that is grown organically, without the use of chemical pesticides, toxic fertilizers and genetically modified seed should not be a privilege, it should be a human right. And right now most families in this country either can’t afford to feed their family this way or don’t have access to this quality of food.
And in addition to that, lets talk about access to health via progressive medicine including naturopaths, functional medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic care and anything outside of traditional practice – all of this is an out of pocket expense costing hundreds if not thousands for a single visit. Again, available only to those who can afford it.
The answer is to shop local farms and coops. Support local so we fortify our own farmers and local economies. Prove that we care about having clean food by helping the farmer earn a living. These farmers who work tirelessly to cultivate organic fruits and veggies and clean eggs and meats is where it’s at. Buying here creates ground level big change. Have you ever cut open an organic strawberry from the grocery and compared it to an organic strawberry from a local farm? Do it. Check out eatwild.com for an organic farm near you. But in the dead of winter, local options are limited so…
My Growing Family
With two growing boys and a husband to feed, I decided to give Costco a try. I’ve been to BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco but I never signed on with any. It just seemed so excessive 5 years ago. Like who needs 8 pounds of cheddar and a barrel of sun dried raisins!? Come to find out, I think I kinda do. So accepting that I am at a new stage in my life, I hit up Costco to see what I could find. This turned out to be pretty much the best and worst day of my life.
Best because I found some really great staples that will probably last us the better part of 1-2 months (rice, raisins, nuts and seeds). The worst because….I left in tears. After learning, shopping and navigating a brand new store the size of Gilette Stadium for two hours with my littles in tow, I got to the check out, had all my finds rung up (to the tune of $350) – ran my Master Card and it was rejected. Costco doesn’t take Master Card!? So with no other option I was forced to abandon my cart and leave. I could say I teared up but I would be lying because I was in full-on ugly cry – trying to hide it from my kids like I was choking back a yawn coupled with the worst case of hay fever.
But nobody puts baby in a corner and I was determined to get this done. So after driving 1 hour round trip, swapping cards with my hubs, rounding the aisles again, I was back out the door, WITH groceries, this time. All-in, this errand tallying 5 hours. Let’s promise to never to talk about this again.
Because quantity is so large at these club stores, I tried to shop for nonperishables or perishables I knew we would fly though like eggs, avocados, bananas etc. Here’s what I picked up and how much everything cost. I will add to this list as discover more.
Also, I know Costco’s inventory varies by location. What are some items you would add here? We can keep a running list in the comments!
Costco Shopping List
- 2 lbs organic strawberries 9.99
- 18 oz organic blueberries 9.99
- 24 organic eggs 6.49
- 20 GoGo organic applesauce pouches 10.89
- 2 lbs Golden Platter organic + GF chicken nuggets 10.99
- Sugarhouse Maple organic chicken sausages 42 links (will freeze half) 13.99
- 20 oz Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon 18.99
- 2 lbs organic Hannah Hummus 5.99 (no canola) 5.99
- 1 liter first cold-pressed organic EVOO 8.69
- 4 lbs organic raisins 10.89
- 4.5 lbs organic quinoa 9.49
- 10 lbs organic brown Basmati rice 11.99
- 24 oz raw organic pumpkin seeds 7.49
- 2 lbs Nuts + Berries + Pumpkin Seeds organic trail mix 12.99
- 2.5 lbs organic figs (smoothies and chorizo skillets) 10.59
- 20 packs of organic + gluten free Made Good bite packs (great for lunches) 9.99
- 12 organic Fuji apples 10.99
- 5 lbs organic baby carrots (this is so big) 5.99
- 4 organic celery bunches 3.99
- 20 cooked organic beets 7.99
- 2 lbs organic whole bean coffee 13.99
- 16 oz Olivia’s organic fresh spinach 3.99
- 6 conventional avocados for 6.99
- 24 oz Chosen Foods Coconut Mayo (I haven’t tried this yet!) 7.99
- 6 organic bananas 1.79 (!?)
- 4 lbs organic frozen mango (smoothies) 9.29
- 4 lbs organic frozen blueberries (smoothies) 15.89
- 2 lbs organic peeled and cubed butternut squash (for a root soup) 6.49
- 4 lbs organic frozen brussels (I hope these roast well) 8.99
- 30 oz Stonewall Kitchen organic blueberry jam 10.69
- 1 liter conventional avocado oil 8.99
- Two organic whole chickens 10 lbs total 20.34
- 3 lbs organic ground turkey in 1 lb packs 19.99
Hopefully these staples will tide us over for a month (or two!!???) I mean how long will 10 lbs or brown rice last us!? What would you add?
Here are some more posts I’ve done on how to shop discerningly for organics:
- How To Shop A Farmers Market For Organics + Questions To Ask
- How To Buy Chicken: Reverse Label Reading