Move out of the Bay Area?
I am working on reducing my food budget. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and things can be a bit expensive here. I have found some fantastic meat at the great farmers markets, but it is really very expensive ($7.50/lb for ground beef - really amazing pastured longhorn beef, but still....) Cow shares are not that good of a deal here... so far Whole Foods is the best pricing I've found for me.
I have been thinking a bit about getting a Costco membership. It is soooo not me, I like to buy local. I will ONLY buy humanely raised meats and prefer organic fruits and veggies. But I really would like to cut down of my food bill a little.
Any thoughts here on if a Costco membership would help at all? I am single and only cooking for myself and only want pastured meats? Is that type of stuff routinely available?
Move out of the Bay Area?
You can always do a 'browse' through Costco without a membership. Every Costco carries different supplies based on area demand. I can get Coleman organic chicken, raw cheese, some organic sausages, and some other odds and ends I like. I tend to use it mostly for household products and for cat/dog food (I feed raw).
I have found that some of the organic fruits and veggies are not always a good price compared to 'sales' at my local grocery stores.
My suggestion, do a wander through the store, maybe take a note pad and write down price per lb to compare later.
I shop at the Concord Costco, but my mother-in-law added us onto her membership. I personally would not pay for it and don't buy much in the way of food there. They have one Niman Ranch product (bacon wrapped pork, which they also sell at TJs for a similar price), organic eggs, organic chicken and organic ground beef. No pastured meats. They have some nice cheeses, and the Richmond Costco had Kerrygold butter (but I haven't been there in a while.) Other things I have bought include: eco-friendly laundry detergent, recycled TP, organic spinach, pecans, vitamin D, wine, and almond butter. I think they will let you walk around, but if you really care about pastured, they probably won't have too much for you!
Good advice from Meadow, try it out before you go for a membership. My Costco (St. Louis) doesn't really have a whole lot of food that's interesting to me. Sure, I can get 2 gallons of organic cream, but WTF would I do with that? Most of the meat and a lot of the fish I've found is factory farmed, and the organic ground beef is roughly the same price as Whole Foods. I like Costco, and have a membership, but I don't really get a lot of food there.
I dunno if I'd recommend it...when I'm at Costco these days shopping for my non-primal family, the only primal thing I get out of it is PHT or "Pushing Heavy Thing" as I haul the cart around.
Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food
I live in the same area as you (Sonoma County) and I'd agree with the other responses. I get their organic produce and organic ground beef, cheese, nuts...not too much else anymore.
Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."
June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
Current: 142 - size 8/10
Goal:130 - size 6
Thanks everyone! I had no idea you could browse Costco - I thought it was like Fort Knox and you needed some sort of security scan or something to get it I will check it out, but based on the feedback here, I am not expecting anything earth-shattering....unless I want to count it as exercise!
I am not quite ready to leave the Bay Area (just got here 7 months ago) so I will keep trying to find a good direct farm source for meat and stocking up at whole foods sales.
I live in the SF Bay Area as well. Costco has some decent deals on grass fed ground beef and organic chicken. Like others have said, they have some good deals on bulk raw almonds and walnuts. They also have a lot of organic fruits and veggies that are in season (right now they sell blueberries in bulk and sometimes they have organic tomatoes and avocados). You say that the cow shares aren't a good deal here but all my friends share and they have seen significant savings compared to Whole Foods. I am planning to cow share with them once we buy a second fridge for the garage.
"If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane
People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.