The first priority at Costco is usually stocking up on your basic groceries: a 10 pound bag of organic sugar, that fantastic two liter bottle of first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, and all the other high quality, low cost pantry staples that will last you for weeks, if not months. But once youve taken care of the essentials, its time to consider purchases that veer from your normal shopping routine.
Youll want to keep this in mind if theres a special occasion on the horizon, especially if youre planning on hosting a New Years party. Whether its cheese, meat, seafood, or booze, Costcos shelves and coolers are brimming with fancy pants eats and drinks at prices well below its competitors. Below youll find some exceptional items which we deem the most worthy splurges at the beloved big-box retailer.
Related Reading: How to Plan a New Years Party on a Budget
If you want to take your pizza or caprese salad to the next level, using bufala mozzarella is the way to go. Yes, the bufala indicates that the cheese is made with buffalo milk which yields a creamier, more luscious product than standard fresh mozzarella. Youll have to pay extra for this premium product (its nearly twice as much as its cow milk alternative) but its definitely worth the cost of admission. No surprise, you wont find it much cheaper than at Costco which offers a pound-plus package from Italys Fattorie Garofalo. Its comprised of four individually-wrapped 4.4 ounce balls of cheesy goodness that are soaked in brine to ensure a shelf life of two to three weeks. With summer tomato season in full swing, nows the perfect time to take the plunge.
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As far as supermarket steaks go, Costcos are among the best in terms of quality and value. The refrigerator case is stocked with several different cutseverything from tri-tip to ribeyebut if you really want to bring the wow factor at your next big food gathering, particularly during the holidays, you cant go wrong with a whole tenderloin. Weighing around five to six pounds each, this buttery slab of beef is where youll find the coveted filet mignon. While its often worth upgrading to a Prime graded steak for extra marbling, in the case of tenderloin which is preferred because it is a relatively lean cut, sticking with Choice is just fine. You can also save money by bypassing the pricier peeled tenderloin which doesnt require any additional trimmingremoving the fat and silverskin from the standard whole tenderloin is a relatively simple task.
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One of the rare Costco butcher items that doesnt come in a giant, gluttonous package, the Kirkland lamb rack is perfectly portioned for a date night. Were talking 100 percent premium Australian here, so you know youll be getting the good stuff. The rack has already been frenched so no additional trimming will be required. Just add an herb rub, toss it in the oven, let that bottle of cabernet youve been saving for a special occasion breathe, and enjoy a perfect (stress-free) romantic evening.
Its no secret Costco loves to go big and their lobster tails are no exception. These cold-water behemoths are well over a pound each and pack enough meat to fill at least a couple of lobster rolls. While multi-packs are usually available, if you have just the appetite for a single serving, time your visit during a Seafood Roadshow for the opportunity to purchase individual tails.
Related Reading: The Best Seafood Feasts to Order Online
When it comes to cured pork products jamn Ibrico is second to none. The prized ham offers an unparalleled blend of smoky, nutty, porcine heaven. Thats because its derived from rare black Iberian pigs which feast on a steady diet of acorns. A whole leg of this delicacy from Spanish manufacturer Noel will set you back $550 at Costcoand thats a steal considering it commonly fetches over $100 a pound. There are some caveats: Youll have to slice it yourself so make sure to do your homework before carving. Its also currently not available but keep an eye out for its return in the coming months.
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Why do I only find Blantons in the Bay Area?? Only one per customer? Thanks Costco cashiers for helping me figure out how to buy 4! #notcomplaining #blantons #blantonsbourbon #whiskey #whiskeybourbon #bourbonwhiskey #whiskeyporn #bourbonporn #kentuckybourbon #youcantfuckupneat #whisky #whiskyporn #theglencarin #whiskeyhunter @blantons_bourbon @buffalotracedistillery
This is another elusive find thats an absolute must-buy for fans of brown Kentucky-based spirits. Billed as the original single barrel bourbon, Blantons has been a long time favorite among connoisseurs but recently casual drinkers have joined the faithful. The increased attention means its difficult to find on shelves anywhere and Costco, which stocks it periodically, is no exception. The difference is that most liquor stores will offer it for well above retail, while Costco wont tack on the upcharge, though they will limit purchases to one per person. If you spot the signature barrel-shaped bottle topped with a horse and jockey figure, grab it immediately.
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AND THE WINNER ISKirkland Champagne from @costco With notes of #citrus #apricots #toastednuts and unbaked #breadThis bottle was $20 and could easily stand up to a $40-$50 bottle of Champs! WHAT WILL YOU BE DRINKING TONIGHT FOR THE #OSCARS? My Pairing: #PotatoChips & #FrenchOnionDip
Costco happens to be the top wine distributor in the United States and there are plenty of bargains to be had among their selection. When it comes to Champagne, youll find discounted bottles of familiar standbys like Veuve Clicquot and Piper-Heidsieck along with special occasion heavy-hitters including Dom Perignon and Cristal. But the best bang for the buck might just be Kirkland Champagne Brut, a steal for a mere $20 a bottle. This is the real deal stuffit would be illegal to put Champagne on the label if it wasntand many wine gurus claim that it rivals similar bottles of bubbly that are twice the price. I know, splurge may be a little generous here but relative to other Kirkland-brand wines its kind of pricey.