What I Don’t Buy At Costco, or Should I?

John
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As a single person living alone, there are items I don’t buy at Costco. One category is the seasonings (spices) for cooking.

I check out the spice section at Costco every time I’m there because it’s fun looking (I love Costco). Sometimes I find items such as Everything Bagel Seasoning. In most cases, Costco-size spices are way too big for typical single people like me. In fact, even if I had a family of four, I don’t think my family would finish the big container of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt before the expiration date. But, sometimes it makes sense to buy from Costco and throw them away as they expire. It’s OK if you don’t finish the entire container. As long as you are financially ahead of the game, that’s all it matters. For that, I have to strategize according to my unique cooking style. This takes brainpower and effort.

What I consider when I buy a spice:

  • How much of this spice will I use for the next few years?
  • How much does it cost at local grocery stores in a smaller packaging?
  • Is this spice readily available elsewhere? – Costco sometimes sells exotic seasonings that are hard to find elsewhere.
  • What’s the expiration date?
What I don't buy at Costco. Single Living.

My spice rack – September 2021

I have made many mistakes by purchasing large containers of spices at Costco. The learning process was long. But I am getting better at my spice game. In my case, it doesn’t make financial sense for me to purchase large containers of spices at Costco. There will be rare exceptions, of course.

Salt & pepper grinders at Costco

I bought the salt and pepper grinders in January 2020. 2 salt containers were $4.99. 2 black pepper containers were $6.49. They all had an expiration date of October 2022 (4+ years).

I will keep the salt long after its expiration date. I think the salt is OK as long as they are visibly clean. Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but they are Himalayan salt. The salt must be many million years old. So, I don’t worry about keeping them for extra10-20 years in the kitchen.

Costco Salt and Pepper Grinder.

As for black pepper, today, I threw away the unfinished opened container and switched to the new container (pic). In October 2022, I will throw away this pepper container about 80% full. Kirkland Signature black peppers are cheap, have a long expiration date, and I trust their quality. For under $7, I will not waste my energy thinking about black pepper. I will pick it up at Costco and move on with my life. Here, after throwing away half of the black pepper, if I consider all the variables, I neither lose nor gain financially.

This concluded my example of salt and pepper. Now I apply similar logic to each spice I purchase. And I apply similar logic to everything else around the house, everything and more. This requires memorization and an analytical thinking process. I believe the level of the task I perform equals high-paying professions. This is what most stay-at-home moms do every day while turning babies into upstanding citizens.

Also, I salute single people doing it all alone. Represent.

Talk to you later.

June 2021. Soon after taking this picture, I threw away the basil & dill weed that expired a long time ago.