Author Topic: grocery help, please! (Trader Joe's, Costco, Fred Meyer - Bellingham, USA)  (Read 3916 times)


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Hi folks,

I'm going to try it again -shopping for my groceries in the US, because so much of it is half the price (vs Canada).

Can anyone give thoughts on what is cheaper between Trader Joe's, Costco, Fred Meyer, or another store in Bellingham?

If you could only cope with going to 1 or 2 stores in a day, which would it be?

I prefer organic produce, pastured meat, free ranged chicken eggs.

What sort of prices should I be looking for in any of:

-leafy greens ($3 at Costco USA, identical box in local shop $7 - sigh)
-yogurt, lots and lots of plain yogurt
-milk to make into yogurt and kefir
-cottage cheese
-white fish
-frozen fruit (any)
-frozen veggies (peas, green beans, stir fry medley, broccoli)
-other produce: mushrooms, cauliflower, etc

Thank you!

the fixer

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Re: grocery help, please! (Trader Joe's, Costco, Fred Meyer - Bellingham, USA)
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 03:43:57 PM »
TJs doesn't have pastured meats. Most of it is very low quality. I don't think they even have any grass-fed beef. The best I've seen is an incomplete smattering of organic meat options, and organic cage free eggs.

Prices in Seattle, obviously Bellingham will be a bit different, and all these prices are off the top of my head so they may not be exact:
  • Organic milk with pasture rotation goes for about $6 per gallon, or $4 per half gallon. I think normal pus-filled milk is about $3/gallon.
  • Best price I know of for grass fed ground beef is about $5-6 per pound, I forget exactly, at an Asian grocery store near me. The brand of beef is also present in Olympia grocery stores, so it might at least be the same stuff up in Bellingham.
  • TJs sells organic plain whole milk yogurt for about $2.30 for a 32oz container, the cheapest I've found it. Making your own is way cheaper, equivalent to ~$1.50 per 32oz even using fancypants milk quoted above.
  • Best prices on organic fresh fruit are typically a little under $2/pound. That's a sale price, but there's almost always some fruit you can get at that price, usually apples, oranges, or pears depending on season. TJs prices a lot of produce by the item, not by weight, so it's really hard to compare their prices to those at other stores. They also don't have that much variety of fresh vegetables, most of it is bagged or packaged stuff.
  • Conventionally raised Italian pork sausage is $4/pound at TJs, I happen to have the receipt in front of me for that one.
  • TJs organic cage free eggs are $4/dozen. Those are the highest quality eggs they sell. The coop near me sells a dozen pastured eggs for $7-8/dozen this time of year, with a lower price in the summer months.
Costco is probably cheaper but I don't shop there.


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Re: grocery help, please! (Trader Joe's, Costco, Fred Meyer - Bellingham, USA)
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 04:29:29 PM »
The food Co-Op in Mt. Vernon is a good place to get organic and bulk foods.


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