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3/19/2017

Shopping for Passover at Costco 2017



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For the past three years, I've been finding that I'm doing more and more of my Passover/Pesach shopping at Costco.  I'm originally from Brooklyn, but I live in East Denver, and we are fortunate to have a Costco in nearby Aurora that stocks a nice-sized kosher section and a plethora of KFP/KLP (kosher for Passover/kosher la'Pesach) items.  But even if you live somewhere where the Costco doesn't stock special KFP items, there are still TONS of must-have Passover items that you can buy at Costco that will cost much less than at your local supermarket.  

Costco has emerged to become an leading supplier of well-priced KFP food, and many of these deals (except for the specifically seasonal KFP items, like shmurah matzoh) are available for months before Pesach.   What I love about that is that I can make a significant dent in my Costco Passover shopping well before Purim, and save a ton of money as well.

I've included price comparisons to previous years (if available).  Of course, your local Costco is going to have different items and prices from my local Costco.  If you'd like to send me photos of KFP items at your local Costco, by all means, please do!  It's still very early and I plan to do a great deal of updating to this post as we get closer to Pesach.

FYI, I'm not affiliated with Costco at all (other than being a shopping member) and I was not compensated in any way for writing this post.  I put this together strictly as a reference for Daily Cheapskate readers.

Here's the 2016 Costco post, and the 2015 Costco post and here's the 2014 Costco post.  These Passover-at-Costco posts are among Daily Cheapskate's most popular posts on saving money on Passover shopping.

Things that I haven't included: vegetables other than Pesach staples like romaine lettuce, potatoes and onions, fruit, and cleansers.  Some of these I consider rather obvious.  I wanted to focus on must-haves for Pesach that might not be on your radar.

One big change from previous years:  sadly, one of my favorite Passover items, Kirkland Egg Whites, are not KFP in my region this year. I'll be buying the KFP ones from Walmart (and paying a lot more).

Ok, grab your cart, and away we go.....

FOOD ITEMS:

Large Eggs USDA Grade AA, 5 dozen, $3.99 (80 cents per dozen)
2016: 5 dozen, $5.99
2015: N/A
2014: N/A

No hechsher needed, but must buy before onset of Pesach.

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Holyland Hand Shmura Matzoh, 16 oz. boxes, OU-P, $14.69  (compare this price to Amazon)
2016:  $14.69
2015:  $14.99
2014:  $13.99
Photo credit:  Chava R.

The price on this round, hand-made, Shmurah matzah from Israel is fantastic, especially compared to what hand shmurah costs everywhere else ($20 and above).   The fact that Costco stocks this has saved us a fortune for the last four years.  I also feel extra great about buying shmurah matzoh that comes from Israel.



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Kirkland  Farmed Atlantic Frozen Salmon Filets, 3 lbs. - OU, $25.99
2016: $19.99
2015: $23.99
2014: $24.99 

(Sorry about the crummy picture.) Salmon has really zoomed up in price this year.  I still buy it because it's still a decent price, and the portions are individually wrapped, almost all middle-cut, without a fishy taste.

For the past seven years, the OU has been okay'ing this for Pesach without a special Passover hashgacha (see page 63 in the OU 2017 Passover Guide).  This frozen salmon is a staple in our house all year long as well as on Pesach, and has made purchasing uber-pricey KFP tuna and gefilte fish unnecessary.

Kirkland Signature Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Filets, 3 lbs. - OU, $28.99
2016: $26.99
2015: $29.79
2014: N/A 



If you prefer not to eat farmed fish, the frozen Kirkland Wild Salmon is also ok without Passover certification, after it has been rinsed with water, as per the OU.


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J&A Hearts of Romaine, 6 heads, $3.29.  Must be checked for bugs.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A

Earthbound Farms Organic Romaine Hearts, 6 heads, $3.99.  Must be checked for bugs.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


J&A Artisan Mini Romaine Hearts, 6 heads, $3.49.  Must be checked for bugs.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A



Peru Sweet Onions, 5. lbs. $4.49
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


Baking Potatoes, 20. lbs. $6.49 (32 cents per lb.!)
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


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Empire Kosher Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, 2 lbs., OU-P, KAJ$9.99
2016: $10.99
2015: $10.99
2014: $10.99

(Sorry about the crummy picture.)  These frozen chicken breasts have KFP hashgacha year-round which facilitates early shopping, and Costco has held their price of $5.50 per lb. for several years. lowered their price to $4.99 per lb. this year.


Empire Kosher Rock Cornish Whole Chickens, OU-P, KAJ$2.09/lb.
2016: $2.09
2015: $2.09
2014: $2.09


The crazylow $2.09/lb. price on these Cornish Hens is a fantastic price for reliably kosher chickens, especially in Denver, but even for New York! These are KFP year round.  I use these as soup chickens, slow-cooker chickens, rotisserie chickens and occasionally,  I even roast them.  I do prefer to buy my chicken in quarters or eighths, but I can't argue with this price and the Empire quality.

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Kirkland Organic Honey, three 24 oz. honeybears, OU-P,  $14.99 (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016: $13.59
2015: $13.59
2014: $11.69

This is easily the best price on organic honey in town.  We buy this 3-pack for Pesach each year and always have at least one 24 oz. honeybear left over for the following Rosh Hashana.

Kirkland Signature Pure Honey, 5 lbs. (80 oz.), OU-P, $10.99  (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016: $13.99
2015: $13.59
2014: $13.59


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Kirkland Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 2 liter bottles (67.6 oz.), OU, for $13.99.  (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016: $11.99
2015: $12.99
2014: $12.99

The OU and other major kashrus organizations have permitted EVOO for Pesach without any special KFP hashgacha.  Only the extra virgin varieties come under this ruling; other types of olive oil DO require special Passover hashgacha.  The OU specifically mentions that Kirkland Extra Virgin Olive Oil does not need special hashgacha on page 66 of the OU 2017 Passover Guide.

Costco has some of the best prices on high-quality EVOO and it saves me from having to buy that uber-expensive (and kind of yucky) KFP cottonseed oil. Even though EVOO is not the best oil for frying and baking, it works for a week, and  it's terrific for salad dressings, cooking, sauteing, etc.

Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 liters, OU, $13.99
2016:  N/A
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A

Kirkland Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 liter, OU-P, $11.99
2016: $10.99
2015:  $12.99
2014:  N/A


If you prefer, you can get a bottle of Kirkland Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil that's half the size of the regular EVOO for the roughly the same price.  This actually has a hashgacha for Pesach on it, OU-P.

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Frozen Columbia Fruit Organic Pineapple, 4 lbs., $8.99.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A




Frozen non-buggy fruit with zero additives:  the OU has stated that frozen fruit with no bug issues and no additives at all do not require any kind of Passover certification. These frozen fruit are great in KFP slushies, sherberts, compotes, in yogurt, on ice cream or even on their own as a snack.  It is imperative to double-check the label and make sure that the only ingredient is the fruit. If there are any preservatives, salt, sugar, syrup, or any other ingredients added, they require certification.

Frozen Townsend Farms Dark Sweet Cherries, 3 lbs., $10.99.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A



Frozen Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries, 3 lbs., $10.99.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


Frozen Townsend Farm Organic Mango, 4 lbs., $9.59.
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A



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Lipton Tea (unflavored), 312 tea bags, OU, $9.49 (50 cents per lb.)
2016:  N/A
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A

On page 70 of the OU 2017 Passover Guide, the OU mentions Lipton unflavored tea, both with and without caffeine, as being approved for Pesach without any special Passover certification.
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C & H Granulated Sugar, 10 lb., OK-P, $4.99 (50 cents per lb.)
2016: $4.89
2015:  $4.75
2014:  N/A

C&H sugar is yet another item that is KFP year-round (OK-P), which facilitates early shopping. C&H goes under the Domino name in the Eastern part of the country.

C & H Granulated Sugar, 25 lb., OK-P, $11.95 (48 cents per lb.)  (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016: $12.19
2015:  $11.89
2014:  N/A



If you are one of those people who bakes dozens of cakes on Pesach and feeds a horde, there is also a 25 lb. bag of sugar available for the same price per lb..  That is a LOT of sugar, but the price is wonderful, and you can definitely use this after Passover or split with friends.

C & H Granulated Sugar, 50 lb., OK-P, $23.59 (47 cents per lb.)  
2016:  N/A
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A


C & H Darl Brown Sugar, 25 lb., OK-P, $15.29 (61 cents per lb.) 
2016:  N/A
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A



This year, Costco also has the C&H Dark Brown Sugar in 25 lb. bags.  Again, this is pretty hard-core bulk, but if you're a big Pesach baker, it's a huge money saver.
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Kedem Grape Juice, two 96 oz. bottles, OU-P, $9.99 (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016:  $9.99
2015:  $9.99
2014:  $9.99


For whatever reason, kosher grape juice is ridiculously expensive in Denver. Everyone who is in the know waits for this Costco sale (always right before Pesach) and stockpiles enough for the entire year.  We buy five of these (10-96 oz. bottles) at this sale each year.  Because grape juice does go bad after some time, I write the year that I buy these on top of the cap, so that we can cycle out the oldest bottles first.

(Forgive me for using last year's photo.)
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Kirkland Pure Sea Salt, fine grain, 30 oz. $2.79, OU-P 
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


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Kirkland Signature Whole Almonds, 3 lbs. $12.69 (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016: $17.89
2015: N/A
2014: N/A

I am not one of those people who enjoys making stuff from scratch in the kitchen, but for the last two years, I actually have made Pesach pareve almond milk from scratch using Costco almonds and I was shocked at how easy it was. 1 cup of almonds makes about a quart of almond milk, so this year, I'll be making enough for a few friends, as there are about 9 cups in this 3-lb. bag. You can use the leftover almond meal for Pesach nut cookies.

Kirkland Roasted California Pistachio Nuts, 3 lbs. bag, OK-P, $14.85 ($4.95 per lb., AWESOME PRICE!) (Compare this price to Amazon)
2016:  $19.99
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A


Big hat tip to Daily Cheapskate reader Tova J. for alerting me to this last year, because I never would have even thought to look! 

Pistachios are great for snacking, baking, cooking (I see an pistachio-crusted salmon dish in our Pesach future), and they also make great hostess gifts when you package them up with nice presentation in a pretty new bowl.  As I did last year, I got two of these, one for us, one for gifts. 

Please be aware that this is a special KFP run and that it's mixed in the non-KFP pistachios.  Here's a photo of the two side by side, the one on the left with an OU hechsher and the one on the right with a OK-P hechsher (I know the tiny little symbols are hard to make out).  Make sure you buy the OK-P one! They are otherwise identical.


Setton Farms Premium California Shelled Pistachios, 24 oz., $12.79
2016:  N/A
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A

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Tnuva Feta Cheese, OU-D-P, $5.99/lb.
2016: $5.99/lb.
2015: N/A
2014: N/A




Please note that the special Passover certification for the Tnuva cheese is on the inside wrapper, which should be visible through the outer wrapper.

Natural & Kosher 1.5 lbs. Sliced Cheese Variety, OK-P, $10.99
2016:  $10.39 
2015:  $10.29
2014:  $10.29

Look for the packages with the special Pesach hashgacha as these are not KFP year-round.  The price on this is good ($7.33/lb.), and my husband loves this cheese and eats it all the time, not just on Pesach, and he's a cheese snob.  If you haven't already taken advantage of the Natural & Kosher cheese rebate, make sure you save the UPC symbols and get back $1 per package.

Natural & Kosher Shredded Mozarella, 2 lbs. $9.79 ($4.90 per lb.)
2016: $8.89
2015: $8.89
2014: N/A


FYI, if you live on the East Coast, you'll find that most heimishe brand cheeses are KFP year-round, and if they are well-priced, you won't have any problem shopping for Pesach cheese at any kosher store
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Seasons Boneless/Skinless Sardines, 6-count 4.38 oz. cans, OU-P, $9.99 - $3.00 coupon = $6.99
2016:  $9.99 - $3.00 coupon = $6.99
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A



If you like sardines, these are a great frugal and healthy alternative to pricey KFP tuna.  (This is last year's picture, fyi).

FYI, for comparison purposes, here are the single can Seasons KFP sardine prices at the Denver Kroger affiliate, King Soopers (more than double):


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San Pellegrino Mineral Water, 15-25.3 oz. bottles, OU-P, $16.99 ($1.13 per bottle)
2016:  15-25.3 oz bottles $16.99 - $3.50 manuf. instant rebate = $13.49 (90 cents per bottle)
2015: 12-25.3 oz. bottles, $10.99 (92 cents per bottle)
2014:  12-25.3 oz. bottles $13.99 ($1.17 per bottle)



Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water, 24-16.9 oz., OK-P, $16.99 (71 cents per bottle)
2016: $16.99
2015: N/A
2014:  $16.99

The unflavored varieties of Pellegrino and Perrier are KFP year-round which facilitates early shopping, and these Costco case prices are usually much better than the supermarket prices.  We usually pick up a case of the Pellegrino, (even though we mostly just use our SodaStream on Pesach now). It's always nice to be able to put a few bottles of Italian sparkling water on the Yom Tov table.
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Haddar 32 oz. (2 lbs.) Chocolate-Drizzled Coconut Macaroons, OU-P $6.99
2016: N/A
2015: N/A
2014: N/A



Our Costco got in this giant pack of macaroons.  What would Pesach be without macaroons?  (I confess, we never buy this stuff.)
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Rokeach Gefilte Fish 64 oz. (4 lbs.) OU-P $6.99
2016:  $8.99
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A




Ah, more stuff that I grew up not eating.  Honestly, I wouldn't eat fish out of a jar if I were stuck on a desert island, but I know this very traditional stuff gives many of us the warm fuzzies and I'm very impressed that our Costco has carried it for the last two years.

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Kirkland Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon, Kof-K-P, 16 oz. total, $16.99
2016:  $14.89
2015:  Kirkland Smoked Salmon (not Wild), OU-P, 2-count 12 oz. $19.99
2014:  $18.99


Photo creditt:  Rebecca M.
So happy that these showed up again. These are NOT KFP year-round, so look for the packages with the special blue circle Kof-K-P hashgacha (which are usually mixed in with the non-KFP packages for added confusion). Some of you have asked me if that blue circle is a sticker; it's NOT.  The hechsher is imprinted on the package.

If you're looking for a less boring Chol HaMoed lunch, pile some of this lox on top of a cream cheese slathered slab of matzoh and you're in business. Who needs bagels, right?  This is also good in omelets. If you want to make a shmancy Pesach hor's d'oeuvre, find some KFP nori, cook up some quinoa, slice some avocados and carrots, and roll some KFP sushi.
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Meal Mart NY Deli Passover Sliced Pastrami, Corn Beef or Smoked Turkey Breast-OU-P, 1.25 lbs. $14.99 (comes to $9.99 per lb.)
2016:  $14.99
2015:  $9.99
2014:  $9.99

Photo credit Rebecca M.
Again, these are not KFP year-round, so look for the packages with the special hashgacha.  In past years, our Costco had corn beef and smoked turkey as well; this year, they have only brisket pastrami.

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Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 13.5 lbs., $5.45 (40 cents per lb.)


Not sure why anyone would need this much baking soda (unless you also use it for cleaning?), but here it is.  Terrific buy. When I buy the small boxes, I usually pay a dollar per box, so this is a 60% reduction on that price

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Food items that were available in the past but haven't shown up yet at our Costco:

2016: Meal Mart Turkey Stuffed Peppers, 2.5 lbs., OU-P $10.99 per lb.
Meal Mart Oven Roasted Beef Brisket, OU-P, $9.49 per lb.
Meal Mart RibEye Roast, OU-P, $12.49 per lb.
Meal Mart Stuffed Chicken Breasts, OU-P, $13.99 
2015: N/A
2014: N/A





Classic Cooking Sweet Apple Matzah Kugel 2.5 lbs. (2 kugels) - Star-K-P, gebrokts
2016: $9.99
2015: N/A
2014: N/A 


Classic Cooking Broccoli Kugel, 44 oz. (2 kugels), Star-K-P not gebrokts
2015: $9.99
2014: N/A



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Kirkland Himalayan Pink Salt in a Grinder, 13 oz. OU-P 
2016:  $3.99
2015: N/A
2014: N/A


Reader submissions from past years and this year:

This Yehuda Crumb Cake (two almost-1 lb. cakes), OU-P for $8.79 was submitted by my buddy and fellow blogger, Mara Strom from Kosher on a Budget, taken at the Cleveland Costco in 2016.



This is a 2015 submission that came in from Daily Cheapskate reader Andy M. from the Wheaton, MD Costco: 
 

Andy M. sent all of the following in from the Wheaton, MD Costco in 2016:



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Andy M. found all of the items below in the Columbia, MD Costco in 2016.










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PAPER GOODS:

If I posted pictures of all the paper goods that Costco stocks, I'd be here for a week month.  Costco is known for disposables that are very well-priced.  But I will rave about their prices on a few things that are crucial to me for Pesach.

Eco-Foil Half-Size Steam Pans, 30 count, $6.49 (22 cents per pan)
2016: $5.95
2015:  $6.49
2014: N/A


East-coasters, I know that Amazing Savings has cheaper pans, but sadly, we can't all live near an Amazing Savings.  :)  This price is WAY cheaper than supermarket or Amazon prices and the pans are much higher quality than the dollar stores. 
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Kirkland Signature Parchment Paper 2-count 205 square feet. Star-K-P, $9.59
2016: $9.69
2015:  $9.69
2014: N/A


This is the best deal around for parchment paper. I use a ton of parchment liner on Pesach because I cook so many things in disposable aluminum pans, and I hate cooking directly on aluminum.

Kirkland Signature Standard Foil, 12" x 1,000', $22.89
2016:  $22.89
2015:  N/A
2014:  N/A


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Here are some other various paper good items that I occasionally shop for at Costco (some of these are from 2016), depending on  how competitive the prices are against online prices.  I'll add to this grouping as I update this post.








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Which Pesach/Passover goodies were you able to find in your local Costco?  Write to me and let me know.

Please make sure you check out and bookmark Pesach.DailyCheapskate.com for ALL of DailyCheapskate's excellent deals and resources on everything you need for Pesach/Passover! 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


6 comments:

  1. i think you're amazing for doing this; thank you so much for this helpful guide!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is an amazing resource!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing, tx for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to outline all
    exceptional Pesach items. Makes our lives so much easier...I hope you have a Chag
    Kasher V'Sa'Meach...I'll be thinking of you @ Costco...:o)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thaaaaaank you sooo much for this. Do they let non members shop there ?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do a big shop at Costco before Pesach every year. I buy out the store, but you showed me some new items, thanks! I accidentally bought milk fortified with dha and epa omega 3 (fish oil). Anybody know if it's kosher l'pesach? (Have calls in to 2 rabbis.... Looking at my coffee ��)

    ReplyDelete

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