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I was a bit leery of joining the Costco bandwagon. My perception of what Costco had to offer included aisles and aisles of unhealthy processed foods and mass-produced low-quality conventionally farmed meat and produce. But when my family went to browse using a day pass, I was sold. Now I shop at Costco monthly!
Costco has many organic food options that are priced competitively along with great deals on many non-organic items my family enjoys.
Let’s start with the produce. While Costco does have mostly non-organic produce, they do offer several fresh USDA certified organic items. My family eats carrots and salad like crazy, so the 10 pound bags of fresh organic carrots and large clamshells of organic spinach and salad mix are right up our alley. Also, if you follow the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen” guidelines by the Environmental Working Group, you can take advantage of much of the non-organic produce Costco offers without too much worry.
As far as meat selection, Costco does have USDA certified organic ground beef and organic chicken. Their prices are competitive with other grocers. In addition to these meat options, Costco carries many organic dairy items such as milk, cheese, and eggs. And Costco’s frozen foods section has many organic fruit and veggie options as well, from berries and mangos to broccoli, green beans, and asparagus among several others.
In the dry foods area, you can find a wide array of organic options. Snack foods, staples, condiments, and much more. Some of my family’s favorites are the canned organic tomato sauce (great to have on hand), organic animal crackers (just as much a favorite of mine as my 2-year-olds, if I’m being honest), organic fruit juice, and organic pasta.
Aside from the products they carry, their two-seater carts and extra wide parking spaces are nice luxuries! And they offer tons of products and services you might not expect, like home improvement, automotive and even vacation packages.
But those are not the most impressive things about Costco.
The Number One Reason I Shop at Costco: Their Values
During my MBA coursework, many of my classes looked at Costco’s business model and philosophy. I learned a great deal about the company during that time and have a great deal of respect for their values when it comes to how they treat employees. According to a Triple Pundit article, “Costco workers get paid very well compared to their counterparts at chains including Walmart. In fact, employees working on the floor can make a salary that reaches the mid-$40,000 range; not bad for someone who starts working for the company out of high school.” On top of that, about 80% of workers have competitively priced health insurance.
Now add on the fact that the CEOs at Costco earn quite modest salaries when compared with their competition and you can start to see why this company is different than other big-box retailers. I can’t help but favor a company that is making the lives of people right here in my town better by offering decent wages and benefits rather than justifying low wages by claiming it is necessary to remain competitive and keep shareholders happy.
Are you sold yet? If you haven’t yet taken a look at Costco, you can easily do so with no obligation just by walking in and asking for a day pass. Browse around and see what they have to offer. Then come back and let me know what you think!
This post was not endorsed or sponsored by Costco in any way. All opinions are my own.