Shopping at Costco during the quarantine was quite the experience! We’ve been really good about cooking from the pantry, but finally stocks started running so slow there was nothing for it but a big shopping trip. We planned it all out so hopefully this quarantine grocery shopping at Costco will be it for a while.
We’ve been careful to stay home and “shop the pantry”, but finally stocks were so low we really needed to make one big shopping trip! So Costco it was. We put on face coverings, put on gloves, and went equipped with one really long list. Here’s how it went.
Usually we shop at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and New Seasons (an Oregon/Washington chain).
This time, I wanted to strategically buy in bulk and plan for a month.
So Costco it was. We spent almost a week planning, making a meal plan, and doing the math for a detailed shopping list, knowing if we forgot something there was no going back.
The parking lot was full of cars, but socially distancing was in full effect: everyone was mindful of giving each other plenty of personal space. We came just at the end of the senior shopping hour, when the place was opening up to the general population, and spent about ten minutes in line, six feet behind and before us. We wore gloves and face coverings, as did most of the other shoppers.
Inside Costco: Our Quarantine Shop
Inside was calm and the store was well stocked. There were signs reminding everyone to keep their distance, and everyone was paying attention. I was able to buy everything on our list, and we should be good for a while. We focused on the essentials– including paper towel and toilet paper, which were running low– but I made sure to add a few special treats too: chocolate and wine, for starters.
Morale is important in quarantine times!
I also got one bag of dirt to plant the baby tomato and pepper plants I’ve been growing in the window from seed. I’m going to have to get creative this summer with DIY gardening, and am already planning how to make a tomato cage with scrap materials left over from DIY kitchen remodel projects.
It was fun to be there, though I miss the leisurely shops we used to have! I tried to stick to the list and not to get distracted, but, in other circumstances, I’d love to have spent an hour or two of no-guilt time just browsing the aisles. Ever since that shopping trip I’ve been dreaming of a peach fruit tree I saw for purchase and didn’t buy. If this was normal times, I would just go back and buy it.
No More Crowding, No More Food Court
All in all, I was impressed with how well quarantine shopping at Costco was being managed. The line outside was gone by the time I left and there were literally no lines for checkout. Acrylic face shields had been put up at the check in counter, so we could talk to the cashier but not spread germs.
One big change was no food court: there was an old sign saying that the restaurant had changed to take out, but no one was working there and another sign read “To focus on just the essentials we have temporarily stopped the menu.”
Stocking the Pantry
Back at home, we put away all our new purchases and now we feel prepared for the long haul. I’ve stockpiled, but not as much as my mom– she isn’t going to need TP for another ten years!
We purchased meat in bulk, too
I’m taking advantage of quarantine time to experiment with all my favorite sous vide dishes and making up some new ones, too. So we tried to think about the cuts of meat that could last us for a month. It was important to make this Costco quarantine grocery shopping trip last.
Within 1-2 days of getting home from a big trip like this, I portion out the meat and vacuum seal it to sous vide later. This helpful because I can cook steak from frozen with a sous vide bath.
I’m enjoying being able to go through my sous vide cookbook, and if I say so myself, it’s pretty full of delicious recipes!
Eating more + eating out LESS = more dishes
It’s strange to rethink the mentality that getting out and socializing is GOOD for us! We used to go to the gym and go out to eat. I’m on a mission to try all the best lunch restaurants in Portland. And I miss my PDX Lunch Meetup group.
Baby is eating now, and it’s fun to be cooking for three. It does seem to deplete our food supplies much faster. I suppose that fact is obvious, but we’re new to feeding 3 people!
Kitchen Time Is Family Time
It’s time to stay connected and busy while working together on yummy food we’ll both enjoy.
My husband is all into baking artisan breads right now (check out our Instagram pictures!), so a month’s worth of frozen bread was one thing I did not have to stock up on.
What I did get was lots of cheese– did you know it freezes really well? I bought some really good cheddar from Oregon’s own Tillamook, and portioned it out for the next few weeks before I froze it.
I like to freeze grated cheese, too; it makes nacho and pizza making so much easier.
I’m also doing a lot of homemade pizza making— there’s something so yummy about a piping hot pizza straight from your home oven, made from scratch!
So that’s our quarantine grocery shopping trip!
We don’t plan to do more quarantine grocery shopping for a while, but we are enjoying opportunities that come our way to soak up vitamin D together– just the three of us. Oh, plus some llamas we met at St. Josef’s Vineyard in Canby. They have a big open outdoor space with a pond and some animals so we visited them last week.
It’s so much easier to be under quarantine when the sun is shining, and I’m glad the rain is taking a breather. Stay safe, stay healthy, and have fun experimenting in your own kitchens with sous vide and your pantry stock.
Show me what you’re making on Instagram.
See it again – the Costco quarantine shopping video.
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