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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Amid storm predictions and panic buying, I enjoyed an oasis of calm in Hackensack

As blizzard warnings intensified, the parking lot of the ShopRite in Paramus was packed on Monday morning, when I drove by on the way home from the gym. But the Costco Wholesale Business Center in Hackensack was the usual oasis of calm as I picked up fresh organic spring mix and a few other items, above and below.
The Costco at 80 S. River St. in Hackensack reopened about a year ago with a focus on small businesses, including restaurants and caterers, many of whom order by phone or computer and have everything delivered. The Business Center, open to all Costco members, stocks about 30 percent of the consumer items found at the bigger Costco Wholesale warehouse in Teterboro.



Wow, I said to myself as I drove by on Monday morning, I've never seen so many cars packed into the parking lot of the ShopRite in Paramus.

True. We'd been hearing dire predictions of a big snowstorm since at least last Friday on TV, radio, digital devices and the daily newspaper.

So, if the purpose of storm warnings is to stimulate the economy, they worked beautifully to get people to rush to supermarkets and buy food on Monday -- even if they didn't need it. 

We had plenty of food, but I ran out of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, lemons to make a salad dressing and a couple of other items, so I drove by the packed ShopRite on Forest Avenue and Route 4 and headed for the Costco Wholesale Business Center in Hackensack.

Besides the spring mix and organic baby spinach, I bought a 5-pound bag of big lemons for $6.99, Yoplait Original Low Fat Yogurt with fruit and 25% less sugar (24 for $9.99) and Kirkland Signature plain non-fat Greek Yogurt (two 32-ounce containers for $5.99).

Meanwhile, my wife drove her gas-electric hybrid to the gas station at the Teterboro Costco, waited longer than usual to fill up and left without going into the warehouse.

Costco's gas station, which sells regular for about 15 cents a gallon less than everyone else, is open to members and non-members alike.

But members who use the Costco Visa credit card get a 4% cash rebate on their fill-ups. 

A 1-pound clam shell of Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, one of the tastiest salads you can buy, was only $3.69 on Monday morning at the Costco Wholesale Business Center in Hackensack, compared to $3.99 a week earlier -- the same price Costco charged in 2005. A 1-pound clam shell of Boskovich Farms Organic Baby Spinach also was $3.69, compared to $3.99 the week before.  
When I got home Monday morning, I prepared organic baby spinach with organic chicken broth, sesame oil, sake and Organic No-Salt Seasoning, and ate it with an egg-white omelet stuffed with reduced-fat cheese, smoked wild salmon and organic Mexican-style salsa. Everything but the sesame oil and sake came from Costco.
In Hackensack, Costco's Kirkland Signature Organic Large Grade AA Brown Eggs are a better buy than Nellie's Grade A non-organic brown eggs. Both are free range, and both cost $5.99 for two dozen eggs, above and below.