For a home cook and bulk shopper (like me), a warehouse shopping outing to Sam’s Club is almost as good as a trip to an amusement park — and may even be better! Sometimes there are as many kids in the aisles at Sam’s Club, but there’s more for a home chef to choose from. Bring a friend along and you may smile more than you would at Disney, especially since you won’t be waiting on line for your kid’s favorite ride.
As many of you know by now, at Cooking With Friends, we’re big fans of bulk shopping, splitting products and sharing ingredients with friends. We’ve found shopping in bulk to be a cost effective way to provide meals for our families. And with the economy fighting its way out of a slump, it just seems to make the most sense.
Since we bulk shop all the time anyway, when Sam’s Club invited a handful of bloggers (including us) to participate in the launch of a Sam’s Club Cooking Club, we were flattered, thrilled and immediately accepted their invitation! Equipped with a video camera, (yes, you’ll have to see me on camera next) they asked us to participate in a blogging initiative by recording our Sam’s Club shopping experiences.
My friends and I already shop together for foods in bulk. In fact, just a few months ago, Liz and I decided to try to make it our primary grocery shopping method. Here’s how it works for us: We schedule a shopping trip every two weeks at a place like Sam’s Club, shop together and then divide up the bounty when we come home. While roaming the aisles, we plan our menus and after splitting up and unpacking everything, we plan a cooking date or two to create family meals. Liz and I have vowed to use the more expensive grocery store only for fill in’s or for things that we run out of.
Our new “shopping together” approach is catching on as other friends watch us shop, save and cook together. They simply want in. Just as Cooking With Friends is contagious, so is shopping together.
You can find absolutely everything at Sam’s Club and when you shop with a friend, the huge quantities are not only manageable but affordable. We shop together for fruits and vegetables to make soups or salads; oats, honey and nuts to use as ingredients to make homemade granola; flour, sugar, eggs and other baking supplies to make breakfast foods and treats for the kids; spices and meats to create family dinners; and packing supplies to wrap everything up for the freezer. We even split milk, juice, ketchup, ice pops and other refrigerator or freezer staples. Since some things are packed in odd numbers, we quickly decide which family uses more ketchup, pasta or avocados and divvy it up accordingly.
Liz and I shop together and split-as-we-go. It’s not a formal and organized trip, but an improvisational outing where we use what’s there to spark our creative cooking energy. I’ll place a two pack of pork loin in my cart and Liz will put the chicken breasts in hers; I’ll throw in the naval oranges, Liz will take the onions. At the end of our shopping trip, we’ll both check out separately and see how close the totals are. One of us may owe the other a bit of money, but we’re usually pretty darn close!
So, watch my video, where I take you through a Sam’s Clubs shopping excursion, pointing out various items that are really great for sharing with a friend. Sam’s Club supports the Cooking With Friends lifestyle and makes it easy to combine forces with a friend, save money, have fun and waste less. Not a bad motto for today’s times.