Monday, 4 May 2015

Cutting the cost of Free From at Costco

It's no secret that shopping for Free From food can be rather expensive!

Like many, we watch eagerly for offers and head for the shops with the best deals on dairy free milk and other Free From products... and then we buy in bulk!! We stock up and store away, as much as we can - which actually isn't as much as we'd like, due to lack of cupboard space, but we do our best! Then we let others know via Face Book and Twitter!

Buying in bulk is usually the best way of getting a good deal and warehouse shops like Costco can be really helpful - as long as you keep an eye on your local supermarkets and the offers they have on - 'cos it doesn't always work out cheaper!

I don't know how many of you have ever heard of Costco, or how many of you live near a Costco (there's 26 across the UK and you can find your nearest by using this locator) but we've been fans and members for at least five years now and I think it's served us well, particularly so, now that like the stores in the US, the UK stores have started to stock more in the way of Free From goods.

Costco sells, food, home appliances, furniture, gardening and sports equipment, clothing and all sorts of other things. We've found that it particularity comes in handy when you have a party to plan! Please be aware that the prices shown in the pictures are prices before VAT - VAT is added on at the till. Not all products will have VAT added, but some will, so there's always this to consider when you are looking at a product.

Unfortunately, to shop there, you need to be a 'Member' and this is only open to certain professions (see here for more details about memebership). Once you are a member, however, you can always take a friend in with you.

A membership card is a must! It will carry your photo, so make sure you've done your make-up before your first visit!

These days, you can buy dairy free milk, not a large range, it is true, but I have spotted both 'fresh' and ambient/long life by well known brands like Alpro and Almond Breeze and Costco's own brand - Kirkland.

Kirkland Long Life Soya Milk

Fresh Alpro Soya Original
They also sell dairy free Smooze ice lollies. These too are ambient - you take them home and freeze them yourself.

Mixed packets of all four flavours

I've spotted bulk packets of gluten free pasta and gluten free bread...

There's four packets in each bundle!

...but there are also products that have become popular among so-called 'healthy' eaters who are using flours that are also useful for those of us who are dairy or gluten free.

You can buy trays of cans of coconut milk and large jars of coconut oil, as well as great big tubs of Meridian nut butters. Then there's these HUGE bags of almond flour that are actually labelled 'GF'.

And these of Coconut flour (also labelled GF):

Much bigger packets than what you'll find in your local health food store!

There's Quinoa too:

Worth buying in bulk!

You can even pick up a Free From baking magazine, with 20% off the normal price:

Free From magazine at a more affordable price!

Today, I even spotted a machine that you can use to turn fruit into dairy free ice cream - I'm still debating buying one!

I've heard they're good but don't want more any appliances in my kitchen!

There are lots of products that aren't specifically Free From, but are suitable for Vegans etc. Here are some I've spotted recently:

Fruit snacks for lunchboxes

I loved these granola bars before I had to go gluten free

These packs look handy!

They're not specifically gluten free.

These crisps are dairy free, and soya free NGCI

Vegan but look carefully at the label, in the next pic!

NOT suitable for Coeliacs or those sensitive to gluten!

These look great for baking!

Look! No dairy!
I love Great Food bites. Costco also sell their Sweet Potato Pakoras! Yum! And great for picnics!

If this has whetted your appetite, go and check out their website here!

Please note: This blog post is not an advertisement, nor have I been sponsored or rewarded for this post by Costco (or anyone else) in any way. I am simply sharing my own genuine experience for the benefit of fellow free fromers! Oh yes! And if you are a Free Fromer, don't forget to always check ingredient labels as recipes and labelling may change!

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