Sunday, September 18, 2016

Plenty of Potatoes

I've been going to Costco since I was a kid (although it was Price Club way back then), and it's one of my favorite stores. One thing I've heard sometimes though is people wondering what people with small households do with all the bulk items. It makes sense that if you live in a tiny closet of an apartment in the city that you might not want to buy 36 rolls of toilet paper or 9 boxes of tissues or 12 cans of corn at a time (although we do), but I think, space aside, people wonder more about perishable food. We recently bought a 20 pound sack of potatoes there for $9.99, and I thought it would be interesting to track how a family of 2 people could use up 20 pounds of potatoes before they all rotted.

Our 20 pound bag of potatoes came with 23 potatoes. Here's what happened to them:

- Loaded baked potato salad, same recipe as the picnic challenge, for Labor Day weekend BBQ: 7 potatoes (this was actually what prompted the purchase in the first place)

- Sugar browned potatoes for the Nordic challenge: 2 potatoes

- Soup, made in the same style as the caldo verde from the Portuguese challenge, with kale and kiolbassa (half for dinner and half to be eaten at some later date): 5 potatoes

- Kiolbassa vegetable saute: 2 potatoes

- Soy chorizo tacos (like these): 1 potato

- Buttermilk mashed potatoes (frozen to be eaten at some later date): 2 potatoes

- Garbage: 4 potatoes (3 were wet or moldy when we took them out of the bag on day 1, and 1 got too soft before we could use it on our last day of cooking them)

For us, the key was really finding some uses for the potatoes that could then be frozen and eaten later. If we hadn't had to throw out those 4 potatoes, we probably would have made a lot more mashed potatoes and put that in the freezer, or maybe a second day of soy chorizo tacos. Even if you divided out the price for only usable potatoes, it comes out to about $0.53 per potato, which is slightly cheaper (currently) than buying that many potatoes by the piece at Trader Joe's. We would normally just pick up a potato or two at a time, but since we needed them for the baked potato salad, this just made sense.

That said, even taking out all the potatoes we froze and brought to the BBQ, it still felt like all we had eaten for a couple of weeks was potato. This is only the second time we've bought the giant bag, and while it's doable with a lot of meal planning and prepping for the future, it's definitely not easy to go through that many potatoes before they go bad if you're a small household and not solely meat and potatoes eaters. So interesting keeping track of this though!

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