A Very Costco Thanksgiving: Feeding 8 People for $80 (Plus the Cost of Pie)

Costco Thanksgiving 018.jpg
The packaging actually doesn't lie in this case.
Turkey

Good: Pre-cooked, so you won't kill anyone if it's still a bit frozen inside. Dark meat surprisingly juicy and moist, especially if you follow the instructions and baste the turkey every 15 minutes.
Bad: Way too heavy on the sage rub, which tastes like dumping a jar of dried spices into your mouth. White meat dry. Skin mostly tough.

Costco Thanksgiving 014.jpg
Too heavy on the sage, but surprisingly fluffy.
Cornbread Dressing/Stuffing

Good: Nice, fluffy texture that was a shock considering the amount of ice crystals in the plastic bag and the fact that we took the easy route and ran the stuffing through the microwave instead of putting it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Bad: Like the turkey, way too heavy on the sage. Also, super salty.

Costco Thanksgiving 023.jpg
The best of the lot.
Garlic Confit Mashed Potatoes

Good: Everyone agreed these were the best item of the night, with a creamy texture and strong roasted garlic flavor. They looked the scariest of all the dishes when warming on the stovetop, but ended up looking the nicest on the table. Perfect amount of salt.
Bad: If you're not a garlic fan, you may find the flavor and scent overwhelming. And if you're a chunky mashed potato fan (or hate mashed potatoes that have been put through a ricer), you may find the texture off-putting.

Green Beans

Good: They were green?
Bad: Antithetically, these were by far the worst of the box. "They squeak when you bite into them," my mother said with a sad look on her face. The green beans did not remotely resemble the long, elegant haricot verts on the box but rather the dull green beans that are dumped from a 10-pound can into a steam table tray at your local high school cafeteria. (If your high school still even serves vegetables to its kids anymore). The sheer amount of butter, onions and garlic in the beans were overwhelming as well.

Costco Thanksgiving 020.jpg
Looks-wise, these could totally pass as homemade.
Sweet Potatoes

Good: These were the runner-up to the mashed potatoes, especially in terms of appearances. They genuinely resembled something you could have made yourself at home, cubed and roasted in the oven.
Bad: The flavor was too clove-heavy for most people, and even I could only eat a few bites before the sweetness became too cloying.

Gravy

Good: It was gravy.
Bad: It was gravy. There's not much to say here. I think it was mostly cornstarch and brown food coloring, but it was inoffensive and tempered the salt in the cornbread stuffing.

Costco Thanksgiving 028.jpg
It certainly looked pretty.
Overall Results

If you are the type of person who desperately wants to host Thanksgiving in your own home but doesn't want to/doesn't know how to cook and also somewhat dislikes the people you're inviting over, this box is for you. It definitely cooks up in the promised 90-minute timespan, although that time could be better spent eating out at a restaurant that's open on Thanksgiving Day.

My friend Gardy was smiling silently towards the end of the meal, and simply said: "I've been eating nothing but salads for the past 20 days, so this was all great." The rest of us were mostly put off by Fakesgiving.

Costco Thanksgiving 031.jpg
Another reason to eat out: Clean-up is a bitch.
I can absolutely see how every item in this box could be passed off as something you made yourself -- especially if you discard all the cardboard and plastic evidence -- because it has those same ups and downs found in a Thanksgiving meal made by someone who only halfway knows what they're doing. And for only $80, it's a helluva lot less than you'd spend actually fucking up a raw, unseasoned turkey or mashing your own potatoes. The Costco-made pumpkin pie -- again, not included -- was the best part of the overall meal, with a buttery crust and deftly spiced pumpkin puree.

However, if you're just lazy and looking for a cheap Thanksgiving dinner option, do what every lonely college kid does at the holidays: Invite yourself to someone else's home, then fall asleep on his or her couch afterward in the pleasant haze of tryptophan and the knowledge that you didn't spend a dime.



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Location Info

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Costco Wholesale

1150 Bunker HIll Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

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12 comments
Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

LOL "If you are the type of person who desperately wants to host Thanksgiving in your own home but doesn't want to/doesn't know how to cook and also somewhat dislikes the people you're inviting over, this box is for you. "

matt314159
matt314159

I'm going to be "that guy" and point out that chicken has more tryptophan than turkey.  We get drowsy because of all the carbs!

Megan
Megan

Ah, Thanksgiving.  :)

o0o.way.way.o0o
o0o.way.way.o0o

I like this review; I found it very informative and gave me a lot to go on. But one thing I really don't agree with is something you said at the end...I shop at Wal Mart, and I've been able to get ALL of my Thanksgiving fixings for less than $50...every year. And sometimes, it's even less! One year, I managed to do it for $30! And if you were shopping at CostCo, I don't see how you wouldn't be able to do the same? It's not that my meal is lacking, either; I always get at least 2 Sara Lee pies (@ $3 a piece...and usually, I will buy as many as I can fit in my freezer), green beans (*in a can, yes, but that's because I use the next 3 items as well and make my awesome green bean casserole...the one that never seems to make it to the "leftover" stage), cream of mushroom soup, bullion cubes, french fried onions, stuffing, yellow onions, celery, russet & gold (*& sometimes purple) fingerling potatoes, LOTS of REAL butter, heavy cream, sour cream, deluxe mixed nuts, macaroni & cheddar cheese (*the home baked kind, not that orange crap in a box), yams, marshmallows, gravy mix, jellied cranberry, whipped cream (*NOT cool whip, though I will sometimes bite the bullet and grab the $1 tub of that oil/air mix), rice, & rolls. And I'm not even sure that's everything...but I can guarantee you that it's more than whatever was in that box! And it definitely tastes better, too!As I said above, I shop at my local Super Wal-Mart that has pretty much everything you could ever want to eat there, so that definitely helps. But you're comparing it to shopping at CostCo, so I'm wondering why you think you wouldn't be able to buy all that for $80 or less when I know for a fact that you definitely can! When I saw the price of that "meal", I let out an audible gasp. And I've usually got the task of feeding at LEAST 8...so next time, forget the "MRE Thanksgiving" and head over to Wal Mart for a cheaper, tastier meal! Or if Wal Mart isn't your speed, I'm sure you can balance the costs by shopping for the non-perishables at one of those value markets like Aldi's or Save-A-Lot and buying the fresh meats, dairy, and veggies at your local favored super market.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

Awaiting the obligatory post that TJ's has a similar box @ $ 60.00.  It's full of savory goodness, the turkeys were prepared in a humane way and everything including wrappers is eco-friendly.

gcbeehler
gcbeehler

I'm impressed you have eight chairs in your house Shilcut!

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

Gotta love Costco, you can get anything in a box there, and they feed you while you are walking around!

nhallfreelance
nhallfreelance

@EatingOurWords wait, your kitchen is elevated above your dining room, rendering it a simple matter to rain down hell on complaining guests?

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @gcbeehler I had to scavenge around just to find that many. But before long I'll have a proper dining table and chairs like a real grownup!

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