Alrighty, so a lot of you guys have mentioned to me that you’re surprised that The Hungry Mouse is partnering with Sam’s Club. Most of you say that it’s because you don’t associate it with a place to get groceries.
“You go to a place like Sam’s Club to buy a big TV or a palate of paper towels. I wouldn’t think about buying food there, really,” one friend said to me.
Sam’s actually has a ton of good food for very reasonable prices. Don’t believe me?
Those pomegranates up there were 4 for just under $5. They looked great, and that’s just over $1 a piece, (a really good price for around Boston).
The $50 Thanksgiving challenge
As part of our partnership with Sam’s, they challenged us to create a Thanksgiving feast for under $50, using main ingredients purchased at the club.
We’re always up for a challenge.
The holiday event is going on all weekend from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., so if there’s one near you, definitely stop in and sample their wares.
I should note that Sam’s Club is paying me to participate in this program (thank you, thank you!). However, they’re not paying me for my opinion…and I wouldn’t have agreed to work with them if I couldn’t get behind their food 100%.
Price clubs like Sam’s can be a very smart and economical way to shop if you do it right, especially with the holidays coming. (Take it from me. I buy flour by the 25-lb. bag because I bake so much. I know where to find a good deal…)
Inside Sam’s: At the Holiday Tasting Event
We arrived at our local Sam’s around 11 this morning.
Now, if you’ve never been in a Sam’s Club, the first thing you need to know is that the store is huge. Like, super huge. They have pallets of goods stacked to almost to the ceiling.
They already have their poinsettias in for the holidays. (My iPhone photography totally doesn’t do them justice.)
Did I mention that the store is huge?
We went to check out their kitchen supplies first. You can tell that Sam’s was definitely thinking about restaurant owners and caterers when they stocked their kitchen department. They have a ton of basic, sturdy kitchen and catering equipment at very reasonable prices. (We picked up a 2-pack of meat thermometers for just around $5.)
If you’ve ever worked in a commercial kitchen, chances are you’ve used these heavy-duty aluminum pots. They’re workhorses.
They also have an impressive wall of spices.
We passed the kids toys on our way to the fresh food area. I was sorely tempted to bring home one of these playhouses as, um, a Penelope Detention Facility.
Sam’s also has their holiday goods out in full force.
We hit the frozen food cases first. Among other things, we noticed that they have a handful of different kinds of frozen cheesecakes. While I always prefer to make things from scratch, there are certain times when desserts like these come in handy.
We started to spot the tasting stations for the event. There were samples of everything from oatmeal and apple cider to freshly fried bacon and warm, spiral-sliced ham.
The produce section was well stocked, and everything looked really, really fresh. (When it comes to produce, I’m a squeezer and a sniffer…)
(If you haven’t had these red peppers, called Ancient Sweets, before, definitely look for them the next time you’re at the market. They’re remarkably sweet and flavorful. At Sam’s, I think a 2-lb. bag was under $5. At my local grocery store, I’ve seen them sell just three peppers for around the same price.)
And then, of course, they have a ton of cheese. (You may remember the Harvest Cheese Bread Wreath I made with some of these cheeses a few weeks ago.)
There was a lot of frozen seafood, including whole lobster tails, whole fish, and Godzilla-sized shrimp.
The king crab legs looked really good.
This was right around where we sampled the spiral-sliced ham.
Carnivores that we are, you know that we paid extra attention to the meat. The beef was all very, very red and fresh looking.
The pork was rosy and pink.
The bread was very clearly freshly baked.
I even managed to spot one of my favorite kitties in the cake case.
So what do you think we’re making?
Here’s our cart right before we checked out. What do you think we’re making?
We even walked out with a complimentary entertaining guide, which has instructions for making a Martha-esque ribbon-covered tree.
Stay tuned for our $50 Thanksgiving feast! We spent less than $50 on ingredients. Recipes start this week!
*Please note that Sam’s Club compensated me for my participation in this campaign.