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This Cheap Dinnertime Favorite Is Back at Costco

Motley Fool - Sat Sep 16, 12:00PM CDT

A family of five eating dinner at a backyard patio table.

Image source: Getty Images

As a working mom, the one thing I struggle to do more than anything else (besides keeping up with laundry) is put food on the table. Thankfully, it's not because my family can't afford to buy groceries. Rather, it's that I have almost no time to cook during the week.

I get up early in the morning to work before my kids go to school, and then I work during the day while they're in school. Between the hours of roughly 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., I then assume the role of unpaid Uber driver, shuttling my kids to various activities while trying to cram things like homework in between.

Because I'm rarely in my house during the late afternoon and evening, finding the time to cook is a challenge. And so I frequently find myself placing a takeout order and picking up a quick meal on the way to soccer practice because it's my only option. Or I'll sometimes order delivery if I don't even have time to make that stop.

Takeout and delivery can get expensive, though. So my preference is to find ways to save money on food while getting my family fed.

Thankfully, Costco stocks a variety of premade meals that you can buy in advance and reheat when you're pressed for time. And you may want to pick up a fan favorite that just hit the shelves again.

Costco's Chicken Pot Pie is back

In recent weeks, Costco has reintroduced fall favorites like its pumpkin pie and pumpkin streusel muffins. But if you visit your local Costco now, you might find its famed Kirkland Chicken Pot Pie in stock, too.

The Kirkland Chicken Pot Pie generally retails for $3.99 a pound (though Costco prices can vary by location). And so for a 5.5-pound dish, you'll be looking at roughly a $22 credit card tab.

However, considering that the Kirkland Chicken Pot Pie can feed my entire family for multiple meals (well, not me, because I'm a vegetarian, but the rest of my crew), that's a price worth paying. By contrast, I commonly spend $30 to order a pizza and large salad for my family to share, and that's for a single meal. For us, the Kirkland Chicken Pot Pie is a much better deal.

Now, the one caveat with Costco's Chicken Pot Pie is that heating it in the oven can take a while. But that's where your microwave comes in. Simply throw a portion on a plate and enjoy it a couple of minutes later.

A better option than meal delivery kits

If you're someone like me who has zero time to cook during the week, then you may be inclined to fall back on meal delivery kits. But to me, Costco's Chicken Pot Pie is a better option for a couple of reasons.

First, some of these kits send you a batch of ingredients with instructions on how to put them together. This is something I don't have time for because I'm not in my house long enough.

Secondly, the one time I did try a meal kit where your food was pre-cooked and all you had to do was heat it up, I found myself spending almost $10 per portion, which is comparable to what I'd spend on Thai or Chinese takeout. So it didn't seem worth it. Since I can easily get eight servings out of Costco's Chicken Pot Pie, for $22, I'm looking at $2.75 per portion instead of $10.

Of course, your circumstances might be different. Maybe you have more time to cook and therefore don't need to rely on Costco, takeout, or meal kits. But if your schedule is comparable to mine, then the Chicken Pot Pie could be a lifesaver.

That said, before you buy one, make sure your family will actually eat it. I have one daughter who isn't such a fan but will consume it in a pinch. My son, meanwhile, doesn't like the "pie" component of the Chicken Pot Pie, but he'll eat the inside. So all told, I'm able to cobble together a meal.

But one thing you don't want to do is spend $22 on a Chicken Pot Pie only to end up tossing most of it in the garbage. So if you're not sure if your family will enjoy it or not, try seeing if Costco has it out in sample form in the coming weeks and make your pickiest eaters try it first. That could help you avoid wasting money. But if you do decide to bring home a Kirkland Chicken Pot Pie, you can look forward to a warm, comforting meal that many people will agree is just about perfect for fall.

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