Growing up, my family and I would go to Costco and stock up on food for the school year. We’d get things like Cheez-its, Goldfish, chewy bars, and fruit cups..basically a lot of processed snack foods and sugary drinks. Because of this, my perception of Costco was that it did not have a lot of healthy food so I rarely shopped there until about a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they did, in fact, have a variety of healthy items at much cheaper prices, you just have to know what to look for (and avoid all the tempting, delicious, overly processed, sugar & salt loaded snacks). Now I go to Costco about once a month to stock up on a few staple items that I eat all the time. I did a pretty large grocery haul last week and these are the items I bought from Costco:
- Alvarado Street Bread – I love this bread because it’s whole wheat and sprouted. It contains 2 grams of fiber per slice and is easier to digest because of the sprouted grain. It comes in a 2-pack so I freeze one of the loaves and keep the other in the fridge.
- Berries – I usually get one type of berry (strawberries, blueberries or blackberries) depending on what’s in season and what’s the cheapest. I’ve also noticed that Costco berries seem to be a lot more flavorful than other stores.
- Vegetables – I get 2-4 vegetables depending on what I already have at home and what I’m planning on eating/making for the week. This time I got squash, broccoli and bell peppers. Other times, I’ll switch it up with asparagus and carrots.
- Egg whites – I eat A LOT of egg whites and they can get expensive if I buy them from the grocery store. Egg whites are great to add to eggs and get additional protein without getting additional fat and cholesterol.
- Greek yogurt – If you’re a fan of the prepackaged, flavored Greek yogurts, Costco is a great place to get them for a great price. I used to get these but have recently switched to the large 0% Fage Greek yogurt because I like to add my own toppings/mix-ins to it. You can eat more, get more protein and have less sugar if you make it yourself.
- Chicken breasts – another staple that I make all the time is chicken. I get the thin-sliced ones because they thaw faster and I can take out a smaller amount at a time. I eat about 1 1/2 lbs of chicken a week so the 10 lb bag is the perfect size.
- Shrimp – another protein that I like to eat is shrimp. I get the already cooked ones so I can thaw them the night before and eat them for dinner. These are significantly less expensive than buying them from the grocery store.
- Deli turkey – While deli meats aren’t the best because of how much sodium they contain, they are super easy and convenient to toss in a wrap, salad, etc. I get the Kirkland brand oven-roasted turkey and have found that these have less sodium than other brands such as Oscar Mayer.
- Quinoa – This is probably the only quinoa I will ever buy from now on because you get so much for a great price AND it’s already pre-rinsed. Every other quinoa I’ve purchased requires it to be rinsed which is kind of a pain because of how small it is (I’m always afraid it’s going to go through the strainer!). Not having to rinse quinoa just makes it that much easier and faster to make.
- Granola – As I mentioned above, I like to add my own toppings to my plain Greek yogurt and granola is one of them. This was actually on sale at Costco when I went and this bag had 30 servings! It was about the same price as a small bag (10 servings) from Safeway so it was a pretty easy decision to get this.
- La Croix – I’m still not sure I know how to pronounce this correctly but flavored water is a great way to stay hydrated and drink something other than plain water. With summer coming up, I know these will definitely come in handy.
So there you have it! Those are my staple items from Costco that I make sure to have pretty much at all times in my house. As you can see, I don’t buy a lot of highly processed foods and try to stick with fruits, veggies, proteins and healthy snacks. Costco is great but it can also be an easy way to stock up on unneeded, calorie-dense snacks. When I do buy things such as chocolate, chips, crackers, etc. I try to buy them from the grocery store. I know they will be more expensive but I also know that I will be getting a smaller bag. If I buy a huge bag of chips from Costco, I know from previous experience that I’m just going to eat them that much faster so I opt to pay a little bit more money for less food and save myself the calories.
*Nuts are also a great item to get from Costco and I usually have at least one type of nut in my house. I already have pistachios, macadamia nuts, almonds, and cashews so I didn’t get any this time but they are a great snack. I’d recommend going with one that is lightly salted or not salted at all. I find that the salted ones make me wayyyy overeat them.*
If you have any other go-to staples from Costco, please let me know below! I’m always on the lookout for healthy Costco finds! 🙂