Bulk-shopping is not for everyone, but if you have the storage space or the family size to make shopping in large quantities worth your time and money, you may find this list useful.
When I do a Costco shopping, I usually purchase three categories of food:
Costco produce can be a good bang for your buck since the quality is good, but it’s harder to store and produce does go bad, so I don’t buy all of these at once! The produce options are vast! I encourage you to buy your family’s favorite fruits and veggies, as those are the most likely to actually get eaten in such big quantities. Here’s a list of some of my favorite produce to buy from Costco:
For easy-prep after-school/work snacks, I love to have on hand:
- Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries) (tips on how to keep these fresher for longer, and have them ready-to-eat so grabbing them for a quick, nourishing snack is even simpler.)
- Organic pre-cut celery sticks, baby bell peppers, Cherry tomatoes, and Baby carrots for a super easy, colorful veggie platter. Serve with your favorite store-bought or homemade dressing in the middle for extra flavor and fanciness!
- Grapes are a refreshing snack that provide some quick energy in easily digested fructose.
- Mandarin oranges are a refreshing snack that provide vitamin c, fructose for energy, and fiber. They come ready to throw into your lunch bag with no prep needed!
- I also love to buy green beans to use as a side dish for dinner (these tend to be very crunchy and fresh!) as well as bell peppers, which are a favorite amongst my kids.
The next category I love to purchase from Costco is Dairy. These offer a great variety of easy protein options to include with meals or mini-meal power or filler snacks. Again, keep your fridge space in mind when deciding how many of these to buy at once!
- Organic plain Greek yogurt–excellent for yogurt parfaits or smoothies, which can both provide a delicious and satisfying blend of protein, fiber, fat, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Chobani Greek yogurt cups are a great source of protein (see this blog post for some tips on how to choose between different types and brands of things that have so many options!)
- Fairlife protein shakes
- Yoplait Gogurt tubes for the kids (or kids at heart) in your life! These are extra fun when frozen, for a refreshing treat that includes some protein.
- Eggs! With the crazy high price of eggs, Costco is definitely a great place to purchase eggs.
- Frozen shrimp
- Shrimp or chicken salad
- Sousvide egg bites
- Just bare chicken nuggets or chicken patties
- Amylu chicken meatballs (these are found in the refrigerator section)
Shelf-stable, individually packaged snacks
These are all diet staples in my thankfully busy life. They are amazing for keeping in your purse for when errands take longer or you don’t have time to even grab anything before you run out the door in the morning.
- Nature’s Garden trail mix packets
- KIND nuts and dark chocolate bars
- Nature Valley Protein bars
- RX bars
- Archer meat stix
- FitCrunch protein bars
Miscellaneous goodness from Costco:
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Avocado oil spray
- Chia seeds – sprinkling chia seeds on anything from yogurt parfaits to avocado toast is a really great way to incorporate gentle nutrition–boosting the nutritional impact of a meal without decreasing the enjoyment or satisfaction of it… and Costco’s price on chia seeds is a great bang-for-your-buck.
- Vanilla extract-an easy way to provide a hint of sweetness to baked goods without sugar, and also a good bang-for-your-buck price.
Written by our Pediatric and Family Dietitian, Shira Tratner RD