Costco For One

For as long as I can remember, my family has always been a family of "Costco People". Growing up in a family of 7+ you get so used to buying in bulk that the idea of buying toilet paper in quantities less than 20 rolls seems completely absurd. When I was 20 my mother gifted a membership to my sister and I so that we could run to the store without having to use her card and I have since kept up paying the yearly membership fee.

Whenever I mention to people that I do most of my grocery shopping at Costco, they immediately ask, "What do you buy?!". Because I get asked this SO MANY times, I figured it would make a good blog post. So, here we go! 

  1. Spinach - The tub of spinach is HUGE, but it is the same price as the small tub in any grocery store. I like to put spinach in most everything I eat, so getting through one of these before it goes bad isn't too difficult. TIP: when you get the tub, keep a paper towel inside on top of the spinach. It helps to absorb extra moisture and keeps things from getting slimy.
  2. Sugar Snap Peas – I like to buy a bag of these and throw them straight into the freezer when I get home. I like having these on hand for asian dishes (of which I make many!).
  3. Brussels Sprouts - If you love them, these are such a great deal. They come pre-washed and trimmed, so there's little prep-work involved when you cook with them. They're another ingredient (like spinach) that I can use in many different meals. In fact, I may one day get around to posting my Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese recipe on here. If you think you don't like them, I dare you to try THIS recipe, it was the one that got me hooked!
  4. Cauliflower – These also immediately get thrown into the freezer. I like cauliflower for soups, cauliflower rice, and I use it as the "creamy" base for my Healthy & Creamy Tomato Soup
  5. S&W Organic Black Beans – These come in a pack of 12, which seems like a lot...but totally isn't. I use black beans in so many recipes, from soups, to mexican, to breakfast.
  6. Kirkland Diced Tomatoes – These come in a pack of 12 as well, which is great when you need a lot for soups or lasagna.
  7. Sweet Mini Peppers – I like to use these for any recipe that calls for bell peppers or chopped up raw in salads. The price on these guys really cannot be beat.
  8. Broccoli – The broccoli gets the freezer treatment as well so that I can quickly cook it up or add it to stir-frys. If I feel like having some fresh broc in the fridge, I'll divid the whole bag up into sandwich bags and then freeze most of it.
  9. Garofalo Pasta – Pasta is great because it takes forever to go bad and is versatile enough to go with so many dishes. This particular brand is quite tasty and comes in fun shapes. For a low price, you get 6 packages in 3 different shapes.
  10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This one really confuses people when they come over, "WHY do you have so much olive oil?!". The truth is, I use it for both cooking and skincare. For cooking, it is my oil of choice; I even have a sprayer so that I never have to worry about having Pam on hand. For skincare, I use it on my body after the shower, in homemade shaving cream, and a hair/face oil. I love this stuff.
  11. Sara Lee 45 Calorie Bread – Costco is the only place to get this bread at a reasonable price, not only that, but you get 2 loaves for the price of 1 in a regular grocery store. I typically put one loaf in the cupboard and the other in the freezer, this bread defrosts very well.
  12. Kirkland Chicken Tenderloins – These are great to keep in the freezer so that you always have chicken on hand. I used to buy the breasts, but the portions were enormous! The smaller size means they defrost much faster and helps me with my portion control. They can also be baked from frozen and taste great.
  13. Late July Sea Salt Chips – These are hands down the best tortilla chips out there. Alone they are full of flavor, but they make fabulous nachos and go very well with hummus. They're also made out of high-quality ingredients, so you can pretend that they're totally healthy.
  14. Sabra Hummus – Costco sells the BIG tub of this stuff, but the price is great and it is so very yummy. I like this with homemade tabouli, on top of toast with an egg, or as part of a grilled cheese filling.
  15. Raspeberries (and other berries!) – When in season, the berries at Costco are dirt-cheap and absolutely delicious. I like to have them around to mix in with plain greek yogurt and a little agave.
  16. Grape Tomatoes – I find myself eating more grape tomatoes than regular. The small size means I can eat a small amount of tomato without worrying about keeping half a big one in the fridge. I love them cut up on egg toast or nachos. They also seem so stay "good" longer than the big tomatoes.
  17. Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Just like the EVOO, I keep this for cooking and skincare. EVCO is great for baked goods (I don't buy butter for fear of being all Paula Deen about it). Coconut oil is also FABULOUS for hair and skin...google it, there's so many articles out there supporting this. I also like to give the occasional spoonful of it to my dog as a special treat.
  18. Babybel Light Cheese – These are the perfect snack for me to take to work and at only 50 calories, they don't break my calorie "budget". The shelf life on them is pretty long too, which always helps! TIP: I know this sounds weird, but let the cheese get to room temperature before you eat it, the flavor/texture completely change into somethings amazing.


ADDITIONAL TIPS:

- Buy only what you eat. I know this sounds silly, but with all those free samples, it's easy to get suckered into buying a 2lb bag of pierogies (I speak from experience here!). When I shop Costco, I try to stick to my regular stuff, things I know I'll go through before they go bad, and ingredients that I frequently use.

– Your freezer is your best friend. Know what you can freeze and how to do it so you can stock up on stuff without it going bad. I've had great luck freezing broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, bread, and shredded cheese.

– Be vigilant about checking expiration dates, especially with the produce. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to buy spinach and there will be a tub that expires in 5 days next to one that expires in 8. It makes a difference when you want your stuff to last as long as possible.

– Other stuff I like to buy there (helps that I have the storage for it!) are toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning wipes, and garbage bags. These things are so much cheaper at Costco and it is nice to (almost!) never run out.