We LOVE Costco. Over the last several years they have really done an excellent job incorporating more organic and whole foods. The prices and quality are great and it’s so nice to be able to do the bulk of our shopping in one place!
I know “healthy” is a very subjective word and its definition has changed for us over the years as we grow both in knowledge and Grace. Healthy used to mean perfect and I wouldn’t have included anything with grain, sugar, dairy, or anything that wasn’t grassfed/pastured/organic, etc. Now, it simply means mainly whole foods without long lists of ingredients I don’t recognize. There are some things I didn’t really include, like seafood, simply because we don’t care for most of it so I don’t have much info on it except to know Costco does carry a variety of it.
Prices are subject to change but I included them on a few items just to give you an idea of what to expect.
Organic Chicken – Choose from whole chickens, thighs, breasts, and drumsticks – the whole chickens are the most economical (about $25 for 2).
Meal Ideas: We roast the whole chicken and use the meat in a few meals and then make broth from the carcass. Or boil the chicken for soup. Two whole birds can go a long way! For convenience, the individually wrapped (not organic) frozen chicken breasts are nice to have on hand since they are easy to grab a few to thaw.
Organic Ground Beef – Approx. $20 for 4 lb. Comes in 3 separate pouches.
Meal Ideas: Tacos, taco pie or bowls, meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, spaghetti sauce, stuffed peppers, etc.
Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausages (also other flavors) – $13 for 15 large sausages. Very clean ingredients (this flavor is Whole30/Paleo approved) and already cooked so they make a quick, easy meal.
Meal Ideas: Cut in half lengthwise, slice, and pan fry in avocado oil or cut in half lengthwise and bake skin-side down to crisp up the meat. Great for breakfasts, hashes, scrambles, and stir-frys, and soups. One of our favorite one-pan skillet meals is this sausage sliced with diced potatoes, green beans, a little chicken stock, rosemary, and cumin.
Turkey Burgers (frozen) – Around $10 for… 12ish patties. Convenient food with very simple ingredients. Just turkey, salt, and rosemary extract.
Meal Ideas: These kind of taste like chicken nuggets if you cut them up and dip them in ketchup. We also like them pan-fried topped with salt and Kerrygold cheese.
Alaskan Salmon (frozen) – A little more costly than other options but such a powerhouse of healthy fats and proteins. Alaskan salmon because it doesn’t have the toxic byproducts associated with farmed salmon.
Meal Ideas: Teriyaki salmon is our favorite but I don’t think I’ve made salmon the same way twice. *This is where you share your salmon meal ideas with me.
Skipjack Tuna – In the canned meat aisle. If you like to invest in food storage, the longevity of canned tuna and salmon is excellent and Skipjack tends to have less mercury than other brands.
Canned Alaskan Salmon – In the canned meat aisle.
Meal Ideas: Salmon cakes! Mix 1 egg per can of salmon and add enough crushed gluten free crackers or oatmeal to make it a consistency that’s easy to form into balls. Add diced white onion, garlic, and a little salt and pepper and fry cakes in avacado oil. Serve with a whole foods mayo (like this!) mixed with dill, onion powder, and garlic powder.
Organic Eggs – $7ish for 2 dozen. Our chickens provide about half of the eggs we eat now and the others we get at Costco.
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets (Frozen)
Turkey Bacon or Uncured Bacon with no added nitrates or nitrites
Deli meat – For sandwiches and wraps. There is a chicken deli meat with clean ingredients (and no added sugar) or organic turkey breast slices.
Pre-made Rotisserie Chicken – $5 per chicken (conventional). Maybe not the cleanest option around but in my opinion, it’s still better than eating out.
I don’t remember the brand but Costco has also been carrying grassfed beef sausage links that are delicious! They are hit and miss at our store whether they have them in stock or not but I always check!
DAIRY (and Dairy-Free “Dairy”)
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk – $7ish for a 3 pack. When I don’t have time to make my own (code for “I have made my own once and it was delicious and I haven’t made time to make it since”), this is a great price for almond milk. This almond milk doesn’t have carrageenan, a thickening agent added to a lot of dairy-free drinks.
Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese – $5.99/lb. This cheese is grassfed and is found in the deli section instead of with the cheeses by the refrigerated milk. It is a little drier and richer in taste than conventional cheddar and is white because there is no coloring added. Since it’s mostly grassfed, the nutrition profile, especially the omega3 to omega6 ratio, is great! Sometimes we also get just a block of regular old cheddar (for when we need large amounts).
Kerrygold Butter – $7ish for a 3 pack (3 cups). This is the best butter you will ever have and like the Kerrygold cheese, it’s mainly grassfed, so the fat ratio is on point and nutritionally beneficial. It’s absolutely delicious!
Yogurt Cups – The variety changes pretty frequently but there is usually a brand with lower sugar and higher protein than others. We’ve enjoyed the Siggi’s lately!
Organic Greek Yogurt – Unflavored, very large tub for around $6. We use this mainly for parfaits and sometimes in smoothies or in recipes that call for sour cream.
Organic Frozen Cherries – $13 for 4 lbs. For smoothies, mainly, but they are also delicious with coconut milk drizzled over the top (it hardens and forms a shell around the frozen cherries).
Organic Frozen Blueberries – $11 for 3 lbs. For smoothies, muffins, and other baked goods.
Frozen mangoes, antioxidant berry mix, and strawberries – For smoothies, pancake topping, and homemade jelly.
We usually buy fresh vegetables but Costco has a good selection of frozen vegetables at really good prices – kale and quinoa mix, broccoli, green beans, etc.
Avacados – Price varies! Great source of healthy fat. They can be cut in half and frozen. We use them in chocolate smoothies, for guacamole, as a snack, and as a side dish. Leave a couple out on the counter to ripen and stick the rest in the fridge until you’re ready for them.
Organic Spinach – $4 for a large tub. This is about half the price I see at other stores for this size! Check the date – sometimes you have to dig for a better date than what’s up front. We get a few of these and I immediately freeze about half of it for smoothies or dips before it has a chance to go bad.
Organic Powerhouse Greens – Mix of baby kale, spinach, and other greens that is great for smoothies!
English Cucumbers – $3 for 3 huge cucumbers. They don’t last long so eat quickly!
Organic Carrots – $6 for a 10lb bag of whole carrots. I don’t mind peeling them before eating and like that they aren’t processed like baby carrots.
Organic berries or grapes – prices vary but are almost always really good. If they don’t have organic, we get conventional and soak them in Thieves fruit and veggie soak or spray with Thieves produce spray before eating.
Bananas – Get a bunch and when they start to turn brown, peel and freeze them for smoothies or banana bread.
Organic Gala Apples – $10 for 10 lbs. Not all locations have them.
Garlic – a big bag for about $4. They stay good for a long time.
Onions – $4 for a 10lb bag. It’s kind of hard to use THAT many onions, but the price is great (a little bag is $2.50 at my local grocery store).
Pomegranate Arilles – $6 for 2 cups. These are GREAT for adding to parfaits, fruit bowls, salads, etc. and I love not having to spend time digging arilles out of fruit. Not available at all locations and be sure to check the date because they don’t always last a long time.
Also check out Mini Peppers, Sugar Snap Peas, Brussels Sprouts, Red potatoes, Celery, various sizes Tomatoes, bagged organic Kale, riced cauliflower, stir-Fry veggie mixes. My (ongoing) goal is to eat ALL the produce we get from Costco each trip – it’s not easy but it’s doable! Especially if you freeze half or share some with a friend.
UDI’s Gluten Free Sandwich Bread – $7/big loaf. I’m not gonna lie – this is not the best bread on the planet but it’s not bad and maybe even pretty good as far as gluten-free goes. Check the date because they sometimes vary greatly from loaf to loaf. Something we’ve started doing a lot more to cut down on bread is open-faced sandwiches (ie, open-faced grilled cheese to dip in tomato soup, open-faced peanut butter topped with banana). Freezes well. *We have since switched over to homemade sourdough.
Dave’s Killer Bread
Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup – $12ish for a 6 boxes (not refrigerated). This is delicious with grilled cheese or filled with rotisserie chicken and topped with red onion, cilantro, and sour cream.
Organic Chicken Stock – Simple ingredients; great price
Organic Tomato Soup – in the refrigerated deli section.
Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese – $13 for 12 boxes. Not gluten-free.
Guacamole Cups – $10ish for 12 individual cups. Clean ingredients and great for snacks, topping soups, etc. Check out the larger guacamole trays and individual hummus cups nearby.
Hail Merry Tarts – Little paleo nuggets of joy. The flavors change and sometimes it’s cookie dough bites instead of tarts but really, that doesn’t matter because they are all delicious. Find them in the refrigerated section by the deli.
Nature’s Path Organic Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Cereal – $7ish for a large bag. Way less sugar and more protein and fiber than most cereals I look at (organic or not). There is also a Nature’s Path Granola we like to top off parfaits.
Bertolli Organic Olive Oil &Basil Spaghetti Sauce – 4 pack for $10ish
Seeds of Change Organic Brown & Red Rice or Quinoa & Brown Rice – I’ve seen these between $7-12 depending on what kind and what time but each comes in a box with 6 packets of ready to eat rice. Just dump it in a saucepan that has been oiled and sauté until warm. Love how convenient this is!
Vegan Protein Powder – Hubby doesn’t do well with this protein powder but I do! It’s delicious blended with almond milk, half a frozen banana, and some peanut butter powder for a quick, high protein smoothie.
Organic Orange Juice – 1 gallon for $8. JUST juice!
GT’s Gingerade Kombucha – $15 for 6 when they have it. Kombucha is super easy and costs next to nothing to make but we just don’t have room for many ferments right now. If you haven’t read up on the health benefits of this fizzy drink, check it out! It replaed the occasional soda for me years ago and I much prefer it over wine. *our Costco stopped carrying these 🙁
Organic Raisins – $8 for 2-2lb bags.
Dates – $7ish for 3.5 lbs. Great way to naturally sweeten bars, baked goods, or smoothies. The kids love a few with a handful of pecans for a snack.
Crunchmaster Crackers – $8ish for 2 large bags. Gluten-free, crispy crackers for dipping and cheese!
Gluten-Free Crispy Sea Salt Crackers – $7 for a large bag. This is what we use to make salmon cakes.
KIND Bars – $18 for 18 bars.
PRESSED by KIND Bars – just 3 ingredient fruit and seed bars
Cashew Clusters – $10 for a large bag. These are sweet and nutty and can be found in the snack section of the store. I believe they do have some added cane sugar. These are a quick snack to add to a snack bag for after dance class or a road trip.
LaraBars – $15 for 18 bars. These are just dates and cashews for the Cashew Cookie flavor and a couple more clean ingredients for the Apple Pie flavor (both come in a box). Love that these can be thrown in a purse or backpack to always have a snack on hand). If you have time, these are really easy to make! Chocolate Covered Katie has a great recipe.
Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop Popcorn – $4 for a huge bag! Non-gmo, gluten free lightly salted popped corn.
Potato Chips – $4ish for a huge bag. These are non-gmo but do contain vegetable oil
Organic Tortilla Chips – $4 for a large bag.
Vegetable Chips – $8/bag. Not sure if they are dehydrated or baked but these crispy dried vegetable sticks seasoned with salt are really tasty and if you’re used to getting them other places, are a steal at Costco.
Black Olives – $6 for 6 cans. Ingredients are olives, water, and sea salt. They are delicious!
Caveman bars – $18ish for 18 bars – paleo-inspired but not quite strict paelo.
Fig bars – $10ish for 6 boxes. Non-gmo, made with stone-ground whole wheat. Not super clean but I like the ingredients better than most other cereal bars.
NUTS, OILS, BEANS
Organic Peanut Butter – $11 for 2 -28 oz. jars. We like organic because it tends to produce less aflatoxins (carcinogen) and the ingredients are just dry roasted organic peanuts and sea salt (sidenote: have you noticed how hard it is to find peanut butter without sugar added?!).
Creamy Almond Butter – $8-10 for a 27oz. jar. You should go check out this recipe right now. We use powdered stevia blend and it’s delicious! Almond butter is higher in protein than peanut butter and we often use it in place of peanut butter.
Whole Pecans – $13 for a 2lb bag
Sliced Almonds – so nice to have for fruit or veggie salads, oatmeal, smoothie bowls, etc.
There are other big bags of nuts and all are a great price.
Organic Canned Black Beans – $6ish for 8 cans
Sprouted Lentil Trio – Great base for winter soups!
SEASONINGS, CONDIMENTS, BAKING
Raw Honey – $13ish for 42 oz. This is local, raw, and therefore full of enzymes. You can’t beat the price!
Organic Grade A Maple Syrup – $13 for 1 liter.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt – Large grinder bottle for $3.99. Pink Himalayan salt is a nutritional powerhouse with over 84 minerals! It tastes better than iodized salt, too.
Sea Salt – $3 for a large bottle of white sea salt. The regular bottle makes this easier to
use for baking and to make ferments or bath salts.
Check out the spices while you’re in the spice aisle! You will find several different kinds of organic spices for just a few dollars as well as lots of conventional spices (we get cinnamon, basil, garlic powder, parsley, and chili powder in bulk here).
Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
Organic Coconut Oil
Ghee – Prices vary from $16-20-something depending on location and time but it’s a really big tub for a great price either way. It’s easy to make with Kerrgold butter but if you don’t have time or use a lot of it, this is a great price!
Non-Gmo Avacado oil – $10ish for 1 liter. We like this light, mild-tasting oil for making mayonnaise and stir-frying because it has a high smoking point.
505 Southwestern Hatch Valley Green Chile Sauce – This is so good in enchilada soup, over enchiladas, or with chips and dip. The ingredients are Hatch Valley green chile peppers, lime juice concentrate, and garlic salt and a large jar is somewhere round $8. It has a kick!
Honeyville Almond Flour – I think this is about 4 lbs. for $19. Fine grind makes it a great choice for baked goods!
Coconut Flour – 4lbs for $6ish
Baking Soda – $5 for … For detox baths, skincare, and baking.
Organic Raw Cane Sugar – Great for homemade kombucha
Organic Coconut Sugar – 3 lbs for $7ish
Organic Baking Cocoa (Dutch processed) – $6ish for 25 oz.
Organic White Flour – For sourdough bread! $15 for 20 lbs (two 10 lb bags).
Epsom Salt – $8 for 12 lbs. Great to have on hand for detox baths (also makes a great gift when mixed with baking soda and Young Living essential oils)
Paper Plates – because I don’t have a dishwasher. Costco has the best price on sturdy bulk paper plates. Around $15 for 276 plates.
These are a few of our must-haves! What are your favorite Costco buys?