Mom’s Guide To Heathy Shopping At Costco
I love shopping at Costco and honestly it’s hard to emphasize that enough! Who’s with me? Not only are the bulk savings are great, but the selection of quality products really appeal to me and fit our family’s lifestyle. We aren’t too extreme or completely exclusive of specific ingredients, but we do prefer to eat real, clean food as often as we can.
Thankfully over the past several years, Costco has significantly upped their game when it comes to healthy choices for families.
Costco can be a slippery slope if you aren’t careful though. Not everything is a steal, and if you go in blind, you might walk out spending a smooth grand. My advice is to prepare before you go and practice my mantra “stick to the list!” as you roam the enormous aisles.
If you’re new to Coscto or perhaps just want a fresh set of eyes, below I’ve rounded out a list of my favorite healthy finds for parents and kiddos that we stock up on about once a month. I also highly recommend reading this article How to Save Money at Costco. Happy bulk shopping!
These yummy little individual cakes are gluten free, dairy free, packed with veggies, and so easy to cook. (Mom hack: Pop in the microwave for 1 minute, then put in the toaster oven under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown up the edges.) We keep ours in the freezer, and they can be served as a side dish, snack, or even breakfast!
Most options are organic and when compared to smaller bags per ounce you find at the regular grocery store, frozen fruit from Costco is a steal. We use it mostly for smoothies or eating right out of the bag. And because frozen fruit is usually frozen right after picking, the nutritional value remains high. Plus you don’t have to worry about it going bad!
We are HUGE pancake lovers in our house, and paleo pancakes are always on the menu! So when I found Birch Benders “Just Add Water” Paleo Pancakes, I was stoked! They are so easy and taste great. You can even mix in some frozen blueberries for extra flavor. Non GMO, no added sugar, grain free, low glycemic, and caveman approved.
If you like a pancake with a little more protein, Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes are another one of our favorites for flapjacks. Even though Kodiak Cakes didn’t land a deal on Shark Tank, I’m so glad business is booming for this company. We love all of their products. The Power Cakes are also “Just Add Water.” Perfect for busy families with hangry kids in the morning.
Speaking of pancakes, you can’t beat the price Costco’s Grade A Organic Maple Syrup. It’s delicious and the perfect way to add just a touch of sweetness.
We don’t do a ton of dairy, but real, grass-fed butter is one thing I won’t let go of. The flavor and healthy fats of grass-fed butter are not even remotely comparable to other butter products on the market. Buying in bulk makes this much more affordable for our family because frankly we eat a TON of butter.
We use this ginormous tub for every-thang. I bake with it, cook with it, put it in my coffee, mix it with essential oils and slather it on baby’s sore bum, or grease up my whole head for a hydrating hair mask. It checks all the marks for me: organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined. Can’t beat the price per ounce. (Mom hack: Fill a couple small mason jars with it and keep one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen cabinet, then refill from the huge tub as necessary.)
Ruta Maya Organic Coffee
I’ve recently learned that coffee beans are one of the highest pesticide treated crops. Switching to organic coffee seemed like a pricey swap, until I realized how affordable the Ruta Maya Organic Whole Beans are. I never bought them in the past because who wants to deal with grinding your own coffee? I might be the last person on earth to realize this, but Costco has a giant coffee grinder that you can use for free! It’s on the way out the door, it’s super simple, and it only takes about a minute to use. (Mom hack: Ask your cashier to leave it out on top of your basket for you so 1) you won’t forget to grind it, and 2) you don’t have to dig to find it.)
PicNik Coffee Creamer
This Austin local favorite made its Costco debut in 2018 and I couldn’t have been more excited to grab a box. Made with grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and no sugar added, I love using this clean coffee creamer.
Again, most are organic, and quite a few are packaged into smaller family size portions. My favorites are the broccoli, riced cauliflower, and green beans. I just throw some on a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast away into the oven until browned and delish.
Simple Mills Almond Crackers
If my kids had a tag line, it would be “I want a snack.” Allllll day every day. Everyone in the family loves these paleo crackers, and we don’t feel guilty for snacking on the clean, grain free ingredients.
Nuts / Nut Butter
Whatever your preference, you can’t beat the prices and variety of nuts, seeds, and nut butters available. We go through a ton of the organic peanut butter (no sugar added), almond butter, raw almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
In my ideal world, I’d grab pastured eggs from the farmer’s market every weekend. In my future dreams, I’ll go to my own chicken coop in the backyard and grab the freshest eggs ever. But until either of those are a reality, I just can’t beat the price and flavor of Costco’s pasture-raised eggs. We buy several packs each time we go.
Aidells Chicken Sausage
Clean and delicious, we use this sausage for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If it’s on sale – STOCK UP!
We rotate between the Aidells brand and the Coleman Organic. We love them both! I keep them in the freezer and pull them out for easy lunches and dinners. They also make a great party snack.
A few more random favorites:
We also love the organic zucchini spirals, organic apple sauce, nitrate-free deli turkey, organic Kirkland brand tortilla chips and WINE. (Don’t forget the wine!) One other of my favorite things to buy during the fall and winter is their in-house made chicken pot pie. It will definitely feed a big crowd and it couldn’t be easier to warm up in the oven. It isn’t super healthy, but it’s one of those things we splurge on and completely enjoy on a cold night. You’ll have leftovers for days.
So there you have it – my tried and true healthy favorites. Of course I always love to try new things so this list is constantly changing. (Also, Costco can be tricky because every once in a while, your favorite product might one day just no longer be there.)
Do you have any healthy favorites you’d add to the list? What about splurges? Trust me, we definitely have those too!
I’m excited to see what the new year brings for Costco as they have committed to bringing in even more organic and healthy foods. Just another reason it’s one of our favorite places to shop!