Do you do most of your phone chatting and catching up when you are in the car? I do. Talking on the phone when I am at home with three littles running around is not easy. (Okay, the baby isn’t running around but she is noisy). Plus, when I’m at home, I’m usually busy focusing on another task at hand.
Driving to and from errands is when I try to make calls to friends and family. We live about twenty minutes from just about every destination we frequent so it’s usually the perfect allotment of time.
During these drives, I often make calls to my friend Kellie who lives two states away. Kellie laughs because it seems I am always either head to Costco or driving home from Costco. Guilty as charged. This likely isn’t too far from the truth since buying milk and eggs there means that we typically go at least once a week.
So it’s not a big stretch to say that I love Costco. I love it as much as anybody would love a place that regularly saves her family money, offers a great selection of foods we enjoy, and is almost a home away from home full of familiar friendly faces.
Everyone has a store or two at which they prefer to shop. Maybe it is the closest to their house. Maybe it gives the best deals on coupons. Maybe it has the best bakery treats or deli subs. Or maybe it just has the biggest carts with the most child restraints (Target, anyone?).
Those with small children know that time is a commodity and stopping at more than one or two stores pushes everyone’s limits and is asking for a meltdown (and probably grumpy kids too!). For this reason, people try to pick two to three stores that best serves their family’s needs. Our picks are Costco, Fresh Market (mostly just for meat), and Whole Foods (a few things to fill in the gaps).
Costco is a membership club, similar to Sam’s and BJ’s. You pay to become and member and benefit from their discounted prices. There is a basic, no frills membership as well as an “executive” membership in which you can earn money back based on how much you spend at the store each year.
If you have been curious about whether or not a Costco membership would be helpful for your family, here is what we regularly purchase from Costco, as well as a few other items we only purchase occasionally.
Of course, Costco may not be a fit for every family. But it is certainly a great option to consider if there is a store nearby!
My Costco Shopping List
We try to buy organic and local when we can, but it isn’t financially feasible right now to buy everything organic. Instead, we prioritize what we really want to be organic and just go with what our budget allows when money is tight. Make the best choices possible, and don’t stress the rest. Stress is more unhealthy than non-organic food anyway.
At the bottom of this post, you can find a downloadable copy of my price list for the items we regularly purchase from Costco. To keep things more readable, I did not include prices in the following lists.
The items marked with an * are the items we like to keep on hand all the time. Purchasing the other items varies depending on meal planning and budgeting.
The freezer is also a great friend when buying in bulk from stores like Costco. I store small amounts of items in our pantry and then freeze the surplus. Nuts, sugar, meat, produce, and cheese are among the items I regularly freeze for future use.
- *Organic baby spinach
- *Organic whole carrots
- Organic kale, chard, and spinach blend
- *Celery hearts (buy and freeze for smoothies)
- Artisan lettuce
- Crimini mushrooms
- Brussels sprouts
- Sugar snap peas
- *Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Broccoli florets
- Whole pineapple
- Organic bananas
Items we purchase elsewhere: organic potatoes, onions, organic apples, other fresh fruit (peaches, plums, etc), organic greens like Swiss chard and collards
We go through a lot of frozen produce since we make smoothies several days a week. Costco has amazing prices on organic frozen fruit. This reason alone can be sufficient to warrant a membership!
- *Organic wild blueberries
- Organic mixed berries
- Organic strawberries
- Organic cherries
- *Organic green beans
Items we purchase elsewhere: I buy frozen (non-GMO) green peas, kale, and corn from Whole Foods.
Kirkland (Costco’s name brand) brand dairy items are hormone free!
- *Pecorino Romano cheese– block (use as Parmesan)
- *Kirkland sharp cheddar cheese– block
- *Kirkland mozzarella cheese– shredded
- Kerrygold Dubliner cheese– block
- President feta cheese– block
- *Kerrygold grass-fed butter (use for cooking and spreading)
- *Kirkland unsalted butter (use for baking)
- *Kirkland whole milk
- *Kirkland heavy cream
- *Organic eggs, 2 dozen container
- Cream cheese (occasional purchase for cheesecake)
- Sabra hummus (the awesome price beats making it at home)
- Wholly guacamole (a great items to have in the freezer for quick dinner ideas)
Items we purchase elsewhere: small container of yogurt for making crockpot yogurt, occasional ice cream, smaller amounts of specialty cheeses
- *Organic ground beef
- Salami (occasionally)
- Nitrate-free hotdogs (My Costco used to carry these but they stopped. So sad. Maybe yours does though).
Items we purchase elsewhere: Most of the rest of our meat is purchased from The Fresh Market because it is a great quality at a good price.
- *Organic unrefined coconut oil
- *Organic extra virgin olive oil
- *Organic tortilla chips (yellow or blue)
- *Organic cane sugar
- *Organic brown rice
- *Organic quinoa
- *Organic chia seeds
- *Whole almonds
- *Whole walnuts
- Pecan halves
- *Ocean Spray Craisins
- *Organic Sunmaid raisins
- Organic fruit and vegetable pouches, pictured above (great snacks to grab and go)
- *Organic maple syrup
- *Organic diced tomatoes (14.5oz cans)
- *Organic whole bean coffee
- Organic croutons
Items we purchase elsewhere: orzo, unbleached flour, dried beans, fresh bread
Other Non-Food Items:
- Parchment Paper
- Organic laundry detergent
- Oxy Clean
- Dish detergent
- Clothes (socks, underwear, kids’ pajamas, etc)
Here is a price list of items we regularly purchase from Costco. It is not exhaustive, but should be a help if you need more information before giving a membership a try.
Did I leave something off my list that your family loves to buy at Costco? Please share it in the comments!