If you didn’t already know, shopping at a big box store such as Costco can save you time and money when it comes to buying staples. We frequent Costco regularly and have found that we purchase the same items each visit.
While Costco offers new and trending items, there are must-have favorites that make meal prep easy and repeatable. We will be covering the items most often available at any/all Costco locations that can be put into the following categories: Proteins, Carbs and Fats.
- Egg Whites. Carton egg whites are a great source of protein that can be easily cooked by themselves with or without the addition of reduced fat shredded cheese, meats, and veggies. They are also great to add to whole eggs to boost protein, as well as making low fat French toast or protein pancakes.
- Ground Turkey – Costco sells 1 pound 93/7 portions in multipacks. Bulk prep one or two packs and throw the others in the freezer until ready to use. Great for homemade turkey burgers, spaghetti, meatballs, tacos, or CSF Breakfast Sausages.
- Flank Steak – this is a must if you love red meat. Flank is a leaner cut of beef that is great for grilling. After grilling, cut into portions to use for multiple days, multiple meals. It is delicious by itself with potatoes and green veggies, in steak chili or fajitas and tacos.
- Nitrate free Columbus Turkey Bacon – Comes in 4 individual packages and is a good source of protein as it is lower in fat compared to pork bacon.
- Nitrate free Canadian Bacon. Costco’s portion is big compared to the small packages you find at the grocery store. It is a great addition to an egg scramble or added to sandwiches and wraps.
- Frozen Bagged Shrimp – There are many choices of shrimp at Costco. Precooked with tail off or raw with or without tail. All are great, but tail off makes for even easier meal prep. The precooked variety is good for days or nights when you may not feel like cooking. Try making shrimp cocktail or ceviche for quick protein packed meals. The raw shrimp bags are good when making a stir fry, baking or grilling as they will not become tough or rubbery like the precooked shrimp can get. This type is a great choice for shrimp fried rice. Yum!
- Frozen Bagged Tilapia – Want a low fat, high protein source? Tilapia is a great choice. It is lower in calories like shrimp and can easily be baked or pan cooked for delicious fish tacos. Add to pasta or rice along with veggies for a well-rounded meal. Because this fish is mild in flavor, it’s a great option for those that don’t like “fishy fish”.
- Frozen Bagged Salmon – this fish is the opposite of Tilapia in that it has a very distinct taste, but it is delicious. It has a higher fat percentage compared to white fish or shrimp, but it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart and brain. Pan grill salmon with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper or serve it with teriyaki sauce, rice and veggies for an amazing meal.
- Nitrate free Columbus Brand turkey and chicken lunch meat. These are great to throw in a salad, eat as a snack (deli meat roll ups, anyone?) or make sandwiches with. They are both low in fat and high in protein.
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs – most tend to think chicken breasts are the “healthier” protein source, but don’t let the word “thighs” make you walk past this great meat. Thighs are full of flavor and great for grilling. When they are skinless they are lower in fat and without the bones, they are easy to cook, weigh and measure. Try chicken thigh tacos, and you will NOT be disappointed!
- Canned Chicken and Canned Tuna – both are convenient proteins that are shelf stable and are a must to have on hand. The canned chicken has almost 46 grams of protein! Chicken or tuna salads, sandwiches or melts are so good and quick to make.
- Grilled Mediterranean-Style Chicken Skewers. These are sold in a 14 count package and are precooked. Can it get any easier than that?! Great warm or cold and can be served with rice and veggies or on the go in a pita wrap with yogurt sauce.
- Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown rice packets. No boiling required. Simply heat in the microwave for a quick rice that everyone will love. And because it’s flavored with garlic, there is no need to add additional seasonings. Add ground turkey, beef or chicken for an easy rice bowl.
- Tasty Bite Madras Lentils – these come in a box of 6 individual bags. Like the quinoa packets, they are heated in the microwave and are great on their own or over a baked potato with added ground beef or turkey. They are so delicious and a must-try!
- Old Fashioned Oats – If you are a lover of warm bowls of oatmeal in the morning or overnight oats, then this is the item for you. With the sheer size of this box of oats, you’ll never run out!
- Frozen Mixed Fruit – tropical, dark cherries, triple berry, Costco has a large selection of frozen bagged fruit that are all great in protein smoothies. Add a cup of milk or non-dairy nut or oat milk, a scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder and some frozen fruit to a blender, and you have a delicious “dessert like” meal that is easy to take on the road.
- Frozen Riced Cauliflower – this low-carb veggie is a great alternative to white rice. It is a great way to increase your veggie daily intake and because it’s low in calories and considered a high volume food, you can eat a lot of it, and it will help with satiety. Try mixing it with rice and making a unique breakfast like the CSF Bacon and Egg Fried Rice.
- Frozen Broccoli – Costco sells one huge back that contains 4 individual bags of broccoli, that makes this a freezer staple. Simply pop a bag into the microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes, or cut open the bag and measure out a single or double portion and microwave in a bowl for 2-3 minutes. Removing from the bag and heating separately helps the broccoli from becoming mushy. These bags contain the florets only, so you are not getting only a few good pieces with a lot of chopped stalks, like the grocery stores tend to offer.
- Frozen Green Beans – believe it or not, these are almost as good as fresh green beans. Quick steam in the microwave or pan cook with some butter and garlic powder for a delicious veggie even the kids will eat.
- Avocado oil spray – this spray is sold in a package of 2. This oil is free from additives and has a 500 degree burn point, so it can take the heat! Start stir frying with this oil – it’s a favorite and a must-have!
- Raw Walnuts and Almonds – these nuts are cheaper per unit when sold in bulk and will last a good while. These nuts can be eaten as a snack alongside a protein shake or thrown into salads or meals for added crunch and taste.
- Eggs – eggs are high in protein but higher in fat, therefore we have categorized them as such. Costco is a great place to purchase eggs, especially if they are eaten in large quantities, as they carry 18 packs and are budget friendly.
- Kerrygold butter – If you know, you know. This butter is made with milk from grass-fed cows and tastes amazing. It has a low burning point, so it is best used with low temps – add to a baked potato or add it to veggies after cooking or just before they are finished.
- Dave’s Killer Bread, thin sliced bread (carb)
- Naked Apple Chips (carb) Dehydrated apples – that’s it. How can something so simple be SO delicious??? A great snack for when you’re wanting something sweet and crunchy. Great addition to salads as well.
- Kirkland Protein bars (protein). Great as an on the go snack or quick go-to when in a pinch
- Liquid IV hydration packs (carb). These are great to consume before or during a workout.
- Vital Proteins Collagen Powder (protein). Collagen is made up of amino acids that help hair, nail, bones and connective tissue stay healthy. It is flavorless and dissolves easily. Add it to hot tea, coffee or even cold smoothies.
- Rotisserie Chicken (protein) – the size of these at Costco can feed a family and are cheaper than those sold at grocery stores. Remove the skin and add the meat to salads or soups for a quick protein source without having to cook.
- Canned Cold Brew Coffee – want some caffeine but want to save some coin? This brew comes in cans and is sold in a pack of 12. At only 15 calories, you can drink it straight from the can or pour into a cup with some milk or milk alternative for a coffee house experience without breaking the bank.
- Jerky (protein). Costco offers a variety of jerky and the bags are BIG. Having this on hand will make hitting protein goals easier and jerky is a convenient, shelf stable, grab and go food.
- Hummus (fat). Hummus is a good source of fat and carbs, but it is slightly higher in fat, similar to an egg’s macro profile. Costco sells a box of individual hummus cups that make them an ideal choice for easy food prep, as there is no weighing or measuring involved with these. Eat with pretzel chips or with grilled chicken and sriracha.
- Guacamole (fat). Just like the hummus, these come in individual containers and are great with veggies, pretzels, baked tortilla chips, or on a sandwich or wrap.
- Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage, Egg White and Cheese sandwiches – This is a convenient option making up a balanced ratio of macros. Just heat and eat.
- Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes Pancake and Waffle Mix (carb)- This mix has more protein than traditional mixes, and even more protein can be added by including egg whites and/or Fairlife brand milk. Or simply make the cakes according to directions and scramble egg whites to eat alongside.
It can be really helpful to have a game plan before you head out to Costco, so that you make the most of your time (and money!). We’ve covered some of our favorites that you can find at most Costco locations, which will make it easy for you to create quick and healthy meals.
We hope this helps you on your next Costco run. Please share this post with someone you know!