9 Organic Meals from Costco for under $100

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This is a guest post by Erin Chase, founder of 5DollarDinners.com and author of The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook series.

9 Organic Meals from Costco on 100 Days of #RealFoodSince moving to Texas in 2012, I find myself shopping at Costco more and more. I’m not sure if it’s because my family is growing (I’m feeding 4 boys, ages 9 to 18 months), or if it’s because I’m now a full time work from home mom-blogger-consultant, or the fact that there is only 1 major grocery store chain in my town…which results in not so fabulous sale prices because there is no direct competition nearby.

With all of these factors combined together, I found myself working hard to make the most of the bulk ingredients I was purchasing each month from Costco. And I quickly discovered that I was in a game of ‘mix and match’ with ingredients like chicken breast, ground beef, stew beef cubes, canned tomatoes, baby carrots and others. It became a challenge to use up the fresh produce before it went bad, to package up some of the ingredients together into slow cooker packs and toss into the freezer, or double up on some meals and stash the doubled portion in the freezer for a future meal.

Last September, I pulled together all my favorite ‘mix and match’ meals using the ingredients I regularly purchase at Costco. I priced out this list and was shocked to find that I could make 20 meals within a $150 budget. That’s $7.50 per meal! I was thrilled with this price point because it was close to $5, but not so high that it was going to break the bank…plus this also includes higher prices that you pay for higher quality meats at Costco as compared to grocery store sale prices. I shared the list on $5 Dinners, and it quickly went viral and has been seen by millions since. So I created a second plan, and most recently, a gluten free meal plan.

{Complete Listing of all my 20 Meals from Costco Meal Plans.}

So when Lisa asked me to pull together a similar list using their organic products, I gladly agreed! While our family doesn’t personally eat 100% organically, I do squeeze as many organic ingredients into my grocery cart as my budget allows. Thankfully, Costco has a great inventory of organic ingredients, and many of them are priced competitively to conventional ingredients at the regular grocery store. I have shared an Organic Ingredient Price List for Costco, including my recommendations for which organic ingredients to purchase from Costco when you’re on a tight budget. For example, the price per meal/per pound on frozen organic vegetables is half as much as frozen organic vegetables at the local grocery store in my area; and almost the same price per meal/per pound as conventional frozen vegetables. Therefore, I recommend getting frozen organic vegetables from Costco. Check out the list for other organic ingredient prices and my recommendations for those on a tight budget.

Here’s how this plan works:

I’ve pulled together a list of 9 recipes that call for organic ingredients that you can find at Costco. I expect that you would have some of the staple ingredients like olive oil, spices, and baking supplies already in your pantry or fridge. These smaller amount ingredients and pantry staple ingredients are not figured into the total cost from Costco. I have outlined below what organic ingredients you’ll need for each recipe.

On the shopping list I have indicated the total price, as well as the number of meals you will need to make with that ingredient. At quick glance, you’ll notice that there will be quite a few additional ingredients leftover after these 9 meals have been made. I’ll give you a few ideas of ways to use up those extra ingredients. I have included 2 totals for you…one is the total for all the ingredients, including the items/ingredients that you won’t use in the plan. The second “prorated” total is based on the price for only the ingredients used for the meals in the plan.

The 9 Meals (doubled recipes count as 2)

Chicken Taco Salad with baby carrots – DOUBLED

Organic Ingredients to Purchase

Make Ahead Notes: Cook the chicken ahead of time and shred it. Once cooled, it can be frozen. Pull out to thaw overnight and this dinner is very quick to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup – DOUBLED (and Freezer Friendly!)

Organic Ingredients to Purchase

  • Shredded Chicken, made from whole chicken
  • Chicken stock
  • Corn
  • Salsa
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tortilla chips
  • Black Beans
  • Mixed Greens – Side Salad

Make Ahead and Freeze Directions: Make a double batch of this recipe. Before you add the tortilla chips in at the end, pour half of the soup into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Once cooled, you can freeze that half for a future meal. Thaw, reheat and then add the tortilla chips into the soup just before serving.

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Side Salad – DOUBLED

Organic Ingredients to Purchase

  • Ground beef
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Tomato sauce
  • Baby carrots
  • Spring Mix Salad

Note: You can make your own red marinara sauce with 2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, garlic and/or onion powder, and if you’re like me and like it on the sweet side, a touch of your preferred sweetener too. This will make enough sauce for 1 lb. of pasta and 1 lb. noodles.

Make Ahead and Freeze Directions: While you’re making one batch of the meatballs, you might as well make both batches. I like to freeze my meatballs raw, but you can also cook them and then let them cool completely in the fridge before freezing them. Letting them cool completely will help reduce the risk of freezer burn. (Of course, I never have to worry about freezer burn with meatballs because they never last more than a week or two in my freezer!)

Sloppy Joes with salad

Organic Ingredients to Purchase

  • Ground beef
  • Baby carrots
  • Tomato sauce
  • Sandwich loaf bread, in place of buns
  • Spring Salad Mix

Kale Quiche; using this whole wheat pie crust – DOUBLED

Organic Ingredients to Purchase

  • Kale
  • Eggs

Substitution Note: The original recipe calls for spinach. Replace the spinach with equal amount of kale and cook as directed. Or you could buy a bag of 1 lb. organic spinach too.

The Grocery List of Organic Ingredients from Costco

We recommend organic ingredients, and the prices below are for the organic ingredients sold at Costco.

1 – 1.5 lb. bag kale (2 meals) –  $5.29

1 – 6 lb. package spaghetti noodles (2 meals) –  $6.99 *prorated to $2.49

1 – 40 oz. bag of tortilla chips (4 meals) – $4.79

1 – 2 pack whole chickens (4 meals) – $22.09 for 2 chickens

1 – 12 pack, 15 oz. cans tomato sauce (6 meals) – $7.59 *prorated to $3.80

1 – 5 lb. bag frozen corn (4 meals) -$5.99 *prorated to $4

1 – 2 pack, 38 oz. jars salsa (2 meals) – $4.49 *prorated to $2.25

1 – 8 pack, 15 oz. cans black beans (4 meals)  – $6.79 *prorated to $3.40

1 – 8 pack, 32 oz. containers chicken stock (2 meals) – $9.99 *prorated to $2.99

1  – 3 pack ground beef (2 meals) – $17.99

1 – 5 lb. bag baby carrots (3-4 meals) – $5.49

1 – 2 loaves, Sandwich loaf bread (1 meal) – $5.99 *prorated to $3

1 – 2 dozen eggs (2 meals) – $7.25

2 – 1 lb. Spring Salad Mix or Mixed Greens (2 meals) – $6.78

Total (Pro-Rated) Cost – $91.61

Total Cost – $117.52

Leftover Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. pasta noodles
  • 6 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 4 cans black beans
  • 6 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 sandwich loaf
  • 1-2 meals worth of frozen corn

Ideas to use up these leftover ingredients

  • Corn-Black Bean Salsa – 1 can black beans + 2 cups corn + couple Tablespoons salsa
  • Noodles with tomatoes sauce – pasta with marinara as side dish for grilled chicken or steak

I hope that you enjoy this organic meal plan from Costco…both the recipes and the savings!

What are your favorite organic ingredients to purchase from Costco?

Erin Chase is the founder of 5DollarDinners.com and author of The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook series. When not whipping together flavorful budget friendly meals and helping people spend less money on groceries, she is busy chasing after her 4 young boys. She enjoys running, and the occasional good book. She lives in San Antonio, TX with her husband, 4 boys and furry pup. 

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86 comments to 9 Organic Meals from Costco for under $100

  • I love your posts so much – thank you for all of your tips. As a newly married couple, grocery shopping on a budget is extremely important! :)

  • Shandra

    My Costco list is: organic chicken breasts, organic grass fed ground beef, organic chicken stock, organic sliced apples, organic strawberries, rice rollers, Kirkland marinara sauce (not organic but delicious), organic animal crackers, parmigiano reggiano cheese, occasionally bread (alpine valley or dave’s kller), occasionally organic lemonade (for cocktails), maple syrup, nuts, vanilla, organic frozen corn, organic frozen peas, organic frozen broccoli.

  • Yaitza

    Organic spinach ravioli, organic kale and white bean ravioli, organic bread, organic spinach, organic frozen strawberries, organic frozen acai, acai juice, organic strawberry/blueberry smoothies, organic whole fruit popsicles, organic flax seed, organic marinara sauce, organic ground beef and chicken, organic brown rice, organic hummus, organic black bean noodles, organic apple and eve juice, organic Go go Squeez applesauce, almond butter, organic honey, etc…..if you didn’t notice…..I love Costco !!!

  • dz5003

    This is the first time I became interested in Costco, but I am glad I did some research before joining for Costco’s organic foods! It turns out that Aurora provides Costco’s Dairy products and Aurora nearly lost the ability to sell their products as organic in 2007 and from all accounts that I have found they have not improved at all. Aurora is not a company I want to support.

    Costco’s organic chicken (from what info I found) seems to be supplied by Coleman organic. From what I have found online about them, I would likely buy from them after some more research.
    So now I have to decide if I want to pay $50 for a membership to a store 45 mins away, primarily to buy organic chicken. Hmm, not sure about that.

    Anyone know where the organic beef comes from? I’d like to know more about that.

    • Laura

      You are likely a more thorough researcher than I, but I believe that a lot of their suppliers for products like meat, eggs and dairy are regional.
      Can you find a local farmer that you can buy chicken from? Or a farmer within a 45 minute drive?
      I hate coughing up that $50 for the membership — I only go to Costco about 4-5 times/year. Yet we continue to pay it because there are some items we buy there that make it seem like a good idea.

  • Julie

    I just wanted to share this as a word of caution and feel free to take it leave it. A friend just fed her child a go go applesauce squeeze pouch that was rotten. The expiration was 2015. The one year old has been treated in the hospital.
    When you can’t see what your eating, makes you wonder.

  • MJB

    dz5003, you can go into a Costco without a membership. Go with a friend or just walk in close to someone and they think you are with them. Then you can checkout the labels and even take pics with your smart phone. Try scanning the bar codes and see if you can pullup the product online. Personally, I don’t buy any processed food. I only buy fresh whole produce and make everything from scratch. Good Health.

  • Nessa

    If you are just curious about shopping at Costco, you can tell the person at the front that you would just like to look around and you can. They encourage “window” shopping without a membership. I took a months recent receipts from other grocers with me to compare. I feel good shopping there – while I buy from our local CSA and farms – Costco helps me fill them gaps and has wonderful employment policies and wages for people that love in my area.

  • brennly

    Thought I would give this shopping list a try. Was terrified at the checkout being in Canada and prices are higher usually but I am happy to report it was $145 taxes in and I got 2 extra items! I can handle that!!! Thank you!

  • jeena

    Costco gives you a cash reward once a year depending on how much money you spent in the store, you can use it to buy products or put it toward the annual membership fee. Costco offers so many organic products now so I buy most of my food there. My favorite is the frozen organic mixed berries.

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