My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II)

This post is by blog team member, Amy. Check out our team page and her blog Spunky Avocado to learn more about her!


Well, here it is as promised—Part II of my Costco real food love fest. This time I am going to be dishing on my favorite items from Costco’s freezers, along with meat, dairy, seafood, and poultry, as well a few real food rule benders.

And because I care, a brief word of caution: As you know or as you will certainly learn the first time you walk through those doors, Costco is full of extras. Part of the art of shopping there (without breaking the bank) is wearing a pair of make-believe blinders and sticking militantly to your shopping list. So make sure you print out your free copy at the end of this post to take with you.

If you are a Costco newbie, you might want to review the little primer I included in Part I.

Costco Real Food Shopping List on 100 Days of #RealFood

My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II)

I have to admit to a bit of trepidation as I entered Costco last week. My family just completed our Suburban Smackdown Challenge where we purchased NOTHING but food and very basic necessities for six months.

As I alluded to above, Costco is also a veritable smorgasbord of material goods, and this was to be my first visit without the constraints of the Smackdown to reign in my wants. I’m proud to say that I entered with an iron will and left with that will only mildly softened. I stuck to my list….for the most part. :)

So without further ado, let’s get to that list, starting with the freezer section. Oh and you can download a printable version using the button below!

 
My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II) at 100 Days of #RealFood

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit I Buy at Costco

A well stocked freezer full of whole foods is an essential tool for feeding a family, and there is no shortage of great frozen finds at Costco. Most of my take-homes include veggies, fruit, and seafood, but you will find a couple frozen real food rule benders in my cart as well. I’ll share those a bit later.

Let’s begin with vegetables and fruit. You may remember from my last post that as a health coach, I’m very big on the concept of “crowding out” other food groups with nutrient and antioxidant-packed vegetables and fruit (heavy on the veggies).

The good news is that vegetables and fruit retain most of their nutrients if frozen soon after they have been picked. So bring on the frozen produce!

Frozen Seafood I Buy at Costco*

My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II) at 100 Days of #RealFood

Ah, the bounty of the sea! Costco offers a good selection of frozen fish and other seafood which can add much needed variety to your weekly meal plans. Fish (especially fatty fish) and seafood are important sources of essential long-chain omega-3 fats. Fish are high in protein and also good sources of vitamin D and selenium.

If you do not eat fish regularly, a high-quality fish oil supplement is a good idea. Your brain and body will thank you for it.*Be sure to shop for fish/seafood that is sourced sustainably. Fresh Seafood I Buy at Costco*I admit to not being the best planner in the world, so many of our meals are pulled together out of the air at the last moment.

Therefore, fresh seafood is not terribly frequent in our household. There are a few items here that I do pick up occasionally.*Be sure to shop for fish/seafood that is sourced sustainably.

Meat and Poultry I Buy at Costco

My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II) at 100 Days of #RealFood

This, along with dairy, is the area where I think our Costco could offer better choices. While there are organic options, pastured and grass-fed are not descriptors on any of the packaging.

In fact, I asked the very nice butcher if they had any grass-fed options outside of bison, and he referred me to Matthews Farmer’s Market. I thought that was very sweet (and accurate) of him. That said, some of these organic meats do make their way into my cart from time to time.

Dairy Items I Buy at Costco

My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II) at 100 Days of #RealFood

Again, this is a shorter list. While Costco does offer whole organic omega 3 milk, we are almond and coconut milk drinkers for the most part. As for cheese, I’m very picky about the quality since my husband and boys seem to inhale it. And before anyone corrects me with, “but eggs aren’t dairy,” please know I am aware of this. Eggs are, however, located in the dairy cooler at Costco. So forgive them.

A Few Real Food Rule Benders

There ya have it. Don’t forget to download your printable version of this list using the button at the beginning of the post. While this list is not comprehensive, it does represent most of the tried and true grocery items that make the job of feeding my family three+ meals a day a little easier. The hard part is keeping those blinders on…and keeping my husband out of the tool isle.

Frozen VegetablesQuantityPrice
Kirkland Organic Normandy Vegetables
This classic combination of carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower is great in casseroles or on its own served over a bit of quinoa.
5.5 lbs.$8.99
Bybbe Foods Organic Mixed Vegetables with Shelled Edamame
This is a huge time saver as far as winter vegetable soup making goes. The edamame adds extra protein. The combo is also yummy mixed into brown rice, quinoa, barley, or farro.
5.5 lbs.$6.89
Path of Life Organic Quinoa and Kale
As a rule, I do not use plastic steamer bags. I heat this in a pan or steam it using a fine mesh stainless strainer. I love this pairing of super-foods as a quick and complete meal but have yet to get my boys on board for this one. Kale, not disguised in smoothies, is still a hard sell for them.
5 10-oz. steamer bags$12.49
Bybee Organic Green Beans
Caramelize some onion in a bit of avocado oil or grass fed butter, then add these carotenoid-rich beans and chicken or veggie broth. Simmer to desired tenderness. Salt to taste. Delish!
5 lbs.$6.89
Path of Life Broccoli Florets
A great source of fiber, Vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants. I use frozen broccoli in lieu of fresh broccoli for soups, casseroles, and stir-fry.
4 1-lb. bags$6.49
Frozen FruitQuantityPrice
Sunrise Growers Organic Sweet Cherries
Give me a big handful of these with some raw cocao (“ao” not “oa”) and I’ve the got the start of a decadent tasting and deceptively nutritious smoothie.
3 lbs.$12.99
Wyman’s of Maine Organic Blueberries
Blueberries are associated with better memory and brain function. I could list a whole load of healthy facts on this little power berry, but better memory and brain function should be motivation enough. (Besides, I forgot the rest.)
3 lbs.$11.99
Pure Nature Organic Strawberries
I’ve never met a strawberry I didn’t like, but these in particular are really large and really sweet. They are the base of most of the smoothies that make it into my kids’ bellies.
4 lbs.$11.39
Radar Farms Organic Island Mix (Strawberry, Blueberry, and Mango)
This is a new item, but sounds like a fab combination.
4 lbs.$11.49
Cascadian Farms Antioxidant Blend (Berry)
Um, raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry….mucho berries…muy bueno….need I say more?
3 lbs.$10.99
Frozen SeafoodQuantityPrice
Cox’s Seafood Wild Caught Shrimp40-50 ct. 2 lbs.$20.99
 16-20 ct. 2 lbs.$24.99
Cox’s Raw Peeled Wild Caught Shrimp16-20 ct. 2 lbs.$36.99
Kirkland Raw Sea Scallops15-20 ct. 2 lbs.$35.99
Kirkland Wild Caught Mahi Mahi3 lbs.$17.99
Kirkland Wild Caught Pacific Sockeye Salmon
3 lbs.$34.99
Orca Bay (Pacific) Flounder3 lbs.$13.99
Kirkland Wild Caught Hake Loins3 lbs.$13.99
Fresh SeafoodQuantityPrice
Fresh Wild Mahi Mahiper lb.$8.99
Fresh Wild Caught White Shrimp
I don’t have pricing because it was unavailable this visit.
  
Wild Cooked Red King Crab (a rare splurge)per lb.$19.99
Wild Cooked Cold Water Lobster Arm/Clawper lb.$9.99
Meat and PoultryQuantity__Price
Kirkland Organic Ground Beef
While I don’t use beef often, the grass-fed option I would typically buy is $9.99/lb. So every once in a while this beef, at half the cost, comes home to my freezer.
4 lbs.$19.99
High Plains Ground Bison
I’ve bought bison a couple times, but my husband has to handle and cook it. I eat 95% vegetarian, and it is hard for me to add a once endangered animal to our menu (yes, showing my bias here). However, these animals who graze on grass and other natural Great Plains vegetation boast a very lean meat, which is high in protein and rich in iron. If you are going to eat a red meat and can get past eating this national treasure, bison is a healthier choice.
2.5 lbs.$17.99
Coleman Fresh Organic Whole Chicken 2-Pack
When I don’t have access to a pastured bird, these guys are always available. Each chicken is in the 5-6 lb. range. I have used them for Lisa’s Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot and have fed my family for days from one chicken.
per lb.$2.49
Coleman Fresh Organic Chicken Drumsticksper lb.$1.99
Coleman Fresh Organic Chicken Breastsper lb.$4.99
Coleman Fresh Organic Chicken Thighsper lb.$4.79
Coleman Fresh Organic Chicken Wingsper lb.$2.99
Dairy and EggsQuantityPrice
Kerrygold Imported Irish Butter (from grass-fed cows)1.5 lbs.$6.99
Kerrygold Imported Dubliner Cheese2.18 lbs.$13.99
Coastal Rugged Mature English Cheddar
(I once dated a guy I would have described with those exact words.)
per lb.$7.59
Kirkland Large Organic Brown Eggs
While not pastured, these eggs are certified humane and are sourced locally according to packaging, but I’d describe it as regionally since the farm is in Georgia and we’re in North Carolina.
24 ct.$6.99
Rule BendersQuantityPrice
Jack’s Special Salsa
I’ll be honest, this stuff is ALWAYS in my fridge. It’s only offense is a little added cane sugar.
48 oz.$5.39
Dr. Praeger’s Organic Harvest Veggie Burgers
While the ingredient list is long, it is made up of whole organic veggies and grains. The only true rule breaker in these otherwise healthful patties is a bit of canola oil.
 12 $11.99
Kirkland Basil Pesto
Yes, I prefer to make my own, but this is a tasty version to have on hand. When I use it, I have to look past the added sunflower oil and ascorbic acid.
22 oz.$7.99
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
We drink a lot of almond milk, and I cook with it almost exclusively. Making it myself is not always feasible. Silk is one of the few brands without carrageenan, though it’s ingredient list goes way beyond the almonds, water, and vanilla that I would use.
3 64-oz.$7.99
Green Chopsticks Organic Chicken Dumplings
These are flavor-packed and full of whole, all organic ingredients, along with a smidge of sugar as well as refined organic flour.
2 lbs.$11.69

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153 thoughts on “My Go-To Costco Shopping List (Part II)”

  1. I will never buy Costco eggs. Just read an article about where Costco buys their eggs. Factory farms that are deplorable, Dead chickens,left in with laying hens, chickens, chickens who have lost all their wing feathers because they don’t have room to open their wings. Terrible conditions for these birds. Costco needs to do a better job.

    1. I just watched that myself. I have been buying eggs directly from people that I know . I also only buy eggs that have not been feed soy or corn. I have a number of good local sources. Here in MN. it is sometimes difficult to find eggs in the coldest darkest part of the winter . These eggs are often expensive. I know the food value of each egg is much higher than the cheaper eggs. I also know the health of the chickens is good. the eggs are just so good. I am supporting my local small organic growers. It is all such a plus. Costco is a good source for many things . Remember not to buy eggs at Costco.

      1. You can freeze eggs in ice cube trays! Buy them in the sunny months (when chickens are laying) and freeze a bunch of them for the winter. We raise Muscovy Ducks and get TONS of eggs that we can’t use, so I freeze them in the ice cube trays. You can google how to do this very easily, and a few of the sites will give you exact instructions. You can even freeze them as yolks and whites separately! All of the baked items that I’ve cooked turned out perfectly.

  2. If you haven’t tried it yet, The Seeds of Change products are wonderful. They are always available at my local Costco (Seattle, WA area) and are delicious Indian style dishes. I get the Brown Rice Quinoa and garlic, and the Chana Masala. Makes a yummy and filling lunch that’s super easy. They come in microwaveable pouches, but could be easily heated on the stove. I sometimes serve them for dinner with some organic chicken simmered in with the Chana Masala (my husband usually wants meat) and oven roasted veggies-cauliflower and carrots. One of our favorite weeknight meals when no one really wants to do much cooking.

  3. Really appreciate finding healthy, and not just inexpensive, recommendations for Costco. I just find you and now I’m definitely a follower! Thanks!

  4. I just wanted to comment and say thank you so much for these two shopping lists! My family has been using Costco for almost a year now, but I still found new items today because of your lists. With a toddler in toe it’s not always possible to slowly browse or read labels. Thanks for saving us time and helping us find new options at one of our favorite shopping destinations!

  5. This is a great list, both part 1 and 2. There are a few items on here that I didn’t know about so I will have to look at my Costco to see if they are there. I would move the veggies with edamame to the “rules benders” section though since edamame is soy, which is a hormone disruptor and really should be avoided.

    1. Soy as a hormone disruptor is nonsense non gmo soy is a healthy product the Japanese people have been eating and drinking soy for hundreds of years and they are some of the healthiest people in the world

  6. I also spoke with the butcher about the organic beef. It is deceiving because the picture makes it look like the cow is eating grass but it is not grass fed beef. They told me that the cows are fed organic feed. It not only makes me mad because I love Costco and that is deceptive marketing but it also now makes me question everything. It’s a great lesson for us all to ask questions because the picture doesn’t always tell the correct story. I will add that the package does not say grass fed so in most cases you would know it’s not grass fed but in this case the picture throws you off.

  7. I am always concerned about the origin of the fish and shellfish. Not sure the Costco brands are from the USA.

    1. I agree Beverly. I notice most if not all is sourced from outside of US so I don’t purchase b/c I feel unsure of quality control.

  8. Great list and very consistent with what I currently buy and can get here in San Diego. However, at least in our area, the Kirkland Sea Scallops are NOT dry pack meaning they have been wet packed using Sodium Tripolyphosphate which is a chemical additive I never choose to include in our diet. Luckily we have a small, local grocer who carries dry pack scallops for a reasonable $19.99 per lb most of the year.

  9. I have looked at the Kirkland organic ground beef, it has a cow in a big green field, but I couldn’t see anywhere on the package that said it was grass fed. I have been thinking they were trying to give the impression, but that it wasn’t actually grass fed. I am incorrect? Did I miss it somewhere? Thanks

  10. Thank you so much for creating the part 1 & 2 lists so helpful. I am assuming this is Costco USA not Canada correct? I hope I can find these items here in Canada.

    :)

    1. I am in Calgary, AB and we have most of the same things but not the same brands of frozen fruit. They have other brands of Organic frozen fruit though. I haven’t been able to find organic, grass fed meat but I haven’t looked too hard. I usually get it at Co-op instead. We definitely have the Hemp Hearts, tortilla chips, organic raisins, and frozen vegetables that are on this list. I just bought them yesterday! :)

    2. Most of those items are in the Canadian Costcos with the exception of a few of the meats. The organic ground beef is also a staple in our home. Actually this list basically is my list too.

  11. I’m new to Costco. On one of my trips I bought organic frozen brown rice that was precooked. What a time saver! A few trips back I bought a bag of organic frozen vegetables and grains with flax seed. It came in individual packets packets and we would throw in chicken or steak or chunks of mushrooms then add some soy sauce. This stuff was amazing. The only problem I’ve noticed with Costco is that you go back to rebuy these items and they are gone. Do they buy out overstocked items and once they are gone they are gone?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. They typically keep restocking the items that are popular and sell well. If you see a * on the price sign, that means the item is discontinued. I bought 20 boxes of a red lentil pasta that I learned was no longer going to be carried. :) But, most of my go-to items are always there.

  12. Great list indeed especially the frozen fruits and vegs perfect for my smoothies, Best thing about frozen fruit is, they will last past 1 week.

  13. Just in case this helps :) – Salmon IS actually my go-to meal when I haven’t planned. It defrosts so quickly. AND I pair it with creamed kale/quinoa. Just sautee an onion, garlic, add kale/quinoa. Finish with cream or coconut cream. It turned my kids from kale fussers to kale lovers instantly! They ask for second and thirds.
    Thank you for the wonderful list and meals!

  14. I’ve been disappointed with Costco for many of their organic offerings. I noticed much of the meat was imported, and the organic whole milk I purchased actually had an ingredient list containing fish products! I don’t pay any more since I buy in bulk, and I think it’s valuable to support our own economy.

  15. Nice list but I wouldn’t eat any seafood that came out of the northern Pacific due to Fukishima. I try to even avoid all fruits and vegetables from the west coast as well.

  16. Personally, I don’t like frozen seafood except for shrimp. I don’t think it has much flavor and it is usually mushy, I would highly recommend buying fresh which we get at Wegmans. They have many other organci items too like Ollie sausage, wholly guacamole, and Canadian bacon. They also have organic honey and pure maple syrup!

  17. The few times our Costco is out of the Wyman’s blueberries and organic broccoli, I feel so disappointed. Those are 2 essentials we don’t grow ourselves. I’m counting on stores to increase organics to the point that when I am too old to grow my own anymore, I can buy all organic in bulk!

  18. I bought Silk almond milk and just looked at the ingredients. No carrageenan. Maybe they have removed this ingredient since you last bought it?

    Costcos in Oregon have a HUGE array of organic, natural and minimally processed foods. Definitely check out everything at your local Costco, you never know what you’ll find. My Costco carries organic grass fed beef, for example, along with the regular organic beef. Quinoa, chia seeds, hemp hearts, organic corn chips, Coconut oil, organic tomato sauce, puree and diced tomatoes in BPA-free cans, raw honey, natural olives and Dave’s Killer Bread (may be an Oregon thing since this is an Oregon company) are all on my shopping list for this week.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Brandi. I think you just misread my comment about Silk. It one of the few without carrageenan, which is why I buy it or the Whole Foods brand. :)

    2. WA Costco carry Dave’s killer bread as well. I love the new cinnamon roll thing that name is Sin Dawg. That is one of best cinnamon roll.
      Thanks for the list.

  19. I also always include the Kirkland Signature Stir-Fry blend of frozen vegetables. Super-easy to add vegetables to a meal without complications.

  20. Thank you Lisa for these awesome Costco lists!!! We can’t wait to try out some of your dinner suggestions as well! :)

  21. Whoa Nellie. Costco in Canada has hemp hearts, chia, 1-2 types of veggies burgers, wild fresh and frozen salmon, wild halibut, organic soy, organic brown eggs, organic coffee, three or four types of organic nut butters, organic frozen strawberries, mixed berries, kale, pre-made smoothies (mixed berry, spinach, kale), organic cheese, organic baby romaine and spinach, organic quinoa, spelt flour, almond flour, quinoa-go-go products (cookies for sure right now), organic dark chocolate and pumpkin seed bark (three ingredients), organic oranges, organic yogurt, organic kefir, organic cows milk, organic soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, organic tomato paste and sauce, several newman’s own products …. That’s just off the top of my head and I’m sure the cost is don’t vary so much that Victoria is the only place they sell any of it. A couple local things like salt spring goat cheese maybe but not the other stuff I mentioned.

  22. Absolutely disappointed! Our Costco here in Canada has NONE of these things :( no organic offerings or very few.

  23. Love the list. What is wrong with organic cane sugar? This is what I buy for sugar is organic cane sugar. If there is something wrong with using it I would love your opinion Lisa.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Deborah. Under the real food rules we avoid all refined sugars. Lisa will use it very occasionally in her baking. There are two or three recipes that include refined sugar but the rest use honey or maple syrup.

      1. How can you know it is refined? It is organic sealed, so I don’t understand. Can you direct me to some information about it? I thought I was doing good sugar wise. Wow, what will be the best sugar to buy that don’t taste nasty. Granulated

  24. Thanks so much for this information! You mentioned once that you freeze fresh spinach for smoothies. How do you do this? Unfortunately our Costco sells organic spinach that is close to its use by date and it doesn’t stay fresh long enough for us to use all of it.

    1. You can Google all the schools of thought on freezing fresh greens, but honestly, I’ve found just washing it, patting it dry, and putting it in a zip lock in the freezer works! Same with Kale.

    2. We throw a couple packs into the blender, sometimes with kale, and pour it into ice cube trays for use in smoothies, green rice, or pasta.

  25. This is a wonderful resource. I am still surprised at all of the judgement in the comments. Poverty is real people and not everyone can afford luxuries like some of these definitely are. Remembering we all get to this site from different paths could lead to a lot more supportive comments. Doing the best you can with what you have to feed your family real food should be applauded. Not scolded into ‘making more sacrifices’. Please be kind to one another.

  26. I grew up as a migrant worker child. Our main food staples were rice & beans, potatoes, seasonal veggies & milk. Nothing was ever wasted! Bruised fruit became Agua Fresca. We never ate out & rarely had processed foods. Soda & chips was never in our menu. After shelter, food & utilities there was little $ left for clothes & extras but we were slim, healthy & always had food to share with visitors. My mother would whip up tortillas & soups in minutes. It’s incredible how much time & money you can save when you’re on survival mode & forego beauty salon, matching dishes, & seasonal home decor :) So yes! It can be done! Even on the most limited budget!

  27. I have purchased hemp seeds, very nutritious, but in late 2014 Huntington Beach store no longer carried them.

  28. $500 twice a month? We are a family of 7 and our entire income for a month is just over $2000. maybe I should make the necessary financial sacrifices you know like heat and electricity lmao!!

  29. The people who really understand how important it is to feed yourself and your family good, healthy and natural foods are the ones who make the necessary financial sacrifices. I spend $500 at Costco on the first and 15th of every month for a family of 8. Another great tip is shopping at the dollar store. I buy organic there or products that only have five or less ingredients (most of my diced tomatoes, beans and brown rice). Point is not to bore you with my shopping habits, but to enlighten you that it can be done, and to applaud the fact she even shares her lists and ideas for food. Wish everyone had her passion then we wouldn’t have to see the effects that the faux food has had upon our society!

  30. Kirkland’s frozen pineapple! It is that sweet deep yellow perfect pineapple. Absolutely delicious! Also, the organic frozen corn is the best corn I have ever eaten. Every but as good as our best summer sweet corn.

  31. Why all the negative nancies? Many comments I’m reading say that how can a family afford to buy organic & natural?? First, perspective, you pay the farmer now or the doctor & hospital later! Grass-fed meat is much healthier for you with healthy fats that fuel brain function. Secondly, many many many studies link herbacides to cancers, autism and other disorders. Herbacides are on and in “traditional” produce and packaged foods. Lastly, a pound of regular 90% lean hamburg as my grocery store is close to $4 a lb, playing an extra $1 per pound for organic isn’t going to break anyone’s budget. Its all about priorities people! Cancel that $100+ month cell phone or cable bill or cut back on eating out and you miraculously have that extra money each month to feed your family nutritious, whole, organic & natural foods!

    1. your comment made me lol
      .. that’s how I see it too! We’re in baby steps 2 of total money makeover but I’m able to buy 95% organic and pastured foods around $600-$650 a month… no cable but I cook from scratch

    2. Although you also need to realize that it will break the budget for some of us. We have cut everything possible from our budget. I cook from scratch, use lots of veggies, chicken, fruit, and whole grains but switching to completely organic and all natural would send us over the edge. I do not buy “extras” at the store either (chips, crackers, cookies, ect) just food that will fuel our bodies. We have never had cable (don’t own a TV) and have very basic cell plans and no land line. Our big “splurges” would be a gym membership that gets used multiple times a week and internet (needed for my husbands masters degree). When the masters degree is complete and we have a higher income then I will probably slowly switch us to more organic. Sometimes money is really that tight.

    3. Herbicides are used by organic and traditional farmers alike. Also, there is zero scientific peer reviewed non-retracted proof stating they are linked to any of which you stated. Please do not pass along false fear mongering information. What you can do is eat traditional/conventional food and eliminate the processed food from your diet and see the same exact results as you would with organic, except your wallet will not be hurting nearly as much.

  32. Sheryle Broehl-Spears

    While checking out at Costco the checker looked at us and said you eat very healthy. At the time I thought that was a strange remark so I started watching what other people were buying and then I understood. So many processed foods and none related food items where in their carts. We try to buy only fresh except for some occasional canned items like beans and tomato sauce. I’m glad to see more organic items available.

  33. i just found organic black bean spaghetti at Costco.(2 ingredients-organic back beans and water) So good with the basil pesto.

  34. Unless someone could prove to me that what I am buying is organic or grain fed..I am going to remain the only idiot I guess and not spend my hard earned money.

  35. It’s unfortunate, but most Costco stores in Ontario, Canada have stopped stocking much of the organic eggs, meat, and fresh wild fish. When they stocked it the price was great, but apparently there wasn’t enough demand for it. They do also carry great organic frozen corn, and frozen peas.

  36. Hi Kelly, i just made a smoothie yesterday with strawberries. Once u start making them u’ll get the hang of fruit combinations. I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, & red grapes about 4 cups (all) and added about 2.5 cups water and 1c ice. That’s it. I eyeball everything and you can change it to make more or less. It made about 3-8oz drinks.

  37. sitting at Costco after checking out, reading your list and comparing to what’s in my cart. I did buy quite a few things off the list but a lot of the organic items on the list are not stocked at our Costco. : ( but they do have quite a few organic items so hopefully that will increase as more and more people buy organic!

  38. Hi! You mentioned using the frozen strawberries as a smoothie base. Can you share your smoothie recipe? Thanks!

  39. hi!
    After reading your article it sounds like you can make some absolutely delicious and nutritious food from this list. When I did the math, you spend about $500 on this list and this is part 2. How long does this last your family? How much do you spend on groceries in an average month?
    Thanks for your inspiration!!!!!

    Brooke

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Brooke. This list does not reflect what I buy at Costco on a typical visit. It is simply a list of the various products I am likely to buy at Costco over time depending on our needs. :)

  40. I’ve got the part 2 list, but the button is gone on the first posting for the part 1 list. Is there an active link to it?

    Thanks!

  41. Fish oil supplements are recommended in this article for those who do not eat fish regularly. Can you recommend a good one?

  42. Costco deeply discounts case quantities of poultry–whole chickens come down to $1.99/lb when you buy a case! Just ask someone in the department to find you a case and print you a discounted sticker :)

  43. Hi Lisa,
    Once again it is grading time for my fall semester college classes and three of my classes had your food challenge as a quiz grade. Here is a comment from one of my Saudi students who has fallen in love with your web site.”I really loved this challenge, because it helps me to eat real food not junk food or process food. I found out that, healthy food made me feel happy and fresh. Moreover, I know how to cook after this challenge, my family and friends are happy with that and that surprises them.” OK he has a few idiom issues, but don’t you love his enthusiasm?

    I also bought your cookbook for my daughter’s birthday (she has two boys 9 and 12) and she told me she uses it everyday!!!

    I have a few more challenges coming in before our Christmas break. I’ll let you know how converted they were to healthy living. (lol)

    Your friend,
    Joan Dahlen

  44. Thank you so much for this list. It’s so important that people have access to quality foods- so many tell me the reason they don’t eat the way y family does is due to expense!

  45. I was shopping Costco today and found that my store now sells Kirkland Signature Organic 1% milk. However, I found some conflicting information when I searched for more details on this product (https://www.facebook.com/Costco/posts/10151160219529947) from 2012. Do you have any idea as to whether this is as good as Organic Valley (or maybe even made by them?) or Horizon? What does “animal welfare certified” actually mean? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  46. Hello! I found the link to print on your Part I version, but not Part II…where is it located? Thank you! This is a very useful list!

  47. We don’t have a Costgo but we do have, and belong to, Sam’s Club. Very similar in many ways. Some foods just can’t be gotten locally…if you live in the midwest all seafood will be shipped in. However, I can get local honey in HUGE jugs at my Sam’s Club. I can also find organic coconut oil and organic coconut palm sugar and a few other cool finds. They also carry the Kerry Gold butter you mentioned though I finally can get a nice organic butter at WalMart. :) But if they’re ever out or I’m at Sam’s, need butter, and don’t want to make an extra stop, I’m thrilled to know this. I can also get Kerry Gold cheese (I could die for their white cheddar).
    Really nice thing about our Sam’s…it’s next door to a natural market. If Sam’s doesn’t have it, I can go next door. :)

  48. I can’t seem to find button for printable version. Anyone else having issues finding? Thank you for the list! We were just at Costco the other day with two babes and my oh my how overwhelming that place can be, with two little ones to top it off.

      1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi Jamie. It should be there with that link. Can you try from another computer? So sorry you are having trouble. I’ll email you. :)

  49. I love the list. I will have to double check now on the seafood I’ve been going crazy to find some wild seafood that doesn’t contain any soy/canola oil. I had checked a while back and there was only one brand of the wild seafood and they all had added oils. I might try those veggie burgers if they carry them here in UT; glad they are non-gmo. I’ve recently watched Fed Up and as a family we are paying more attention to all the added sugar…it’s in everything, especially cereals. I haven’t found one brand yet that is low on sugar so I’ve been making it at home.

  50. Don’t feel bad about not buying fresh seafood. Frozen seafood is often fresher then fresh seafood, as it is flash frozen directly on boats within hours of being caught. “Fresh” seafood is often thawed fish that was previously frozen. Also, grocery store fish can have a chemical added to it to “plump” the fish up to look more appealing. Sellers are not required to disclose this chemical.

  51. The Kale & Quinoa caught my eye, because we too get that item (among many others listed). I have a husband that wasn’t crazy about kale for a while. My son on the other hand took to it right away. Indoctrination started with homemade Kale Chips, but the one that won them both over and is ASKED for are my Potato-Kale Tacos (or burritos – however you want to wrap it up). I finely dice red or golden potatoes and toss in avocado oil (higher smoke point) until about halfway done, then toss in the kale (we prefer curly green kale best) and “coat” slightly with a bit more oil as needed. Once well mixed, I set the tortillas on top to help “steam” the kale a bit. Set the tortillas to the side of the pan to help crisp up a bit then fill. Variations include a stronger/sharper cheese melted on the tortilla before filling and other veggies I add to the mix have been carrots (great color) celery, fennel, zucchini whatever you like and want to use up.

  52. You say this is real food but you are buying processed food. Plus the food at Costco is as far from local as possible with the beef coming from Uruguay and Australia. I think there are much better options available.

    1. really??? Does all of your “real food” come from your town or even state? Do you have all raw fruits and veggies, even in the middle of winter? You must have a large income and a lot of time if you are concerned about this. I don’t care what anyone says it is super expensive/time consuming to feed your family all truly real foods. Lets take pictures of your cabinets and see what’s in them…..Oh, I’m eating Tostitos while typing this :-)

      Forgive me father for I have sinned…

    2. I did not mean to sound so negative when I wrote this. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Most people I have spoken to are not aware that the beef at Costco travels 9000 miles to reach your store and appreciate the info. I really try to avoid processed foods other than my grains – bread, tortillas, pasta. I appreciate everything posted here and think it is a great resource. I’m sorry for the negative sounding post. :)

      1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        No biggie. I think we just have to remember that we are on in a different place on our real food journeys. Our goal should be to keep doing better with how we eat and feed our families. Some people are just starting to understand why it is important to stop eating processed foods. It’s important to help people no matter where they fall on the real food continuum. :)

  53. Great list Amy, I got most of the items mentioned already in my pantry :)
    Did I miss cereals? What’s your number 1 choice?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Renata. We don’t eat much cereal in my family outside of oats. I do buy the Nature’s Path Granola (I think that is the brand) sometimes. ;)

  54. Nice article, Amy! I am so thrilled to see markets and stores offering better food choices. Even Walmart (which I am cautious with) is offering their own organic brand now, but also many more organic brands to choose from. It is an awesome sight!

  55. As I had stated in one of my fb comments, I would never buy Colemans chicken because yes, although they may feed those birds organic grains, they are not free range chickens which is what most uneducated people envision when they see the word ‘organic’. Colemans breeds their chickens in mobs allowing only 1 sq ft of space per bird. Therefore I choose not to purchase it. Our Target now sells the brand Bare where you can trace the product to the family farm.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Do you need to avoid cows’s milk. If so, Costco sells organic soy milk as well as coconut milk.

  56. When purhasing the frozen veggies and fruit (organic), should I be concerned where is manufactured from? I’ve noticed a lot of the frozen organic items are not made or manufactured in America. The organic authenticity has concerns me with stuff manufactured outside of the U.S.. Thanks for list, very helpful!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Chrystal. I think you have to be comfortable with what you purchase and if that requires more investigation, then I totally get it. I believe that Costco works hard to maintain integrity and transparency but no company gets it 100% right all the time. :)

  57. Sad to say, but our Costco is no longer carrying the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts. So many of the healthier foods seem to have a very short time on Costco shelves before they disappear. Really missing the almond flour too. I understand they need to put good sellers on the shelves, but these products were tucked so far out of general traffic that it is amazing I ever found them. Would probably be better sellers if they were given a more prominent shelf space.

  58. Great list! I wanted to let other readers know that you can buy organic whole chicken and Dubliner cheese for around those same prices at Trader Joes. Maybe when my husband and I have kids we’ll get a Costco membership :)

    1. Organic GRASS FED Ground beef is also cheaper at Trader Joe’s then your $9.99/lb ( Farmer’s market?) price. I think it’s $6.99. Thankfully I can get it from my Farmer’s Market for $5.99.

  59. I have been a loyal shopper and a walking commercial for Costco since the fed-mart days. But, in the last few years I see a decline in giving good products to their customers. This may seem trivial but I see a trend. 30 gallon kitchen trash bags with ties, changed to cheaper ones that tear easily. Kirkland cranberry-grape juice, that was called very healthy, discontinued!
    Kirkland canned frozen orange juice, discontinued! Looks like a bean counter took over when original CEO retired. Whats next discontinue the $1.50 Hotdog?

  60. Good list. Just curious why you cook with almond milk as opposed to say organic milk? In general if you could do a post or direct me to a post about why you do certain substitutions that would be great. Some of them I understand and others not as much.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Amanda. I use almond milk because cow’s milk makes me not feel well and my 8 years old is a little sensitive to dairy, too. What other subs are you wanting to know about?

      1. Hi Amy– Wanted to let you know that Trader Joes has an organic soy milk tat doesn’t have any gumr or added ingredients. You’d have to be careful about making sure you get calcium and vitamin D as it’s not fortified though. Just a though!

  61. Our Costco(s) in Northern CA carry VERKA Organic Plain Whole Milk yogurt. 64 oz. for $5.49! We use it for dessert or snacks mixed with a little Costco Organic maple syrup, on baked potatoes, mixed with Dijon mustard and fresh dill as a hollaindaise sauce, etc…

  62. There is no Costco where I live so I do my shopping at Trader Joes and Sprouts.
    Here’s my list for the week:
    TJ’s Mediterranean Hummus (I know but who has the time to make it from scratch) that I eat with schug that I have to have shipped special from the east coast because no one carries it here.
    organic arugula
    organic carrots
    organic cherry tomatoes
    sugar peas
    raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
    ==========================
    organic garlic
    organic baby broccoli
    organic spinach
    organic power greens
    organic cherry tomatoes
    pomegranates (when they aren’t in season I buy berries)
    tangerines
    lemons
    seitan
    tempeh (yes, I’m a vegetarian)
    part skim mozarella (this will last me for weeks)
    sprouted multi-grain bread (got to have that grilled cheese sandwich once in a while so this will also last me for weeks)

    The only non whole food I buy on a regular basis is a protein shake that has 30gramsof protein/9g of carbs/ 190 calories. I need the protein boost after a serious workout.

    The first few items I keep in my office. The pumpkin seeds and sugar peas are breakfast, the hummus and veggies are lunch. I also have some organic apples and raw unsalted trek mix in my office for snacks but those don’t need to be replenished every week.

    I admit that I spend too much on food but you are what you eat.

    1. You know that West Coast Canadians would give up some of our territory for a Trader Joes, right? I’ll trade you all our costcos :)

  63. Hi Amy! You’re right that they carry organic cow’s milk at Costco, but readers need to be careful with that one. I did a detailed price comparison of real food items at Costco vs. mainstream grocery stores on my blog, and organic milk is one of the few items that’s much more expensive at Costco. Even Whole Foods sells it for a lot less. It’s important to compare unit prices before putting things on your Costco list. :)

  64. Do you shop at the costco on tryon st. or the Matthews location? I’ve found the tryon st location organic selection lacking. We just moved here and our old costco had so much more.

  65. Great list, but 10$ a pound for grass fed ground beef!? you need to move to Pennsylvania and have the Amish hook you up :)

  66. Thanks so much for this info! I still don’t see a way to print the Costco II list? Am I missing something?
    Thanks!

  67. Thank you for sharing this list. Unfortunately, I have found that not all Costco’s sell the same things. Additionally, I have found, much to my dismay, that my local Costco will sell something good such as the organic blueberries then decide not to purchase again. I recently asked the manager about this and he had nothing to say. There is another Costco that is about 30minutes more away and I think when I have the time I’ll go and check it out.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Bee. They will typically keep selling the things that move quickly from their shelves.

  68. The other day, my Costco had pasture raised organic eggs. Very new and Super exciting! I also buy the organic ground turkey and Organic Valley white cheddar. We are organic on a budget and these items fit in very nicely.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Sarah. I’m a bit jealous but thanks for the intel. That means it is possible here, too. ;)

      1. I cannot find how to print it out. I have looked this page over from top to bottom! Where is the print located?

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