So if you came to my house and opened our fridge and freezer you would notice that I buy A LOT of my groceries from Costco. Thought I’d share today what my typical grocery list looks like, the items I love, and the items to stay away from.
I usually go to Costco once or twice a month, we have a deep freezer so I am able to keep a lot of stuff frozen until I am ready to use it.
My Typical Shopping List
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Obviously people have different preferences so change it as you like, and I intentionally left out items that I generally buy at the regular grocery store such as potatoes, herbs, etc.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast & Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs– comes in pouches of two HUGE chicken breasts, these are great to defrost and make a quick dinner like Cilantro-Lime Chicken.
- Salmon – I will buy fresh most of the time, and freeze whatever I don’t use for dinner. Lately I have been buying the frozen one out of laziness, but it tastes just as good and is a bit cheaper.
- Top Sirloin Steak – These steaks are HUGE, so even though they are pricey my husband and I will split a steak so it’s enough for 4 dinners
- Ground Turkey Breast – Comes in packs of 4 so they are great to freeze and defrost to make turkey burgers, meatballs, tacos, or mix with spaghetti sauce
- Sliced Turkey Breast – Great for wraps
- Frozen Fruit- strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, cherries, pretty much whatever they have that day (it changes with the seasons)
- Spring Mix Salad- they have a HUGE pack of spring mix salad for $3.50. Pretty much can’t beat that. At that price I don’t feel so bad when I throw the last bit out that has gone soggy.
- Coconut Oil- I use this for all my cooking so we go through it quickly.
- Fresh Blueberries/Strawberries/Blackberries – whatever is in season.
- Apples or Oranges
- Tomatoes – awesome for cucumber and tomato salads
- Butternut Squash – they have it already cubed and at an awesome price, but unfortunately they don’t have this all the time.
- Cauliflower or Broccoli – comes already cut and ready to steam
- Bag of Spinach – we put it in our morning smoothies
- Low carb Tortillas – my husband likes these, I eat them, but if you are expecting them to taste like the real thing you will be in for a surprise.
- Almond Milk – best price for a pack of 3 cartons!
- Fage 0% Greek Yogurt – I don’t eat dairy but this is my husbands favorite nighttime snack
- Zone Protein Bars – Okay, this is borderline a cheat item because it is pretty much a chocolate bar but they are good to have on the go.
- Rotisserie Chicken – Okay, I NEVER leave Costco without buying one, even if we aren’t going to eat it that night. For $5 this tasty and easy meal is good for days. You can eat the chicken by itself, on salads, in wraps, in a soup, etc. It may be high in sodium but for the amount of protein it provides and how freakin’ delicious it is I’m okay with that.
- Bell Peppers
- Corn on the Cob
- Rolled Oats
- Granola Bars
- Chicken Broth
- Paper Towels
- Bottled Water
- Frozen Vegetables
- Olive Oil
- Skinny Pop Popcorn
Seems like a lot of food right? It IS! But, if I stick to just what I need and only buy ‘real’ food I can usually get out of there spending $180-$200 and that covers a good portion of our dinners for the next two weeks
BAD Shopping Choices at Costco!
Here are some things to stay away from if you want to save your waistline and your budget.
- Skip the entire section with snacks, nuts and baked goods. Even though a lot of these look like ‘healthy’ choices they aren’t. Chips that say they have Kale in them may be healthier than regular potato chips, but they still aren’t good for you! I personally LOVE their croissants, but I definitely don’t need to eat a dozen of them, so I just skip this section all together to avoid the temptation.
- Skip the frozen aisle with all the pre-made meals. Obviously taquitos, breakfast sandwiches, and processed foods are not a healthy choice…and they are expensive to boot!
- Skip the juice aisle. Juice or soda is fine for a treat every once a in a while but having a 24 pack of sugar packed juice boxes in the house will just encourage you to drink more than you should.
- Skip the nut & trail mix aisle. Yes, nuts are good for you…in moderation. If you have the willpower to only have a handful of nuts a day then great, save some money and buy them in bulk. Personally, I don’t because I end up eating ¼ bag of trail mix in one sitting which is the calorie equivalent of running 10 + miles. No thanks.
How to NOT spend WAY too much money
In order to save your budget try these tips.
- Go in with a list, commit to ONLY buying what’s on the shopping list. Yes, you definitely could use a new set of mixing bowls but do you need them? No. I am really guilty of this and I’m doing much better lately at sticking to the list.
- Don’t walk through every aisle. Only go to the sections of the store that you know have the items you need. I skip the electronics, home items, toys and clothing, and head straight to the back where the meat and vegetables are kept, then I make my way around the freezer and dry food aisles skipping the middle section of ‘seasonal’ stuff . That is what usually gets me. How can I not buy new beach towels? They won’t have them again until next year!
- Don’t buy items that you will not use in a reasonable amount of time. If it will take you a year to use a Costco sized bottle of Olive Oil then don’t bother. It will go bad before you use it all and it would have been cheaper to just buy a smaller bottle at the grocery store. Same with fresh produce, if the item is not part of one of your planned lunches or dinners in then next 7 days then skip it this time. I hate the day before garbage day because I always go through the fridge and find items that were forgotten and had gone bad. Throwing out fresh fruits and vegetables makes me cringe since it’s pretty much the same as tossing money in the garbage.
Want a 7 day clean eating meal plan based on the items you see above? Want the accountability of a trainer that checks in and helps you stick to your goals? Email me today to try my 7 day clean eating challenge and get started on the path to a healthier life!
In fitness & good health,