A while back, you guys requested a post on what we typically buy at Costco and I’m happy to finally share that today! We had been Costco members on and off over the last ten years, but this past Spring really started going more regularly and now I go every three weeks on the nose. I have to feed all these boys somehow! 😉
Now, you all know how important it is to us to buy local and shop our farmers markets. We are really trying to raise our boys to know where their food comes from and it gives us great joy to support local farmers. HOWEVER, we are also on a budget and Costco has really helped us lower our monthly grocery bill to something a bit more manageable.
I have a system now that’s been working really well for us and it’s this: once every three weeks I go to Costco and buy (pretty much) all of our meat. I also buy wine and household products (dishwasher pods, paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags…). When I get home, I divide up the meat into separate freezer bags and put it all in the chest freezer we have downstairs. We got this freezer when I was pregnant with Grayson to accommodate all of the freezer meals I was making and it’s come in very handy to say the least. So, I divide up the meat, freeze it all and then slowly over the course of the next few weeks, take out meat and let it defrost in the fridge and plan meals around that. When I am out of meat, it’s time to go back to Costco.
I have found the quality of meat to be excellent at Costco and really do feel like I am saving money, even when I buy organic grass-fed. They have a variety of local meats there and everything has been really great! What meat do I buy on my trips? Well, I always, always, always buy whole organic chickens. Two comes in a package and I believe it’s $20, which is a good deal considering it’s really great quality chicken! I also always buy flank steak, whole chicken thighs and drumsticks and ribeye steaks because we love to grill out on the weekend and that is our favorite cut. About once every few times I go, I buy ground grass-fed beef and seasoned tri-tip, which is soooooo good oven-roasted if you’ve never tried it before. Sometimes I also buy ribs or pork butt if I know we are planning to host a barbecue in the near future. I usually don’t buy seafood from Costco because we have an amazing seafood market here in Berkeley that I like to shop at, although I do buy wild shrimp on occasion and freeze. I’ve found the wild shrimp they have there to be excellent.
So…how do we meal plan with just a freezer full of meat?
Well, like I said, during the week I take out the meat we want, let it defrost in the fridge and plans meals around it. I have a pretty stocked pantry and if we have the meat, I can really put together pretty much anything with the ingredients I already have. Sometimes, I will make a small Amazon Fresh order or run to our local market to grab what I need if I don’t already have it. I know you guys are now wondering about produce! I don’t really buy produce at Costco (except for when they have cotton candy grapes because those are delicious). We are members of a FABULOUS CSA here and get big, bursting farm boxes full of the most delicious produce I’ve had every week at our farmers market. I love our CSA because it forces me to get creative in the kitchen so that nothing goes to waste. This week, we got amazing heirloom beans, a bunch of summer squash, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, salad mix, shishito peppers…lots of fun stuff. Unless I need something random and specific for a recipe I’m working on, I don’t really buy additional produce. I really try to use up what’s in our weekly boxes!
Other Costco buys that we love (including some that you guys recommended on Instagram!):
Rotisserie chickens. I always pick up at least one to have on hand for quick weekday lunches!
Honey. We go through a ton of honey and they have raw, local honey here for cheap.
All purpose flour. You guys always ask what flour I use and I buy the big 25 lb bags for $5.95! It is amazing flour and milled here in Oakland. SO MUCH CHEAPER than going to the grocery store and if you follow my Insta Stories, you know how much flour I go through during the week 😉
Wine. <—not much else to say about this one except for the fact we go through a lot of wine.
Wipes. I love the Kirkland brand wipes! I buy my diapers from Thrive Market because I feel like that’s where I get the best deal, but always get my wipes from Costco.
Amy’s soups. Grayson loves these in his lunchbox!
Annie’s Mac & Cheese
Kirkland canned tuna.
Smoked salmon. This is a total staple in our house!
Goldfish crackers/Annie’s bunny crackers/applesauce pouches/random snack items for the boys. I probably only buy this stuff, though, maybe once every two months. I also love these salt and pepper pistachios that they carry! There are so many in the box that it lasts me a few months!
So there you have it! I hope this helps someone and please share in the comments YOUR favorite Costco buys! I would love to get more ideas for my monthly shop.