Bulked Out


Costco trip was a very big (almost too big) success. I did stop at Publix right after to pick up some odds and ends (like tomato paste) but the bulk of it was at Costco…no pun intended!

  • BIG spinach
  • BIG organic greens
  • ricotta cheese
  • fresh herbs
  • smart balance light mayo
  • butter
  • minced garlic (I’m lazy, ok?)
  • organic eggs
  • red onions
  • whole wheat pitas
  • big thing of raw shrimpies
  • lemons
  • green onions
  • mozzarella cheese
  • chicken stock
  • relish
  • tomato paste
  • feta
  • vanilla soymilk (I was able to buy 3 half gallons for only $6, making it a MUCH more affordable option than almond milk unfortunately!)


  • plum tomatoes
  • blueberries
  • eggplants
  • bell peppers
  • corn
  • canteloupes


  • Quite possibly the largest thing of Bounty I’ve ever seen

Now can you even believe I stayed within the budget and spent LESS than $100??! (Ryan, calm down. I bought you the largest container of feta known to man). I couldn’t believe the deals at Cosco, especially the fruit and the soymilk. I haven’t had soymilk in awhile because I love almond milk but they don’t sell almond milk at Costco and I got about triple the amount for much less. Those three canteloupes only came out to $1 each and the big crate of blueberries was only $3.50. I plan to make blueberry crisp this week! πŸ™‚

I’ll also say that it is VERY EASY to go overboard when you are shopping in a wholesale warehouse! You really need to plan your meals, make a list and stick to it. It helped stopping at Publix (which was right next door) afterwards just to get a few random things. I’m definitely going to be more of a stickler about planning my meals and writing a clear and concise list when I go to the store from now on because, I’ll admit it, I can be quite the impulse shopper. I need to tell myself that I don’t NEED those random dried pears or that canned soup. Cooking at home is a much more affordable option if you stock your kitchen first with the basics and then shop weekly (or bi-weekly) for specialty items you need for the week. I mentioned in the comments this morning but here is my menu for the week if you missed it;

Monday: Wisconsin Cheddar Paninis and Avgolemono Soup (Gourmet)

Tuesday: Shrimp Po Boy Pitas and Corn (Cooking Light)

Wednesday: Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta

Thursday: Homemade Pizza

Friday: Leftovers

As soon as I got home I was very excited to throw together a super salad! I’ve missed them the past two days!


I used a big thing of organic spring mix, 1 sliced red pepper, probably 1/3 cup hummus, 1 tbsp feta, 2 tbsp guacamole.
For some extra protein (and to get rid of the last bit), I had a teeny-tiny cup of homemade split pea soup on the side:

All together now!


After the photo was taken I immediately dumped Texas Pete over everything! πŸ™‚

Off to get some work done then hit the gym. See you tonight for cheeeeeeese πŸ˜‰

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  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    July 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I LOVE COSTCO!!! Glad you are now able to experience the joys of warehouse shopping and bulk buying =) Welcome to the club! No pun intended…

    Hope you have a great day!!!

  • zestycook
    July 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I am a huge COSTCO fan. I love your buys!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    July 6, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Nice loot! Cotco is the best!!! Salad looks quite fresh and delish πŸ˜‰

  • Cait (Cait's Plate)
    July 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Shrimp Po Boys are on my menu this week too! πŸ™‚ And I definitely agree – you could leave Costco $1000 poorer if you don’t plan well!

  • Jenna
    July 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I’m a bit jealous. I wish we had a cosco closer to us! But honestly I would be so poor! I’m an impulse buyer too! πŸ™

  • Matt
    July 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Haha whenever I go to Costco I buy ebough food for a month! The trick is to make sure you eat it before it spoils!

  • Becca
    July 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    That’s quite the haul! Looks like you got some great stuff for sure. Can’t wait to see some photos of some of the recipes you’re planning for the week!

  • Recipes for Creativity
    July 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Awesome that you stayed under budget! You have amazing willpower, you really do!

  • Kati
    July 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Looks like some good stuff! I really need to hit up our Costco

  • Jess
    July 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Sounds like you did a great job at Costco and actually got what you needed! Sounds like a success to me!

  • Christie @ Quit Your Diet
    July 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Wow! You got quit the loot! I ? Costco!

  • Christie @ Quit Your Diet
    July 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    uh, that little question mark is supposed to be a heart πŸ˜€

  • Lizzie
    July 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I need to make that soup – just looks SO good!!

  • Aynsley (WrenLife)
    July 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I’m curious…will that 100 worth of food last you a week or two? I’m a very clean eater and I’m just now starting to plan meals. I’m wondering what other couples spend on groceries in a month? My hubby eats a bit more carefree than I..and I take it yours is the same way.

    • jenna
      July 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm


      Well what I usually do is go on one massive grocery shop every two to three weeks. Then, I’ll do a very limited mini shop once a week for stuff like spinach and bananas. Its a tough question to answer of how long this will last because I’ve never shopped at Costco before. The soymilk will last us about 6 weeks and the paper towels, about 4 months probably.

  • Ruth
    July 6, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I love costco… and ur pics of the salad!

  • Glidingcalm
    July 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    “the bulk of it was at Costco” HA. cleverrrrrr Jenna! hehe

    I love Costco! Does yours have good samples? Last time mine had skinny cow ice cream bars, cole slaw, some green tea diet drink, kashi bars, yogurt, and a free Tide sample!

    Costco red peppers are DELIICOUS THOUGH. I bought a 6 count bag, like yours, and it was gone in less than 2 days. I am obsessed!!

    Have a wonderful rest of your day!! πŸ™‚

  • Jennie
    July 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Do they have organic produce at Costco?

  • Maggie
    July 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    You hit the nail on the head for me – it is WAY too easy for me to go overboard at Costco. Especially when the fiance comes too. If it’s just me I do okay, but when he comes along we end up spending a ton and getting all these things we don’t need. If you can make sure that you only get what you need you’re definitely in good shape!!

  • Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)
    July 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Good job with the grocery shopping!

    Great lunch!

  • Katherine
    July 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I am DYING to get my monthly Costco fix!! You did a great job with your shopping and I can’t wait to sit down with The Huz tonight so we can plan out our meals and then get to some shopping πŸ™‚

  • Mandy A
    July 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    i need to try out costco… the only one close to us isn’t exactly close at all… but i don’t care for sam’s… but I spend so much on produce every week!

    Your salad looks oh so yummy!

    And I need to follow your lead and plan out meals this week…. I haven’t cooked a “real” meal in so long…we just throw whatever we had on hand together and all end up eating different things and I end up eating sandwiches all the time.

  • brandi
    July 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    great job on the shopping trip! i love having good meal plans for the week.

  • Kaolee
    July 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    You’re making me considering Costco. I don’t usually shop at the big warehouse stores because it’s just my husband and me, but those are great deals!

  • Anna
    July 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    There’s no shame in buying minced garlic, and it looks like you got quite the haul for not too much! Nice work!

  • K
    July 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Great haul!! Glad you topped it all with some Texas Pete – that stuff is heaven sent πŸ™‚

  • Mrs. Myers @ Eat Move Write
    July 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, Costco is a tough one not to overspend on. There’s always something new to sample (and buy!). Good job staying on budget.

  • Dotsie
    July 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I totally understand what you mean by impulse shopper! I tend to buy impulsively too-then I end up throwing away things! πŸ™ No good!

  • Fitzalan
    July 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Avgolemono Soup is one of my favorite soups on the face of the earth. Whenever I am sick, that is what I crave.

    Happiness Awaits

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    July 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Awesome grocery load!!! I agree that it’s hard to say “NO” when everything looks so good. But you can always come back later and pick it up when you know you’ll actually eat it! πŸ™‚

    Lovely salad! Enjoy your afternoon!

  • courtney
    July 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Great shopping! Just curious, when you use the pre-minced garlic, about how much is equal to a large clove? I am always struggling to figure out recipe conversions, and I am DEFINITELY lazy πŸ˜‰ Thanks!

    • jenna
      July 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm


      You would think after graduating culinary school I would know the answer to your question but embarrassingly enough, I do not. I’ve never bought minced garlic before if you can believe that! I’ll do some research and let you know..


      Yep they do!

  • Ally
    July 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Costco has the best deal on shrimp! We eat a lot of shrimp and I always, always try to buy it there because it’s so much more economical than my regular grocery store. Glad you were able to stock up on lots of great things!

  • Chloe
    July 6, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Wow! Look at all that loot and only for $100! I’m impressed Jenna, I spend way more than that every time I go to Costco, it’s absolutely ridiculous. Although I do buy the boyfriend Nicorette gum, which is $60 a pop so I don’t feel to bad.

    That meal plan sounds amazing, I need to get back on the meal planning track!

  • Ada
    July 6, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I wish they had costco in NYC!! Your bounty looks amazing:)

  • JEAN
    July 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I am so glad you will be shopping at Costco now and can give us some tips on what is healthy to buy there. They have some really good stuff and some really fattening stuff there too, I have noticed.

  • emily
    July 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    That grocery trip looks so fun and that weekly meal plan looks fabulous!

  • leslie
    July 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    great haul! costco is a lifesaver for some items for me. i buy that soymilk too and it is so cheap and convenient! just curious – do you have a preference between soy and almond milk? i use both, but for different purposes – i guess i go for soy when i’m looking for more of a protein source.

    • jenna
      July 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm


      I really do like both but I have to look to Costco’s vanilla soymilk now just because I get literally triple the amount for much less. Ryan and I went through SO MUCH almond milk. I was constantly running to the store and buying more….it adds up! I like almond milk for how natural it is but I do like that soymilk has more protein.

  • rebeccab
    July 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    To whoever asked about Costco when you’re just shopping for two: I can’t buy everything at Costco but I almost always use up the stuff that I do buy for my husband and me.

    I regularly buy the big box of organic spinach, fruit (Rainier cherries are there right now! I also can usually get through one of those giant banana bunches…and freeze the rest for Green Monsters), and the totally awesome Sabra hummus.

    Less frequently I get chicken sausage (I keep one sausage package out and freeze the rest), butter (almost all goes into the freezer until I get the urge to bake), oatmeal (regular Quaker, super cheap), chicken broth and pasta. Yes, you need pantry space, but I love saving money on staples and then always having them in the house.

    Also? Costco has a great return policy on electronics (you can return almost anything, used or un-used, no questions asked) which makes me love them even more.

  • Meggilizz--Meggie's Munchies
    July 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Great job staying under budget at Costco!!! I’ve been thinking that I need to make a trip to Sam’s sometime this week (no Costco in my part of NC). The salad looks great! πŸ™‚

    And about the garlic, I think 1tsp is the same as 1 clove–it should say on the jar of garlic. πŸ™‚ Have a great afternoon!

  • Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers)
    July 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    I love costco!!! ?

  • Kath
    July 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Looks like your Costco has even more than ours!

    Are your frozen shrimp from the U.S.? I can only find ones from Thailand πŸ™

  • Whitney
    July 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Love the bulk fruits and veggies you get at Costco! It’s like a little mini-heaven.

  • Bec
    July 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    OOO great buys, now I am excited to see all your meals you have planned for the week!

  • MarathonVal
    July 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Oooo… my Greek husband is sitting here next to me and is now drooling at the mention of Avgolemano! What recipe are you using? I love Avgolemano, even though I make it vegetarian without the chicken. I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

    • jenna
      July 6, 2009 at 5:20 pm


      Just finished the soup! I used a recipe from the new Gourmet magazine for chilled avgolemono soup with fresh dill and chives. It turned out beautifully! I LOVE avgolemono….always seek it out when I have the sniffles but its really so delicious any time!

  • Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri)
    July 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    That salad looks beautiful and delicious!!

  • Holly (The Healthy Everythingtarian)
    July 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I hope that will be that delicious Wisconsin Cheddar you picked up at the Madison farmer’s market…yeah for lots of yummy buys!

  • Kelly
    July 6, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I love doing menu planning for the week because it definitely keeps my budget in check. The only adjustment is that I’ve had to move my planning from the weekends to Monday’s now that that is when I get my CSA share and I believe my menu should be centered around my bounty of fresh produce!

  • courtney
    July 6, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Hahaha, awesome. I am dying to make your channa masala, which is why I was asking about the garlic. I will try the 1 tsp per clove approach–thanks for the help πŸ™‚

  • Kathy
    July 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I love Costco. Those tomatoes will be great, I also love the grape ones–YUMMO!! That spinach you bought is a staple in my house–we buy 3 or 4 of those each week. I will put half of one in our smoothies each morning–it makes two 20 oz. ones. If it weren’t for Costco I would go broke trying to keep us in spinach–LOL!!

  • Maria
    July 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Haha, we buy minced garlic tooβ€”it’s just so much faster! Awesome Costco haul there! No way did you spend less than $100. That is such a fabulous deal! Salad is great as usual, and that is a great meal plan, Jenna πŸ™‚

  • kailey
    July 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    hah i totally agree that its WAY too easy to go overboard.

  • Taylor
    July 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Doncha just love the miracle that is costco?! I can’t believe those blueberries were only 3.50!!!! The cheapest I’ve seen them at my Costco was 5.99. And the tasters don’t hurt either πŸ˜‰

  • ashley
    July 6, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I really admire that you almost never snack between meals (other than the afternoon snack). What times do you typically eat your meals and snacks at?

    • jenna
      July 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm


      You think? I have always thought of myself as a HUGE snacker! The only reason I don’t snack in between breakfast and lunch is because I eat a very early lunch (around 11:15) and work on my own schedule. I always have a large snack in the afternoon, around 2:30 and then usually have dinner at 5:30 or 6 followed by “dessert” at around 7. I could never do a “3-square-meals-a-day”thing. I loooove my snacks!

  • kim
    July 6, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    You can probably make a bulk of lasagna and freeze it. That’s what my friend does for ’emergency’. πŸ™‚

  • Rebeca
    July 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I want to see a post hot sauce pic!

  • Sarah
    July 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Even when I make a list, I end up buying more than I planned on! I think Costco and I would be frenemies for that reason πŸ™‚

  • RuntoFinish
    July 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    seriously the warehouse always gets me. i can’t help it, but i have had to take the time to figure out what is and isn’t a good deal!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl))
    July 6, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Woohoo for Costco!! Hope you found some yummy free samples to snack on too!

  • Brianne
    July 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    just be warned… bounty uses NEW trees for all there products πŸ™

  • Brianne
    July 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm


  • Rebecca
    July 6, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I got a 18 pack of Bounty Paper Towels at BJs back in January. I just ran out.

    I think it’s a really good idea to plan out a menu. I am an impulse buyer too. Even if I make a specific list, I stray from it!

  • txrunnergirl
    July 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Looks de-lish! I wish we had a Costco a little closer to us!

  • Jess
    July 7, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Whoa, wish there was a Costco closer to me. Did you get a good price on the bell peppers? The red ones are so expensive, but I love them.

  • jodie
    July 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    I am new to your blog and I just love it. I am definitely going to try those muffins, they look yummy. I often bake recipes, so adding another blueberry muffin recipe will be great. Can’t wait to bake it and then eat it.:)

    Have a great day.