Behind The Butter

Our Costco Favorites

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! πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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.

Paper towels.

Toilet paper.

Dishwasher pods.

Dish soap.

Laundry detergent.

Ziploc bags.

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. 





You Might Also Like

  • Angie
    July 24, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    We also buy La Croix there. $8 for a 24 pack is a great deal. It’s not my favorite flavor but cheaper and keeps me from having to go to target or grocery store. Since I have 2 boys now (5 and 1) I find myself shopping at Costco more often. Plus we got the Costco credit card recently and now get 4% back! We always keep the organic cheese pizza in the freezer for quick dinners too.

  • Errign
    July 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Organic chicken, single serve guac cups, aidells chicken sausages, grass fed kielbasa, organic berries, limes & lemons, organic applesauce pouches & animal crackers, raos marinara are some of our favorites

  • Sarah Conway
    July 24, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Great list! We always get nut butters, and we like the Kodiak Cake protein pancake mix for fast pancakes in the am. Was also thrilled to find those yummy Rustic Bakery crackers there!

  • Kelli H
    July 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I like to buy avocado oil, olive oil, avocado oil mayo, organic kalamata olives, organic PB, almond butter, nuts, organic cocoa powder (if I can find it), organic maple syrup, and Kerrygold! Sometimes I also buy their organic canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and black beans. Oh yah, and their organic chicken broth to have on hand for when I run out of homemade.

  • Sara
    July 24, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I like to buy Olive oil, our Costco carries a lovely local brand, tomato paste, canned organic black beans, avocado oil, organic raw cashews (to make our own cashew milk). Ours also carries (only in the summer months) these fabulous pre-made organic beef hamburger patty (nine come to a package), but they are so delicious and perfect for the lazy Saturday night dinner that takes minutes to prepare after a long day at the pool. My girls and I went to Costco this morning – we need to go every 18 days or so.

  • Rianne
    July 24, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Love this post! I’ve been following you for awhile on Instagram & have followed your blog since you’ve been back up and running and love both. πŸ™‚ I have 2 little boys and live in Seattle – so there’s a lot of of fun overlap for me in what you post about. Anyhoo, I started shopping at Costco almost exclusively this past month – so sick of hauling two kids around to multiple stores each week and spending a ton of $$. This month I’ve nearly cut my grocery budget in half – go Costco! There are a few things that I find I can’t get at Costco (coconut milk coffee creamer, yogurts we like) that I get elsewhere, but I need to check out the Amazon Fresh! Thanks again!

  • Lisa
    July 24, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Yes to a lot that has already been mentioned! We also love to get big tubs of hummus, olive oil, maple syrup, sometimes peanut butter, bacon, chicken sausage and a big bag of the skinny pop popcorn.

  • Jenna
    July 24, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Love all these! Thank you for sharing. You may have answered before, but how long do you oven roast your trip tip and on what temp? Wanting to try this!

    Thank you!

    • Cmiller
      July 25, 2017 at 12:44 am

      I brown it on the stove top and then throw it in the pre-heated oven at 425Β°, it comes out amazing, cook for about an hour for a 3lber!

    • Cmiller
      July 25, 2017 at 12:49 am

      I also put foil around mine. I take a look g piece and roll up the top making sure there is room for steam. Then I let sit for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the foil.

      • Jenna
        July 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

        Thank you!! Definitely going to try it out.

  • Kim
    July 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I’m sure you have some really great Indian recipes, but for quick and easy I love the two pack of Indian sauces in the refrigerator section! One is a spicy vindaloo and the other is a green coconut curry- both are AMAZING and so flavorful!

    July 24, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    I would be interested in knowing what kind of wine you buy at Costco. I always feel overwhelmed whenever I try to pick out wine at Costco. Would love some recommendations.

    • Monica
      July 24, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      Kirkland Cab is really good! It’s a bigger bottle and cheap! ??

      • Monica
        July 24, 2017 at 11:05 pm

        Lol that wasn’t meant to be question marks.. it was a heart and a wine glass emoji..

  • Courtney
    July 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    We buy the fresh halibut to make Panko crusted fish, the frozen cod for fish tacos, sprouted pumpkin seeds for salads and baking, organic mango juice, VEGA protein powder, sweet kale mix salad, Emergen-c packets, lemons, artuchokes, and organic eggs!

  • Jessica
    July 24, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Love the Kombucha, cottage cheese, laughing cow cheese, aged cheeses, coconut oil, coconut flour, almond flour, organic eggs, take &bake pizzas, lemons.

  • Our Costco Favorites – Gym Buddies
    July 24, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    […] post Our Costco Favorites appeared first on Eat, Live, […]

  • India
    July 24, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Um yes to all of this. I stock up on meat at Costco before freezer meals. And now my husband is addicted to La Croix, so that’s being added to the list.

    Please, please tell us what you do with all that meat! Like cooking chicken? So impressive. And tri tip in the oven? Share your secrets!

  • vincenzo
    July 24, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    We get guacamole cups, quinoa mango jalapeno cups, organic eggs, organic spinach, Kerrygold butter, organic salmon burgers, Dr praegers veggie burger, organic chicken mini meatballs, avocado oil, avocado mayo, olive oil, organic frozen berries, tuscan bean salad, mini veggie cakes, vacuum sealed organic beets, Aussie bites, mini black and white cookies, organic wild salmon, dried mango/apricot.

  • Cmiller
    July 25, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I’ve also started shopping more at Costco! Love all the organic products and great prices. Thank you for posting this, great info.. Also gave a reader a tip on oven roasting her tri-tip! I love cooking mine in the oven, not everyone owns a BBQ lol

  • Erica
    July 25, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Costco carries Spindrift now!

  • Lea
    July 25, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Oh man, what don’t we buy at Costo?

    We get a lot of what’s already been mentioned but they also have a great price on infant formula. It’s basically the exact same as Similac but half the price. Win.

    Sometimes it’s hard to justify buying things in bulk, but if we can use it in a reasonable amount of time, its usually a better price at Costco. Plus, I just like supporting them as a business.

  • Ashley L
    July 25, 2017 at 8:30 am

    We buy Kerrygold butter there like there’s an apocalypse coming. Haha. Such a good price and we go through it so quickly. We also get bacon, kerrygold cheese, tillamook cheddar, organic eggs and the same paper products.

  • Bernadine Meyers
    July 25, 2017 at 9:36 am

    When are you coming to central FL by the Villages Bernadine

  • Jane
    July 25, 2017 at 10:45 am

    “HOWEVER, we are also on a budget and Costco has really helped us lower our monthly grocery bill to something a bit more manageable.”

    “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…” – at $20 a pound.

    LMAO. Some “budget.”

    • Shannon
      July 25, 2017 at 11:07 am

      $20 per 4 lb package for organic ground beef. That’s a deal.

    • jenna
      July 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Yes, I would also agree that $20 for 4lbs of organic beef IS budget-friendly and a big deal. But, to each their own! Hope you find something works for you and your family.

  • Liz
    July 25, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I love to see how other people shop and meal plan. I’m still trying to find a good rhythm for my family that doesnt have me spending a ton. I had a Sam’s Club membership for a while but we hardly used it (couldn’t really find anything I liked there or brands I usually buy) so now I order a lot of household stuff off amazon marketplace and shopping for everything else at the local grocery store. We do have a Costco but its kind of far!

  • Claire
    July 25, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the info! My biggest question about a Costco membership is do you honestly save money or is it just convenient buying everything in bulk? I like to stick to a budget but my two year old and one year old have huge appetites so I’m always running to the grocery store! I’d like to find a happy medium between budget friendly and laziness!

  • Mary
    July 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

    When they have it I buy the frozen 2lb bag of wild caught shrimp ( 21/26 ) it is resealable so you can take a bunch or a little out at a time. They are delish!

  • Lauren L.
    July 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Love Costco! I’m curious, which diapers do you get from Thrive market? Have you tried their brand?

    • Lauren
      July 26, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Also curious about diapers from Thrive

  • PAGE
    July 25, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    LOVE this post!! I’m always so curious what great deals people find at Costco. Your lists looks pretty similar to mine. Thanks for sharing Jenna!

  • Christina @
    July 25, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I loved reading this and all the comments! I’ve been trying to decide whether to get a Costco card and this was so helpful!

  • Mary
    July 25, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Parmigiano Reggiano, kerrygold butter and organic apples

  • Mike
    July 26, 2017 at 5:20 am

    dont have little kids but we have been members since we did
    what dont we buy–actually TP, that’s often better priced at the grocery and we don’t use paper towels
    I like the individually frozen fish, can do just one piece when I want it
    fruit, veg
    clothing there’s is always something
    used to get their own brand tuna but they put soy in πŸ™

    and it’s fun to go when there are samples

  • Taryn
    July 27, 2017 at 11:39 am

    LOVE this! We recently got a Costco in our town, and I honestly can’t stay away! I wrote a similar blog post with our Costco favorites as well. Can’t wait to check out the things you buy there as well.