Looking for a place to add more variety to your healthy food options without breaking the bank? Over the last 2 years, I have fallen head over heels with Costco. Not only because I can buy in bulk for our big-ish family, but also because of its great prices, healthy food items, and variety. I’ve done some price comparisons and Costco wins on many of the healthy items. Also, I always find it a breath of fresh air to shop here because they have many unique food items I can’t find at my mainstream grocery store.
Besides the wide array of food options, another reason why I choose Costco is their reasonable pricing for organic food items (which is tons!), and, I can’t forget, all of their samples that occupy the kids while I shop. 😉 I do have to say I’m not a fan of the things the sample people say like, “These are gluten-free, so they are healthy” or “This is 100% juice so you can drink as much as you want.” These are just samples (no pun intended!) of the misleading “health” advice given from the old sweet ladies, but I mostly find it comical and feel more passion to press forward doing what I love! 🙂
A lot of people steer away from buying organic, healthy foods from specialty stores because they are expensive. I used to feel the same way, especially since the small town I live in makes it inconvenient to find healthy options. However, because of the decent price and variety, I make the 25 minute trip to Costco 2-4 times a month to get my favorite clean-eating food items. Buying items in bulk for cheaper prices will certainly save you money in the long run.
Because Costco has really upped their game and increased the number of healthy foods they offer, this allows us to have many healthy and affordable options in one place. I know it can be difficult to figure out what type of snacks or cooking essentials to buy in order to move toward a healthier diet, so I want to share some of my personal Costco shopping list with you! (pssst…a link the the entire list is at the end).
1. Nuts may be a small snack but they deliver a big dose of nutrition. They are rich in nutrients and a good source of healthy fats and proteins. Costco has a variety of raw nuts available in bulk for good prices compared to my mainstream grocery store.
2. Cranberries and other dried fruits are delicious snacks and can be added to salad or trail mix for an extra burst of flavor. You have to watch out for other additives in dried fruits such as added sugars.
3. Dried seeds have very similar nutritional benefits as nuts. We buy organic raw pumpkin seeds which are excellently priced. I like to add these to our salads and steel cut oats.
4. Fresh produce is available at Costco, but some types of fruit are more expensive there than they are at other stores, so be sure to shop around for the best deal. Many times, I’ve seen avocados at a great price and lemons as well! They also stock large bags of spinach that is too much for my family to consume before it goes bad. Did you know you can freeze spinach (not wilted) and pull it back out when ready to use?
5. Frozen fruit. They have a ton of affordable organic frozen fruit. We love smoothies so I totally appreciate being able to buy huge bags of fruit. Not only that but the only ingredient listed on this bag of frozen mangos is organic mango! Costco also has a plethora of frozen fruit options such as strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, etc.
6. Whole grains are essential for growth and development, especially for kids. However, 95% of the grain products in grocery stores are refined and contain a lot of hidden ingredients. Make sure you read the package labels and choose only those that say 100% whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, and oats. They have a killer variety of grains and I buy nearly all of it here!
7. Cooking Oils are kitchen essentials and I love to cook with organic cold pressed olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil.
8. Kerrygold butter and cheese are the best because they are made from the milk of grass-fed cows. Because of that, they are packed with nutrients and are coming from a healthy animal. When your animal products come from healthy animals, it ensures a high quality product not depleted of nutrients.
9. Organic Honey is always a better sweetener option when compared to refined white or brown sugar. The darker the color, the less processed the honey is and the more it maintains its nutritional value.
10. 100% Pure Organic Maple syrup is my syrup of choice because it maintains its nutritional value when it is in its purest form. Nature has a way of getting things right!
11. Peanut butter and almond butter are great sources of healthy fat. They are on my Costco shopping list because they come in large containers and they’re organic! We also add them to fruit, smoothies, and oatmeal.
12. Organic Raisins are a heathy snack for kids. We like them with celery, in our oatmeal, or in granola. They’re inexpensive and can easily be placed in a bag for a healthy on-the-go option.
13. Unsweetened organic applesauce cups are available at Costco and make convenient, healthy, and delicious snacks without all the added sugars.
14. Salsa is a must for Mexican night in our house. There are several different brands of salsas; however, my favorite is Jack’s salsa. I like how small the ingredient’s list is and though there is a tiny bit of added sugar…it’s really as good as you can get for store-bought salsa!
15. Organic Meats such as beef and chicken are also available in many varieties.
There you have it! Some of our favorites at Costco! I’d love to hear your favorites clean-eating foods you’ve discovered there! Leave it in the comments below! 🙂
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