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Costco Must-Haves

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Costco is one of my favorite places to buy healthy food in bulk. There are some things that we go through a lot of so Costco is a natural place to purchase those things over other grocery stores. For my healthy grocery staples, I get some at Trader Joe’s, some at Thrive Market and some at Costco. Today I’m sharing the must-haves I get at Costco!

But, the hard part of Costco is if you don’t have a large family, you may not necessarily need to buy in bulk. So today, I’m going to share what I buy for our family of 3, so you’ll know what to look for if you’re in a similar situation. I’ve also added a few recommendations from friends of mine. Things that don’t go bad quickly are definitely worth buying in bulk at Costco (assuming you have the space to store it!) so use this post to make a list the next time you make a Costco trip. It’s also a great option for when you plan to pack food for a beach trip or something similar.

And if you are shopping with kids, the food court area is great for a fun treat. Grab a churro or ice cream! Thomas wasn’t lucky enough to get treats on our last visit. 😉

If you’re new to Costco, it can be a little overwhelming! Most stores are set up the same, so this little drawing should help! (A woman in one of my new mom groups drew it for another woman in their asking for first-time Costco tips. AMAZING!)

Click here to get a downloadable list that you can print and take with you next time! It’ll also be helpful if you’ve never shopped at costco and recently purchased a Costco Membership!

Costco stores map

Okay, let’s dive into my must-haves!

My Costco Must-Haves

I’ve linked what I can, but some of these items aren’t available online. Make sure to check your local Costco! You’ll see some brand names you recognize and some that are Costco’s in-house Kirkland brand.

Organic brown rice

I eat a lot of carbs so we go through rice like crazy. We have it for dinner with chicken or as a main dish, like this black bean, brown rice & cilantro dish). I add it to salads and sometimes I even eat brown rice for breakfast! I make a big batch in the instant pot each week to make meals easier.


Great on salads or for a healthy side dish.

Lotus Foods Gluten-Free Rice Ramen Noodles

I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m grabbing them next time! A friend of mine says they’re great.

Whole Oats

I go through a lot of oats with breakfast and snacks. For breakfast, I make this apple oat bake or keep it simple with raisins and maple syrup. I also make a batch of my runner’s energy balls that use oats each week too. I use these for lots of recipes, actually!

Chia seeds

I use these for smoothies or chia seed pudding. They’re one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids!

Paleo pancake mix or Kodiak Cakes

Great for an easy weekend breakfast.

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips

These chips are gluten free and made with flax, sunflower and sesame seeds. They’re so good with hummus, salsa or on their own.

Simple Mills Almond flour crackers

Another great gluten free snack. These are great on a cheese board or for an afternoon snack with an apple.

Peanut butter filled pretzels

Tommy and I both love these!! We’ve tried the ones from Trader Joe’s, but the Costco ones are much better.

Girl Scout Thin Mint Pretzels

I keep these in the freezer–they are SO good.

Salted Mixed Nuts

Super addicting and not your average mixed nuts. Super salty pecans, Brazilian nuts, marcona almonds, macadamia nuts, and yes, lots of cashews.

Sanders Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels

Don’t ask questions. Just get them.

RX bars

My husband takes one of these to work every day so we always keep a box around. And I keep one in my car and in my purse for when hanger hits.

Morning Summit Cereal

We buy Frosted Mini Wheats almost every time. Morning Summit was wayyyy too sweet for my taste but I know lots of people love it.

Morning Summit Cereal | Costco Must-Haves

Rao’s Marinara Sauce

We love pasta in our house, and this is the best store-bought marinara. It’s made without any added preservatives or coloring and pairs perfectly with whole wheat pasta. (My favorite pasta comes from Thrive Market.)

Basil Pesto

This is great on a homemade pizza or pasta. Costco’s ravioli comes highly recommended but I haven’t tried it yet.

Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter

There is not a better basic peanut butter on the market. (Yes, it’s better than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s brands.) It’s just peanut butter and salt, with no added oils or sugar. We buy this in bulk because we go through it like crazy, especially since I make runner’s energy balls each week. I’m not a huge almond butter lover, but those who are love the Kirkland brand.

Raw honey

The jar is huge and the price is great. Snag it.

Organic Maple Syrup

Another large jug, but who doesn’t love maple syrup? This is especially great if you bake a lot.


We go through a LOT of Spindrift in this house. Move over La Croix. They also sell a Kirkland brand, but I love my Spindrift. I love their variety packs.

Kirkland Signature Organic Kombucha

Tommy and I drink a LOT of kombucha and this is our favorite. This in-house brand kombucha is a major perk for Costco Members!

Organic Kombucha

Kirkland Signature Fresh Organic Chicken Breasts

We go through a lot of chicken since we grill a big batch for dinner and save the leftovers for high protein lunches. It makes a perfect salad topping! Anything we don’t cook that week gets frozen since the packaging makes it easy to split up.

We don’t have an air fryer, but I hear you can easily make chicken breasts in the air fryer for salads, etc.

Rotisserie Chicken

The rotisserie chicken is great to grab for an easy dinner. UPDATE – I stopped buying this after reading this article.

Kirkland Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon

This smoked salmon pairs perfectly with bagels and cream cheese for a filling post-workout breakfast. Make it fancy with some capers (one of my Trader Joe’s must-haves!).

Kirkland Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon

Fresh Produce at Costco

The selection varies, but some of my favorites include:

  • Organic blueberries
  • Organic raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Mixed greens
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon (when it’s in season!)
  • Mangos
  • English organic cucumbers

Perfect Bar Refrigerated Protein Bar

These have whole ingredients in them and taste pretty good!

Organic frozen mixed berries and/or strawberries

I use the mixed berries when I make my own smoothies and I love snacking on frozen strawberries. (I lived on them during pregnancy!)

Veggies Made Great Spinach Egg White Frittatas

A friend of mine recommends these.

Frozen Cauliflower Rice

I don’t love cauliflower rice on its own, but I add it to smoothies for a veggie kick you can’t taste.

Dips & Salsa

You need things to dip the chips in, right? Costco has great hummus, guacamole, avocado spread and mango salsa. Don’t forget tortilla chips too!

Kirkland Unsweetened Almond Milk

I always opt for non-dairy milk. It froths up surprisingly well for lattes and is great in smoothies. I hear good things about the vanilla flavor too!

Milk & Eggs

I buy regular milk for Tommy and we go through a lot of eggs, even with a family of two.  If you use half and half in your coffee, Costco is a good place to get that too.

Greek Yogurt

My husband loves all their greek yogurt selections!


  • Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese: I can’t have dairy while breastfeeding and I miss this stuff. It is SO GOOD. It pairs perfectly with red wine.
  • Kirkland Signature Cheddar – it’s a perfect cheddar for snacking, sandwiches, grilled cheese, quesadillas, everything.
  • Sliced reduced fat cheddar and colby-jack cheese. Good for sandwiches.

Kirkland Signature Honey Roasted Turkey Breast

This is over by the cheese coolers, near the charcuterie type meats. It’s great on sandwiches or on a salad and has great flavor.

Dave’s Killer Bread

Makes great toast and has great ingredients! If you like fresh bread, check out their bakery section – they have LOTS of baked goods.

Coffee Beans

We alternate between the Kirkland brand and Charleston Coffee Roaster brand.


Costco is a good place to grab wine or beer for a party.

Personal Care items

These are great to buy at Costco because they have such a long shelf life.

  • Razors
  • Toothpaste – we’re a Colgate family
  • Saline – I love that Costco sells Bio True saline. They also sell Opti-Free contact solution if you prefer that brand.
  • Charmin Toiler Paper – The Kirkland Signature brand feels like sandpaper. Yes, we are toilet paper snobs.
  • Paper Towels – Kirkland brand works great.
  • Diapers – I haven’t tried these but lots of my friends swear by them!
  • Unscented wipes
  • Sonicare toothbrush & replacement heads (if you like electric toothbrushes)


A good place to stock up! There’s nothing worse than needing batteries and not having them.

Coconut oil

It’s a GIANT jar so I decant it into a smaller mason jar to keep in the pantry. We use it enough that bulk makes sense for us, but if you don’t, Trader Joe’s sells it at a great price too.

Olive oil

The jug is huge but we go through it quickly, and it’s such a great deal for high quality oil. We buy the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Avocado Oil

I love cooking with this since it’s a more neutral flavored oil. It also comes in a large jug, so just be aware! You could always fill up a smaller container and store the rest.

Vanilla Extract

If you’re a big baker, stock up on your spices and extracts at Costco!

Apple Cider Vinegar 

I use this to make my own salad dressing!

Black peppercorns

Fresh ground pepper has much more flavor than pre-ground so we buy this and put it into a grinder. Their pink Himalayan sea salt doesn’t have much flavor though. I get sea salt from Thrive Market instead (post on Thrive coming soon!).

What are your Costco must-haves?

Shop My Non-Costco Kitchen Staples

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    3 responses to “Costco Must-Haves”

    1. You need to get the Tillamook cheddar (extra sharp, in the black wrapper). I avoid dairy but it really is the best (I’m from Oregon so maybe biased). Goat cheese logs! Kale/brussel salad is the absolute best, it comes with poppyseed dressing/cranberries/pepietas and any time I will be home after 7pm, I throw leftover protein and grains in there and call it a day.

      • I loooove Tillamook! I don’t tolerate dairy but when I do have cheese from time to time, tillamook is my favorite! I went to the factory in Oregon years ago!

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