People are blown away when I say we spend around $100 per week for our family of 5. They are even more blown away when I tell them the majority of our shopping is done at Costco. I remember before we got a Costco membership everyone told me that it wasn’t really useful for actual groceries. I beg to differ. Here is my basic go-to $100 Costco shopping list of healthy foods that we get for our family.
*This list is based off the Costco prices in Minnesota.
Depending on your dietary preferences (or just how far you are hoping to stretch your budget,) Costco has a variety of bulk options for your eggs.
On average, they start at around $3 for 2 dozen generic white-shell eggs and range all the way up to around $13 for 5 dozen organic brown-shell eggs.
Our family chooses a happy medium of $6 for 2 dozen organic eggs. This is usually enough to get us through a week and helps keep our budget down while still eating healthy.
I will only buy apples at Costco if I can get the bag with around 10 for $5. There is a bigger variety of more expensive (and yummier) apples, but we usually don’t opt for those.
Instead, if we are wanting a different kind, I will usually make my way to Trader Joe’s for some less-expensive options.
Another thing on our Costco shopping list is usually bananas. Because they are one of the clean 15, I’ll usually opt for the non-organic ones because they tend to be priced around $1.39 for 3 pounds.
We love using bananas to eat, in smoothies (so we often freeze some) or for our 3 ingredient waffles which brings me to our next staple food.
You can get a massive 5-pound box of Quaker Oats for less than $10 at Costco. I am a big believer in oats being one of the biggest blessings to a mama on a budget because they last forever, you can use them in a variety of ways and they are relatively inexpensive.
Some awesome oat recipes:
As a family, we try to eat as healthy as possible but what really stinks is buying a ton of veggies only to have them go bad because we wound up getting pizza or having tacos too many nights.
That’s why, as often as possible we go for the frozen veggies section. Frozen broccoli is one of our staples, but Costco also has cauliflower rice, stir fry vegetables and other veggie mixes that we love.
As I said, we do our best to get our veggies in and since we are a homeschooling family, the kids and I usually have salads for lunch. That’s why we tend to opt for spinach or mixed greens to our Costco shopping list.
What about when they go bad?
Yes, greens tend to start wilting if we don’t eat them fast enough. As soon as I notice this happening, I will scoop out as much as I can to get one last salad serving(s) in and then I will freeze the rest.
When we freeze the rest of our greens, this makes for great, easy access to them when we are wanting to make healthy, green, smoothies.
PS kids rarely notice if you toss a handful of spinach into their smoothie. 😉
Yup, we get greens and lettuce. We are a huge taco family and a big lettuce wrap family as well so we like to make sure we are stocked on lettuce at all times.
Like I said, we are a big taco family, which means we like to be stocked on avocados at all times. Plus, mashing up an avocado and making a quick, super easy guac is one of Tom and I’s favorite go-to snacks.
Are you seeing a pattern here? One way we avoid making trips to other stores (or over-doing it on our budget) is by adding tortilla chips to our Costco shopping list.
We then use tortilla chips during taco night in place of hard shell tacos. (I make my own soft-shell tacos with cassava flour).
You can get basic tortilla chips for around $3, however, we tend to climb the price list just to get our Late July lime tortilla chips. They are seriously addicting
I can’t even suggest the price range for regular (non-organic) ground turkey meat, so I apologize.
We are a lean-meat eating family and when it comes to meat, we opt for the higher price and better quality way of living as much as we can.
Little tips for turkey meat
Buy the cheapest one! Haha. Because there usually isn’t a huge difference in the amount of meat that comes in the packs of turkey, I just scour for the absolute cheapest package.
Because we would just freeze chicken breast anyway, we usually choose to add the frozen organic chicken breast to our Costco shopping list because it is cheaper than the non-frozen kind. (By about $2).
We usually add peppers to our Costco shopping list so make easy stir-fries with chicken and so that Tom has quick, easy to prep meals for his lunches.
Costco has a big variety bag with red, orange and yellow that we usually snag.
One thing we have most recently started purchasing is instant rice mixes. I love having these on hand because they bulk up meals really quickly and are easy to pop in the microwave while I’m cooking the other parts of our dinner.
This brings our average Costco shopping list grand total to $101. Sometimes it’s more, some times it’s less.
When it’s more:
The times we will spend more at Costco is during our “cleaning supply armageddon” as we like to call it. When we run out of toilet paper, dishwasher pellets, washing machine pods, and Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.
When it’s less:
Often times, we will have leftovers from our meat which means I end up spending less at times.
Even when we do hit our cleaning supply armageddon, I don’t usually purchase dishwasher pellets at Costco anymore.
I have found that we don’t require as many that come in an average Costco pack and we can reduce our monthly budget costs by buying them somewhere else.
Although Costco has a huge variety of quality pet supplies, I prefer to have a pre-planned auto ship with Chewy.com. They have a bigger variety and offer discounts on all pet products. Plus they send it all to my door so I’m not hauling an 8,000 pound bag of dog food out of Costco with me.
Condiments, dips, and sauces
When it comes to simple dips, sauces or marinades, I usually shop elsewhere since we don’t usually require these items in bulk.
We eat onions all the time. They help add flavor to most of our foods, but we don’t require the massive bag at Costco. When we have done this in the past, the onions tend to start sprouting or going bad before we even get to them.
Because, well, I would eat it all.
I try to keep our Costco shopping list full of things that will help fill up the bulk of our meals and then if there are smaller items that I need I will shop for those somewhere else in order to keep our costs down.
One time I tried to see how much we could save by shopping non-organic at Costco.
The truth is…we saved a ton. A ton and we had way more food.
However, we honestly felt the repercussions of not eating a healthier, more organic diet.