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6 Things Nutritionists Always Buy at Costco

6 Things Nutritionists Always Buy at Costco

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Spoiler alert: No bulk containers of kale made this list.

Whether going to Costco is part of your weekly routine or it’s a twice-a-year stop, it’s guaranteed to be worth your while—after all, where else can you stock up on groceries, clothes, and bulk household items in one fell swoop?

Nutritionists go to Costco for the same reasons you do: “I mostly buy toilet paper, wine, sunscreen, and gum,” confesses Holley Grainger, MS, RD, of Cleverful Living with Holley.

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But we also have a handful of must-buy food favorites there (aside from fruits and veggies in bulk). Here’s what you’ll find us loading into our (gigantic) Costco carts:

Kirkland Dried Tart Cherries

This brand of dried cherries strikes the ideal balance of sweet and tart and perfectly plumped morsels that aren’t too oily. My kids eat these by the handful, and I use them year-round mixing them into quick breads, homemade granola bars, salads, and even my cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. -Brierley Horton, MS, RD

Wonderful In-Shell Pistachios Salt & Pepper

Our family is currently on a salt and pepper pistachios kick. And with the way our 7 year old plows through them, fortunately we can buy them in bulk. Of course we love that they taste great, but also offer quality nutrition: pistachios pack 6 grams of filling protein per ounce, and offer the most nuts per serving (about 49 nuts) compared to other nuts, like 18 cashews or 28 peanuts for the same ounce. Those nuts are perfectly fine to snack on as well, but pistachios will give you the most bang for your buck. -Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, of

Bibigo Fully Cooked Chicken and Cilantro Mini Wontons

The chicken and cilantro flavor is delicious—and exclusive to Costco. But the main reason these one-bite-sized wontons are in my freezer is because they’re so versatile. You can eat these solo (with some sides, of course) for lunch or dinner, you can serve a tray of them as an appetizer for guests, or stir them into an Asian-flavored soup. -Brierley Horton, MS, RD

Love Costco? Us, too! Here's what to read next:

Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins

As a busy mom, my breakfast is often a smoothie packed with as much nutrition as possible, including a scoop or two of collagen powder. I love to grab the 24-ounce canister at Costco because it lasts me a month or so longer than the standard sizes! -Shannon A. Garcia, MDS, RD, LD with KISS in the Kitchen

Chicken Street-Taco Kit

This quick-and-easy solution to dinner comes with corn tortillas, tasty pre-cooked and chopped chicken, grated cheese, salsa, a delicious cilantro lime crema, and a few wedges of lime. Everyone can build their own tacos exactly how they like them! -Holley Grainger, MS, RD, of Cleverful Living with Holley

Better Than Bouillon Organic Base

This is my go-to when a recipe calls for stock or broth—just mix a little of the paste with water. And I like to buy it at Costco because it’s always available in a larger size—and I can usually find a variety of flavors. The Mushroom and No-Chicken are my top two favorites. Plus, the jar takes up less space in my fridge than a carton of stock, and I love that I can adjust the concentration of the broth if I want to tweak the flavor or saltiness of a recipe. —Brierley Horton, MS, RD

A Nutritionist’s 10 Favorite Costco Finds for $10 or Less

Fact: There are several steals at Costco that are so cheap and versatile, it’s almost a shame not to buy them. While I don’t allow myself to buy the 10-pound tub of organic coffee every time I go (I know I’d never drink it all before it turned rancid), there are a few things I always buy. Bonus: They’re all $10 or less, and they help me stick to a healthy diet between trips.

Read about my favorite finds — and how I use them — below.

1. Kirkland Signature Ground Saigon Cinnamon, $2.99 for 10.7 ounces

Let me start off by saying that I’m a cinnamon nut. I use cinnamon on and in everything whether sweet or savory, and have done so for the last 10 years ever since I quit eating refined sugar. Cinnamon was a game-changer for me in helping curb my sweet tooth and has become my go-to seasoning the last decade, so I’ve tried just about every brand there is.

I want a smoky, slightly sweet (but not burnt) cinnamon flavor, and Kirkland’s cinnamon is incredible. It beats the popular name brand of cinnamon by a milestone in my book and makes oatmeal, shakes, smoothies, baked dishes, and savory entrées so much better.

Yes, I know we said that spices are one of the things that shouldn’t be bought at Costco (See: 5 Things Kitchn Editors Never Buy at Costco), and I agree with that when talking about (most) other spices. Cinnamon, though? I can easily get through this entire container in just three months or so.

2. Earthbound Farms Organic Greens, $4.50 for 1 pound

As a nutritionist and healthy food lover, greens are always in my cart no matter where I shop, but they can get expensive if you always buy organic, which I do. At Costco, though, a pound of organic greens by a fantastic organic brand costs less than $5, so this always goes in the cart.

I like to keep half of this container in the fridge for salads during the week and freeze the rest of the greens — portioned out in small zip-top baggies — to preserve them. I use one of the frozen bags of greens each day for my green smoothies! This not only helps reduce food waste, but also helps me easily add greens to my day.

3. Organic Bananas, $2 for three pounds

The most popular fruit in America can be found in an organic option and in three-pound bulk for less than $2! These bananas go into my cart every time I hit up Costco — they then go into my smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and more.

4. Silk Almond Milk, $7 for three half gallons

Unsweetened almond and soy milk are my favorite non-dairy milk choices, and I always buy organic and/or non-GMO varieties whenever I can. Costco carries my favorite brand of non-dairy milk, plus Costco even carries a non-dairy milk by their Kirkland brand, although it’s a bit higher in price.

My local Costco carries a box containing three 64-ounce containers of Silk non-dairy unsweetened vanilla almond milk for just under $7, which is a perfect buy and almost a third less than what other stores like Walmart and Target charge (without a coupon). This is the perfect option for oatmeal, smoothies, or even baking, making it a great deal worth buying for anyone looking for a great non-dairy option!

5. Cheerios, $6 for two

Plain Cheerios are one of the healthiest cereals from a mainstream brand you can buy — and Costco has a fantastic price on a two-box bundle. For just under $6, you’ll save big on this low-sugar, fiber-rich cereal at Costco that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. (I love a bowl of Cheerios with unsweetened almond milk and, surprise, cinnamon.) For those who want a sweeter option, Costco also carries the popular Honey Nut Cheerios.

6. Organic Dates, $10 for 40 ounces

The Medjool dates sold in the produce section are my favorite variety of dates and are also a total steal, but the organic bagged Deglet Noor dates are also fabulous to use in a variety of ways — plus you get a slightly bigger package for the same price (and the organic seal). Dates are packed with potassium, fiber, and natural sugars and are one of my favorite ways to sweeten almost any type of recipe you can think of. They also go great with Costco’s Kirkland brand almond butter as a snack!

7. Kirkland Almond Butter, $7 for 27 ounces

This product is a popular favorite for a reason. It comes in bulk, it’s cheap, and it’s delicious. Plus, there’s just one ingredient (almonds), which is why I love it — no salt, sugar, or oil!

I use almond butter to make a quick and easy almond milk (by blending a bit with water), I mix it with other ingredients instead of oil as a healthy dressing, spread it on a sandwich, add it to a smoothie or oatmeal, or snack on few dates with this almond butter spread on top.

8. Frozen Pineapple, $8.50 for five pounds

Costco’s selection of frozen fruits and vegetables is super impressive when it comes to finding high-quality, and super-cheap items. All of the store’s frozen fruits and veggies are amazing and I’ve had pretty much every option.

One of my favorite buys in this section is the five-pound bags of frozen pineapple, featuring the sweetest and most delicious frozen pineapple I’ve ever had. (It usually costs a little more than $8 but I’ve seen it for as little as $6 — in bigger packs and for less than money than anything I’ve seen at Walmart.) I snack on frozen pineapple alone, add it to smoothies for natural sweetness and vitamin C, and used it in baking and desserts.

Bonus: Costco’s frozen asparagus, frozen organic berries (especially the strawberries!), wild blueberries, organic frozen mangoes, organic frozen raspberries, and Kirkland mixed vegetables are also fantastic and some of my favorite items to buy any time I go. And they’re all less than $10.

Made with antibiotic-free, certified halal chicken, this richly flavored Indian entrée ready in minutes. Want to change it up? Costco also carries Sukhi’s Chicken Coconut Curry with Mango.

This is as simple as it gets: Preheat the oven, unwrap the pizza and pop it in. But unlike most other frozen pizzas, this one is actually good for you. Made with a cauliflower crust and topped with an assortment of roasted vegetables, it offers a rainbow of nutrients, and it’s one of the best-tasting cauliflower crust pizzas out there.

This bulk pack of Crest 3D White toothpastes comes out to $2 a tube.

With five tubes in one package, this has enough toothpaste for me and my two roommates to share for at least six to eight months.

A regular tube usually costs about $3.50 and will last only a couple months, if you are not sharing.

It makes more sense as roommates for us to share instead of having three separate tubes in the bathroom, and it is way more cost-effective to buy in bulk.

Each package contains five tubes and costs $10.

30 Healthy Nutritionist Approved Items to Buy at Costco

Costco is DANGEROUS for me and I usually end up leaving with a cart full of items I never even knew I needed. When we moved to a different town last year, it put some distance between the two of us. For me, Costco is not a place to simply swing by for JUST one thing (yes, I’m looking at you guy in the gym shorts who casually went to Costco for a lone rotisserie chicken), but it’s an event, especially if you do something totally outlandish like go without a list. Even though there are just two of us in my house and I buy most of my fresh produce elsewhere, there are plenty of great items and deals to be had in bulk at Costco that will work for a household of just one or two!

Below, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite Costco picks for you guys!

1. Kirkland Organic Greek Yogurt

I love this stuff and I use it for so many things! I use it in place of both mayo and sour cream, I use it for a snack with berries and ground flax seed and I even use it in things like tomato soup to add creaminess.

2. Kirkland Cage Free Egg Whites

These are SO convenient and I am not wasting yolks when I use this product. I use these for omelets that I will eat for any meal, for make-ahead breakfast cups and for the rare times I bake and the recipe calls for egg.

3. Kirkand Organic Hummus Single Serve Cups

These are convenient and delicious. These are a lunchtime and road trip staple in our house! I love these single serve containers because you don’t have to worry about figuring out a serving size and since they are individually packaged, they stay fresh longer!

4. Kirkland Organic Hard Boiled Eggs

It does not get easier than this! Use these as a quick grab and go breakfast or addition to a lunch, an addition to a quinoa and greens bowl, an addition to a ramen bowl or to make egg salad.

5. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers

THESE. These crackers are everything. They are delicious, filling and made with great ingredients. These are gluten-free but they’re still a real crowd pleaser, everyone loves them! These big boxes are way cheaper than the smaller single boxes sold at grocery stores and they make for an amazing charcuterie or lunch box addition and go great with a cup of soup!

6. Suja Organic Cold-Pressed Uber Greens

I am almost always team smoothie over team juice because juice lacks the fiber smoothies have. This juice has a reasonable amount of sugar per serving (4 grams per 8 oz whereas there are 23 grams of sugar in 8 oz of orange juice). I like to have this juice as a pick-me-up and I also really love mixing it with the Harmless Harvest Coconut Water and a pinch of sea salt to make a natural electrolyte drink.

7. Harmless Harvest Harmless Coconut Water

I rarely consume drinks with even natural sugars and that includes coconut water. When I do consume coconut water, this is my favorite coconut water. The taste is amazing and it is a great component to a natural electrolyte drink. While it contains 14 grams of added sugar per 8 oz serving, it also contains 15% daily value of potassium. The price of a pack of this water at Costco can’t be beat!

8. Tasty Bite Vegetable Tikka Masala/Madras Lentils

These super flavorful vegetarian options are also gluten free and are made up of real, natural ingredients. Pair with brown rice or cauliflower rice (sometimes I mix the two!) and bulk it up with fresh or frozen veggies for the easiest lunch and dinner ever!

9. The Good Bean Organic Sea Salt Chickpea Snacks

Use these on a salad, on top of soup or eat them plain as a great snack option for on the go. Add these in to a homemade trail mix for a satisfying salty crunch that is good for you! One serving contains 20% daily value of fiber, 12% daily value of protein and 8% daily value of iron!

10. Volupta Organic Dried Goji Berries

Y’all know I love the facts and it is a fact that goji berries are packed with antioxidants. Add goji berries to salads, on yogurt and in oatmeal. This brand is organic and contains no added sugars.

11. Banza Chickpea Rotini

This option is great for those who may be obtaining protein from plant based sources as it contains protein rich chick peas as well as pea protein. Use this in place of tradiational pasta and you will have a hearty, filling meal. One serving of this pasta contains 14 grams of protein and 30% daily value of fiber.

12. Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti

Packed with even more nutrients than the Banza Rotini and made with just ONE ingredient, the Black Bean Spaghetti is an amazing choice. This spaghetti has a whopping 25 grams of protein per serving (which is 50% of the daily value!!) and also contains 48% of the daily value of calcium, 36% of the daily vale of potassium, 32% of the daily value of iron and 15% of the daily value of calcium. Use this hot with tomato sauce as you would regular spaghetti, toss it with some olive oil and cheese and broccoli or use it as a base for pasta salad or pad thai! If you want your meal to go farther, use half black bean spaghetti and half zucchini noodles!

13. Organic Deglet Noor Pitted Dates

These are an awesome snack that are full of tons of natural sugar. Eat one or two of these with a smear of nut butter, a sprinkle of chia seed and a pinch of unsweetened coconut as a sweet treat or use these in the base of a recipe such as my Cacao Bites. Add one to a smoothie for sweetness!

14. Whisps Parmesean Cheese Crisps

These are ridiculously tasty. While you could toss them on a salad or soup, I just eat them plain. Cheese that doesn’t need to be refrigerated? Yes, please! These make a great road trip snack, boat snack or addition to a charcuterie board.

15. Skinny Pop Single Serving Bags

A super simple snack with just popcorn, oil and salt these single size packs are great for on the go.

16. Driscoll’s Organic Raspberries

While I don’t usually buy produce at Costco unless I am feeding a crowd, I can singlehandedly take down one of their large containers of berries before they go bad! They tend to rotate deals on berries so I leave with either blueberries, blackberries, strawberries or raspberries depending on what they have a good deal on.

17. Whole Organic Chickens “Fryers”

Roast one of these in the oven for dinner and use the leftover meat for shredded tacos or chicken salad (made with Greek yogurt, of course!). Boil the bones with celery, onion and carrots for super flavorful broth to use in soup or to cook your rice or quinoa in.

18. Good Foods Organic Avocado Mash 90 Calorie Packs/Good Foods Tableside Chunky Guacamole

This avocado mash is perfect for veggie dipping or toast smearing and this guacamole is my absolute favorite store bought brand and makes any burrito bowl or taco that much better with no effort!

19. Kirkland Signature Organic Blueberries

Defrost some of these to use in banana egg white pancakes, plain yogurt, in oatmeal or in smoothies.

20. Crepini Egg Thins

These are amazing to use in place of tortillas or other wraps. These are great filled with taco filling like beans and cheese, banana and peanut butter or other sandwich toppings!

21. Mini Babybel Cheese

Single serving cheeses that are already portioned out are great for busy lives and great for portion control.

22. Imperial Garden Organic Edamame

Frozen edamame is a great snack or appetizer. Remove some of the soy beans from their shells and use in soups, salads or add to a side dish.

23. Tropicland Organic Riced Cauliflower

Frozen riced cauliflower is so convenient and so much easier than making your own. Use this in place of or mixed half and half with regular rice. Use it in rice and beans or fried rice, the possibilities are honestly endless.

24. Bibigo Organic Chicken Potstickers

A super easy meal option that combines good ingredients mixed together inside of a little dough pocket. Even as a vegetarian I keep these on hand because people love them!

25. Navitas Organics Organic Cacao Powder

OHMYGOD. This stuff is DELISH. Cacao powder is the raw version of cocoa powder and it is packed with way more nutrients that cocoa powder. I use this cacao powder with dates in my Cacao Bites as mentioned in number 13. I also use it to make the creamiest hot coco and in any recipe place of regular coco powder. It is so much richer than regular coco powder and it is packed with may more nutrients!

26. Nature’s Intent Organic Chia Seeds

These tiny little guys are full of nutrients. They contain 11 grams of fiber and are packed with magnesium and phosphorus. Use chia seeds in whatever you are eating from chia pudding, chia jam or in baked goods.

27. Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are packed with protein, iron, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Use these in smoothies, to top a bowl of yogurt and fruit, in scrambled eggs, on top of salads or mixed into your favorite pasta dish.

28. Kirkland Signature Organic Quinoa

This is a great pantry staple. Use it in side dishes, main dishes, and even sweeter breakfast dishes. Freeze cooled, cooked quinoa in ziplock bags for super quick meals!

29. Kirkland Signature Organic Chicken Stock

When you don’t have time to make your own, use this to make soups, risottos, and use in place of water to cook rice, savory oatmeal or quinoa.

30. Del Monte Fresh Fruit Bowl

This is great for parties and group events but is also great to have already cut up fruit in the fridge and with the variety, it is likely there will be something everyone likes!

I’m a pretty devoted farmers’ market shopper, which is why I don’t make much of a dent in the Costco produce section. The amounts they sell are more than I can get through (and I don’t like that many of the items are so heavily packaged). That said, they have good berries and I always buy their bananas and avocados (two foods we can’t seem to keep in stock at our house).

Costco Nuts and Seeds

Costco is a huge money saver for nuts and seeds. A big bag of Costco almonds, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds is half the price literally of the regular grocery store prices! Nuts stay good for a long time so it’s worth it.

Plus, nuts are a great source of healthy fat, protein and they deliver a yummy crunch. Almonds, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds are staples in my house but Costco also has other nuts too!

Dave&rsquos Killer Bread

"This bread is amazing!" says Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., creator of and author of Read It Before You Eat It. We're talking organic, non-GMO, 21 different whole grains and seeds, five grams of protein, and five grams fiber per slice. It also comes in a pack of two loaves, so you can always freeze one if you don&rsquot plan on eating it daily.

RELATED: This Is How to Choose Bread That's Actually Healthy, According to Nutritionists

Everyone in our house loves these bars. They&aposre a fun way to have something sweet that isn&apost just a piece of fruit. Each bar has about 60 calories but no protein to speak of, so these are great to pair with yogurt or nuts or just have as a smaller snack on their own. I&aposve seen other brands of fruit leathers sold at other Costco&aposs, so if you have kids or just love fruit, keep your eyes peeled. Also, I don&apost think I&aposve ever enjoyed something banana flavored but the strawberry banana flavor is out of this world.

Welcome to The Beet. A weekly column where nutrition editor and registered dietitian Lisa Valente tackles buzzy nutrition topics and tells you what you need to know, with science and a little bit of sass.