So many people have asked me lately what is on my shopping list at Costco. Well, I’ll tell you what is not on my list: fresh produce and refrigerated/freezer items. Most of their fruits and vegetables aren’t organic, and I try to buy as much organic produce as my wallet will allow. Most of my list consists of cleaning products (I am obsessed with doing laundry), household equipment (I love my very powerful Dyson handheld vacuum!), and of course all the pantry items that Costco has. (Did i mention socks? PJ's? Books? TV's? Face cream? OXO containers? Luggage? ) You see where I am going with this. So obviously, ten carts later, I'm not bothering with the produce or anything that I need to schlep a freezer bag for because my milk will just spoil in the car.
So what’s on my list this week? Well like every good American I have some paper goods and household supplies but here today we are just going to be discussing dry goods I use to stock my pantry. #mylifemypantry Take a look..
Organic KIRKLAND applesauce squeeze packs (price: 9.99 for 24 pouches) – I like these better than the “GoGo” brand (not organic, and I have had spoilage problems).
Skinny POP individual snack bags (price: 12.99 for 28 snack bags)—100 calorie bags of lightly salted goodness. Bags are not too small and perfect for healthy snacking. Also non-GMO corn is used.
Pirate’s Booty snack bags (price: 8.99 for 36 bags)—these are filled with white cheddar goodness. They do contain dairy so aren’t for everyone but they have all pronounceable ingredients and only 70 calories a bag. They are also certified gluten free.
Multigrain Chips by FOOD SHOULD TASTE GOOD (price: 5.99 for a 24oz bag) Be warned- this is a very big bag. These tortilla chips taste super delicious and surprisingly not like cardboard. They have a nutty (nut free!) flavor and are a healthy enough snack (if you don’t eat the whole bag at once). The ingredients are very impressive (flax, sesame, quinoa) and is also non-GMO and gluten free.
Raw and Unfiltered Honey (price: 14.69 for 44oz honey) – Raw, unfiltered honey is honey as it exists in the beehive. It has not been strained or heated. Although there is no regulation for this and some raw honey being sold is actually minimally processed, it will still have more vitamins, nutrients and enzymes than commercial honey. It contains more anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, boosts immune function and contains powerful antioxidants. This being said, it is more expensive so I do not use it in every application (i.e. - a recipe that requires cooking). Also it is not recommended to give honey to children under 1 year of age.
Kirkland Organic Honey- (price: 11.49 for 3 x 24oz bottles) I like these as an alternative to the raw honey to stock my pantry. They are a less expensive, organic alternative in smaller bottles. Kirkland makes a huge bottle that I don’t love because the bottom gets too firm before I’m ready to use it.
Kirkland Granulated California Garlic- (price: 4.99 for 18oz jar) I buy this bottle because I prefer the texture of granulated garlic as opposed to the flour like consistency of garlic powder. The Kirkland brand is especially nice because the flavor is very fresh and sweet- the best flavored granulated garlic that I have come across. The bottle size is also good because I go through garlic pretty quickly.
Kirkland Ground Saigon Cinnamon- (price: 2.59 for 10.7oz jar) Saigon cinnamon is considered the variety of cinnamon that is said to have the most superior flavor and odor. I prefer to use this in my cooking and the price is also right.
Nature’s Intent Organic Chia Seeds- (price: 7.49 for 32oz bag) These powerful “superfood” seeds are an ancient food of the Aztecs and Mayans that are loaded with calcium, fiber, iron, protein and have omega 3 fatty acids. They are extremely fibrous and aid with digestion (aka they help you go). I mix these into my cookie, granola and muffin recipes. Or you can sprinkle them into your yogurt. You can even make a chia pudding recipe out of them.
Kirkland Organic Quinoa- (price: 11.99 for 2 pound bag) I love quinoa. I use quinoa in many different recipes such as salads and side dishes. Cold or hot. Quinoa is a nutritious, whole grain substitute for rice and just as simple to prepare. It is naturally gluten free and has a low glycemic index. It is also extremely high in protein and iron.
Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter- (price: 8.99 for 2 x 28oz bottles) Peanut butter is one of the most important foods to buy organic. Peanuts act like sponges and soak those pesticides right up. Non organic peanut butter has very high amounts of chemicals and pesticides. There are also no added sugars or oils in this Kirkland brand and is a good price.
Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup- (price: 11.99 for 33.81oz bottle) I use maple syrup in many of my recipes. I wouldn’t say this is the best flavor or highest quality syrup I’ve ever had but for most applications it does the job. Bottom line It’s hard to beat this costco price and it is organic.
Chosen Foods Pure Avocado Oil- (price: 9.69 for 33.8oz bottle) Avocado oil is extracted from the flesh of the fruit itself, not the seed. It is high in monosaturated fats, potassium, and vitamins A, E and D. Monosaturated fats are important in a healthy balanced diet. Many studies have been done to show how avocado oil can improve your health, including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, easing arthritis and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This oil can even be heated safely to 500 degrees! As opposed to canola oil which can only be heated to about 450 degrees. There is not much exciting that can be said for canola oil – except the price. Also this brand of avocado oil is non-GMO certified. Avocado oil has become the #1 neutral flavored oil I use in my kitchen. I use it in all applications where olive oil wouldn’t be appropriate (baking, frying etc.)
Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil- (price: 11.99 for 2 liter bottle!) Olive oil is also very high in monosaturated fats creating a balanced diet. I love this brand’s particular flavor, especially in salads and dressings. When buying olive oil always buy “extra virgin”, meaning it’s in its most purest and least refined form. Also, it is important to look for “first and cold pressed” on the bottle. This means that the olives aren’t heated when pressed and you are getting the first batch of oil from those olives, which is the richest, and not the second press, which is lighter and diluted. In a study done by the University of California, it was found that Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil was one of only five oils in the study that was not mixed with cheaper refined olive oil sold here in America. The other four were all high end brands that cost much more than Costco’s. After doing research on organic vs. non organic olive oils it doesn’t seem so important to buy organic when buying olive oils because the olive trees are pretty resilient and don’t require much chemical fertilizers or pesticides. I choose this brand because of the price and flavor.
Genova Yellowfin Light Tuna in Oil- (price: 11.99 for 6x 7oz cans) This is high quality yellowfin tuna fish that is wild caught with no additives or preservatives. This is a Italian style tuna that could complete any Salad Nicoise. It’s really delicious (and salty! Yum). It does not need much (or any if you prefer) mayonnaise as it is packed in very high quality olive oil. This tuna is canned in the USA but caught elsewhere. On the day that I bought this my cans where caught in Ecuador. The only con that I can see is that it is more expensive than regular tuna.
Trying for the first time:
The Good Bean (price: 4.99 for an 18oz bag) – crispy crunchy organic toasted chickpeas. So far these are not bad. I would compare it to snacking on a nut. I could see mixing them into a salad. Can’t decide if I will buy this again. I will try to bring them to the beach this weekend and see how the troops like them.