Americans are notoriously bad eaters. A 2013 study confirmed we’re in last place when it comes to health stats among similarly wealthy democracies. We eat too much unhealthy food, in too large quantities, and we don’t move enough.
Bulk stores, like Costco, have become a staple of the American grocery shopping routine. While it might seem like Costco is the place to score enough cookies and pasta to last through the Trump Administration, there are plenty of healthy Costco foods to add to your shopping list.
I personally love Costco. Something about all that food in one place speaks to my survival instincts. I walk in, and I feel sure that I’ll be well provided for even if a bomb goes off while I’m checking off my grocery list.
I’m always trying to work in healthy foods to my diet. I like to try and eat at least one vegetable at each meal, but I don’t always succeed. Stocking up on healthy Costco foods does make it easier.
Costco has plenty of healthy foods. You just have to choose them over their incredible chip selection. Here’s how I buy healthy Costco foods that help keep me honest in my quest for healthy eating.
I eat a lot of quinoa. It’s a grain with protein that fits into a million different dishes. You can put a little on top of salad greens. Serve it with some sauteed veggies. Cook up some fish and lay in on a bed of quinoa. This is a top healthy Costco food, and depending on which brand you buy, it clocks in around $15-$26 for several pounds. It’s a healthy staple that you can live off of for weeks.
Chia seeds are magic. You can sprinkle a handful on almost anything and reap health benefits like protein, Omega-3’s, and fiber. Add it to cereal, smoothies, cookies, or bread. I mean, get crazy and sprinkle some on your ice cream! You can pick up a bag at Costco for around $10, and it is worth every penny.
Nuts are expensive and they can be fatty. There’s no doubt that a handful of nuts is way better for you than a handful of chips though! You can pick up walnuts, pine nuts, almonds and cashews at Costco. Use them to make trail mix, to sprinkle on oatmeal, or to snack on themselves.
Last but certainly not least is produce! The ultimate in healthy foods, and not just at Costco. We can all probably stand to eat more produce. I buy spinach, clementines, carrots, and avocados at Costco. They come in huge quantities, but I eat these foods almost every day. You can pick up onions, garlic, apples, grapes and a million more produce options at Costco.
Bulk food stores are not just for toilet paper and trash bags. Done right, picking up healthy Costco foods can improve your shopping routine and your overall health. Of course, what you need may be different from what I need, so tailor your shopping to your own cooking habits. Costco’s return policy and customer service are also better than most of the competition, so you won’t get stuck with a bunch of stuff you don’t like or want.
If you got a good deal at Costco and want to tell everyone, feel free to leave a comment below and share this posting on social media.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.