Done With Diligence

What a Crunchy Mama Buys at Costco: Healthy, Organic Foods- Part 1

costco building with woman in front

Healthy eating is expensive.  Real food is expensive. If you’ve been shopping at regular grocery stores, your monthly grocery budget might be growing out of control. Mine sure was! But, I’ve got great news…Shopping at Costco can be a great option for families that want healthy choices that won’t break the bank.  In this multi-part series, I’ll be sharing exactly what I’ve found at Costco and what I’m doing with it.  So, grab a pen, and let’s start making our shopping list!

1. Almond Butter

almond butter front label
almond butter ingredients label

First up are Costco’s nut butters.  They carry great nut butters with simple ingredients.  We love their organic almond butter because the ONLY ingredient is organic roasted almonds! I use almond butter in lots of recipes like my Chocolate Chip Energy Balls, Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, and Anytime Cookies.

2. Orgain Protein Powder- Vanilla and Chocolate

2 jars of protein powder- chocolate and vanilla
ingredients panel for chocolate protein powder
ingredients for vanilla protein powder

We buy both the chocolate and vanilla flavors of Orgain Protein Powder from Costco.  It’s certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.  It contains prebiotics and probiotics, but only has one gram of sugar. It has a wide variety of fruits, veggies, and other superfoods in it.  Orgain tastes really good, too!  I also love that it packs 21 grams of protein per serving. I will point out that it contains Sunflower Oil (a seed oil) and Natural Flavors (an unregulated, unclear term), which I wish weren’t included. No doubt, there are cleaner protein powders on the market if your budget can support them.  However, I use these protein powders in my energy balls, and my kids drink a raw milk protein shake most every single morning.  Because we use SO much protein powder, I couldn’t afford to buy some other brands on the market for my family.  So, while I’m compromising a little on this product, I’m still very excited that Costco carries it.  And they sometimes put it on sale, so I’ll stock up to save even more! 

3. Nellie’s Laundry Soda

front of nellies laundry soap
nellies detergent ingredients label

We do A LOT of laundry at our house!  With a minimum of 2-3 loads per day, I need to have an affordable laundry detergent.  But many of the laundry detergents on the market are full of unsafe ingredients. Before I began reading labels, I loved to use Gain detergent. But, I’ve since learned that it earns a “D” grade from the EWG due to ingredients like Disodium Diaminostilnene Disulonate and Polyethylene Glycol. And since our skin is touching fabrics (clothing, towels, bedsheets, etc.) ALL day long, I want to make sure that I’m not saturating those fabrics with harmful chemicals in the name of cleaning them.  

Nellie’s Laundry Soda contains only a few ingredients.  It’s phosphate free, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) free, and scent free. You only use a tablespoon’s worth of detergent in a regular-size load, so each bucket can do 400 loads of laundry!  It’s truly amazing that such a small bucket can last such a long time! I should also mention that Nellie’s Laundry Soda gets an “A” rating the the EWG’s Skin Deep Database.

4. Pureboost

3 packets of pureboost
pureboost ingredients label

I don’t know how I would start my day without Pureboost!  I’m not a coffee drinker, so Pureboost is my wake-up juice!  I go through about a box a month, so I was so happy to see that Costco carries the variety pack! It contains zero grams of sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial flavors, and no preservatives!  It’s full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes.  Plus it will make your taste buds very happy!  If you need an energy-boost, Pureboost is a really good option!  It’s a great substitute for most any other energy drink out there.  Just sprinkle a packet into your water, shake, and go!

5. Kirkland Organic Applesauce Pouches

front of apple sauce box
applesauce puches ingredients label

Apples are always on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, meaning apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated fresh produce options on grocery store shelves.  That’s why it’s wise to make sure any apple products you buy, including apple sauces, are certified organic.  My family loves these applesauce pouches from Costco. Not only are they great, kid-friendly snacks, but they are also super-convenient for tossing in school lunches.

6. Kirkland Summit Roast Organic K-Cup Coffee Pods

front of kirklands coffee box
coffee ingredients label

My husband starts his day with a cup of coffee.  And these coffee pods from Costco are such a great price!  Not only are they certified organic, but they are also Fair Trade certified, which are both important factors.  I also love that they are roasted and packaged in the USA.  When it comes to products that my family is consuming every single day, I pay extra attention to make sure I’ve chosen the best option possible.  These coffee pods check all of the boxes when it comes to considering both health and budget.

7. Fresh Gourmet Organic Croutons

fresh gourmet organic croutons front
fresh gourmet croutons ingredients label

One of the healthy things my kids love is a giant salad for dinner.  But they are even more excited about a salad if croutons are involved!  It’s a compromise I’m happy to make in order to get a whole plate of fresh veggies in their little bodies!  This giant bag of organic croutons lasts us forever.  Unfortunately, they do contain organic sunflower oil and organic safflower oil (seed oils).  But if you aren’t able to make homemade croutons, these are still a great choice, especially used in careful moderation.

8. Kirkland Organic Whole Cashews

Cashews front of bag
cashews ingredients label

Here’s another great product from Costco’s Kirkland Brand.  These organic whole cashew are unsalted and unroasted.  They are delicious as-is, but you could also add sea salt and other spices and roast them yourself.  Most cashews you buy from the store will contain vegetable oil (seed oil), which we want to avoid.  These cashews make an easy snack on their own, but I also like tossing them into my homemade trail mix to nourish my active kids on the go.

9.  One Degree Rolled Oats

one degree rolled oats front of bag
one degree oats ingredients panel

These rolled oats are one of my very favorite Costco finds!  They are gluten-free, sprouted (important for digestion),  certified organic, and certified non-glyphosate (RoundUp).  I use these rolled oats in all of my energy balls and also in my Anytime Cookies.  Oats may seem like an all-around healthy choice, but if your family is eating them often, I would encourage you to carefully source them.  Many brands sampled by the EWG found evidence of glyphosate contamination (see EWG report here).  Why worry so much about feeding your family glyphosate?  The International Agency for Research on Cancer has published a statement that calls glyphosate “probably carcinogenic [cancer-causing] to humans”.  The California Office Of Environmental Heath Hazard Assessment has agreed with the statement by classifying glyphosate as “known to cause cancer” (read their statement here).  I have a hard time picking up just any ol’ brand of oats with these kind of findings in mind.  So I’m extra thankful that Costco has such a good, clean option available at a reasonable price.

10. Kirkland All-Purpose Organic Flour

front of kirklands organic flour bag
twin pack of kirklands organic flour
ingredients panel of kirklands organic flour

I have dreams of one day grinding my own flour, as I know that is the healthiest option. But today is not that day!  In the meantime, I was thrilled to find this certified organic flour at Costco!  It comes in a twin-pack with 2 huge, 10-pound bags for under $20.   The only ingredients are organic hard red wheat and organic malted barley.  I use this flour in my homemade bread, muffins, cookies, pancakes, and more.  I also use it to feed my sourdough starter!  Flour is a basic ingredient in so many recipes, so starting with the good stuff results in the healthiest snacks and breakfast items possible.

Final Thoughts on Costco

So, there you have it!  Ten of the awesome items I’ve found at Costco.  There’s much more to come, so stay tuned! I can’t wait to show you some other healthy Costco snacks, Greek yogurt, and other items we’ve found, but I’ll save that for Part 2 of  the series “What a Crunchy Mama Buys at Costco: Healthy, Organic Foods”! 

After only a few months of shopping at Costco, we began to notice a significant savings in our food budget. So, if you are trying to continue feeding your family well, even with rising food prices, I strongly encourage you to check out Costco.  And if it’s your first time to visit Costco, just a word to the wise, allow plenty of time to wander the aisle to see what you might discover!  And may I suggest carrying my All-in-One Shopping Guide to help you quickly read those labels and watch for ingredients you need to avoid?  It can be overwhelming to diligently select new, truly healthy products for your family, but my All-In-One Shopping Guide makes it so much easer! You can print it out for FREE if you join my Members Only Freebies Library.  I recommend laminating it and just keeping it in the car so that you are always prepared! 

If you don’t have a local Costco, I would still encourage you to consider a membership. While another, similar big box store is only about an hour from my house, the nearest Costco is over 2 hours away.  Since not all of the big box stores carry this many healthy home and food items, we decided it would be worth joining Costco over joining the other club.  We are able to go to Costco about once every 1-2 months and really stock up.  You should see my van all loaded down with kids and our Costco haul!  On one recent trip, everyone had to hold a few items in their laps because we were so packed in there!  It was quite funny, but it’s just part of raising a large family on a budget!  

Costco also has online shopping and free shipping for some of their products but not all.  You won’t be able to find some of the things on my list online.  Also, pay attention to online pricing.  I have found that the in-store price is better than the online price on several items.  I saved my receipts from my first few shopping trips so I could take the time to do the math and make sure we were getting good deals.

So, bottom line: If you’re a crunchy mama on a budget…I think you’re gonna love what Costco has to offer!!  More to come…

Happy, heathy & affordable shopping, Diligent Mamas!

CLICK HERE to go to Part 2 of this Costco series!

all in one shopping guide preview

Looking for more ideas for diligent shopping and product selection?  Check out my Shop with Diligence page.  You might also like my Master List of Product Recommendations.

Scroll to Top