I have a Costco membership for just myself and aim to keep every total bill under $50.
Bulk buying can be tricky, but there’s a sweet spot between shopping for unit price and use window.
I freeze foods like croissants, bread rolls, and bacon to make them last longer.
Costco’s croissants can last up to a month if you freeze what you don’t immediately eat.
When I first learned about these croissants, my jaw may or may not have hit the floor, because of both their large size and low price.
Costco offers a pack of 12 massive croissants for just $4.99. Other grocery stores in my area sell smaller boxes of tinier pastries for more.
I think these croissants alone were the reason I decided to get a membership.
These artisan rolls make for a great starter.
Since I wasn’t able to go out to restaurants for most of the last year, these artisan rolls were a nice way to replicate the bread-before-the-meal experience, especially when paired with a dish of herbs and olive oil.
It took a lot of trial and error to figure out how best to store them since they can start to mold fairly quickly, but simply freeze or refrigerate the rolls in an airtight, resealable bag or container.
Each bag of 12 rolls costs $5.99.
These stuffed bell peppers will last up to a week in the fridge.
I love these stuffed peppers because they’re effectively a fresh, full meal that I can let bake in the oven while tending to other chores.
I tend to buy these every trip despite them taking up a large portion of my $50 budget since it’s worth getting a nice, complete meal for less than the cost of a fast-food run (especially when I pair it with the artisan rolls).
These peppers cost $4.29 a pound.
Kirkland’s organic lemonade is great to have on hand for when I don’t want water.
Although I usually drink water, sometimes I want to break up the monotony.
This organic lemonade is a great option since it’s not too tangy or sweet. It’s also affordable and long-lasting enough that I can get away with buying it once every month or two.
If I have sweet iced tea around, I’ll sometimes make an Arnold Palmer — a drink of half iced tea and half lemonade — which is always delicious.
Each two-pack sells for $5.99.
This huge bag of krinkle-cut potato chips can last me up to a month.
At just $4.99 for a 32-ounce bag, this is certainly one of the better deals I find at Costco compared to regular grocery or convenience stores.
Since I’m more of a savory snacker than a sweet one, these chips tend to be something I pick up every trip (even if I haven’t run out yet) or at least once a month if I know I’m going to make multiple Costco runs.
This huge bag of King Arthur’s all-purpose flour can last months.
I found a reinvigorated interest in baking over the past year, making my own pancake and biscuit mixes, as well as new recipes for fried chicken, cakes, and pies.
It’s nice to know I have flour on hand when inspiration strikes. I can prep reliable recipes, like pancake mix, without having to worry if I’ll have enough to make fried pork chops, cookies, or biscuits later in the week.
Each 12-pound bag costs $7.49.
You can snag a huge bag of Dixie Crystals’ sugar at Costco.
I used to buy smaller bags of sugar since I wasn’t baking as much, but I’ve since realized they were inefficient. Generally, the ingredient’s a nice staple to have on hand.
Each 10-pound bag sells for $5.79.
Heinz’s distilled white vinegar is a versatile staple for cooking and cleaning.
Given its multiuse applications, distilled white vinegar has become a must-have for me.
The pandemic (and my sister) have inspired me to try new recipes, and I was surprised how often vinegar appeared, not to mention its numerous eco-friendly cleaning benefits.
This gallon-plus jug lasts for months and costs $3.29.
Cheerios are a great deal at Costco.
Cereal is a staple of mine, especially when I know I need to eat but I’m not too hungry or don’t feel like cooking.
Since I shop solo, I typically only need to restock twice a year. I store the opened box in a resealable bag or container and the other stays in the pantry.
Earlier in the year, I’d gotten regular Cheerios, but for my latest Costco run, I opted for Honey Nut Cheerios for a change of pace.
Each pack of two large boxes costs $7.19.
I can make this gallon of whole milk last for up to a month.
Although milk expires faster than other products, I generally have at least a few weeks to enjoy it in cereal or add it to different culinary adventures that require dairy, like fluffy Belgian waffles.
Though, I can typically make it last for up to a month, using it for baking purposes when it’s closer to or beyond the sell-by date.
Each gallon costs $3.29.
Eggs are a great ingredient to have on hand.
Eggs are one of those foods that sneak up on me when they run out — I either don’t use them at all or I need many all at once.
So, they’re a reliable purchase from Costco, especially when I’m in a baking mood.
With this pack of two-dozen eggs, I should have more than enough for whatever recipe I’m following and still have some leftover for a breakfast scramble with cheese.
Each pack costs $3.59.
I freeze Kirkland’s beef dinner Franks to make them last for weeks.
This is a good meat staple, particularly when I need a quick and uninvolved protein but don’t feel like cooking and need more than a bowl of cereal.
It can be used for any meal, whether a protein boost with breakfast or a meat addition in a lunchtime salad.
If I’m feeling fancy, I serve it with honey mustard, some of the krinkle-cut chips, and maybe even a croissant instead of a regular hot-dog bun.
Each pack of 14 links costs $13.49.
When I want a change of pace from the hot dogs, I’ll grab Kirkland’s thick-sliced bacon.
Conveniently packaged in two pound-and-a-half packages, this bacon is something I get nearly every other trip.
Yet even one pack seems to last longer than the bacon I’d buy from a normal grocery store.
It costs $13.59, and you can freeze what you don’t eat right away to make it last longer.
Kirkland’s 100% extra-virgin olive oil is a kitchen staple and can last months.
I love this olive oil. It’s worth its weight for dipping alone, but it also comes in handy to use for salads and other meals.
This is also an item that I can suddenly run out of between shopping trips since I use it so often, so having a large bottle helps me make sure I’ll have enough until the next Costco run.
Each 2-liter bottle costs $14.99.
Shop these and other Costco products with a Costco membership.
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