If you’re like me and trying to take better care of yourself and eat healthier, then you know how expensive it can be. Superfoods are not only super healthy but super costly too.
I already spend a lot of money on groceries every week due to rising prices and living in a big city. In an effort to still eat well and try to save money, we take the long trip to Costco every now and then to stock up on the healthy buys that we love.
Honestly, I don’t like Costco. The parking lot is always a disaster and it’s so huge and busy almost all the time. I also don’t understand why some people seem to eat every meal of the day at the sample bars across the store. It’s as though these shoppers have never seen food before!
Despite my dislike for the big box behemoth, they do have great deals on healthy foods.
Here are our favourites:
Top 7 Healthy Buys from Costco
I always thought quinoa was a grain but is in fact a seed! It is very healthy and according to Wikipedia, for every 100 grams it has 120 calories, almost 3 grams of fiber, close to 2 grams of fat and almost 4.5 grams of protein. Quinoa is gluten free and easy to digest.
Quinoa is quick and easy to make and is very versatile. You can use it instead of rice as we do with our honey baked chicken and sweet and sour tofu or you can make a great salad by adding chopped veggies and a simple vinaigrette to cooked quinoa.
At the grocery store a teeny tiny box of quinoa is around $6 (at least in Canada). At Costco you can get a huge bag of quinoa for around $15. It’s more than triple the amount and lasts for a while as long as you store it properly.
2. Chia seeds
If you’re not familiar with chia seeds then you should make their acquaintance. Chia seeds have no discernible taste but when you put them with a liquid they create a gel that is healthy, full of fiber and loaded with protein.
According to Wikipedia, for every 100 grams, chia seeds have 436 calories, 34 grams of fiber, almost 17 grams of protein and close to 31 grams of fat. Much of this fat is made up of omega 3 fatty acids which are said to have health benefits. While the calorie and fat count seem super high it’s important to remember that a small amount of chia seeds go a long way.
I like to use chia seeds in my smoothie every morning (I add about one tablespoon) and I love making chocolate chia pudding. Especially since I can’t eat yogurt or milk.
Like quinoa, in the grocery store chia seeds are very expensive for not a whole lot. That’s where Costco steps in and you can buy a big bag of chia seeds for a much more reasonable price.
3. Almond butter
I’m not sure why but whenever I go to the grocery store almond butter is so expensive! I like using it in baking and cooking so I use a fair bit and it’s painful to spend $10 on a small jar.
By purchasing it at Costco I don’t feel as guilty about using it to make muffins, cookies and banana bread. One of my favourite gluten free, egg free and dairy free recipes that uses almond butter is Chocolate Covered Katie’s Unbaked Cookie Dough Bars – so yummy!
It’s also an excellent replacement for peanut butter since it has slightly more vitamin E than peanut butter along with more calcium and magnesium. If you have a peanut allergy make sure that your almond butter is peanut free (I’m not sure if Costco’s is peanut free).
4. Vega Protein and Greens
As I mention above, I like to make a smoothie in the morning so I can just make it quickly and run out of the house. To add extra protein and vitamins to my smoothie I add Vega Protein and Greens. Buying Vega at the grocery store or health food store it can be quite costly. A little while back Costco started stocking it and since I can’t pass up a good deal I always purchase it there now.
Costco also has a number of other protein powders but Vega is my favourite since it’s vegan, GMO free and contains some “greens” as well.
5. Coconut Oil
I admit, I’ve joined the coconut oil bandwagon. I know there is a fair bit of controversy about whether or not coconut oil is healthy. The argument is over saturated fat vs. medium chain triglycerides. The saturated fat isn’t great for you while many people argue that the MCTs are super healthy because your body metabolizes them differently. I’m not sure about these various claims but I believe that everything is ok in moderation including coconut oil.
Typically I use coconut oil in baking – including my delicious chocolate granola. Like many of these healthy buys, coconut oil is also very expensive in the store. I’ve seen some places charge $55 for the same container that Costco carries for way less.
6. Pure Maple Syrup
As a Canadian girl I love my pure maple syrup! This isn’t Mrs Butterworth or Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. This is the real stuff made from the sap of a maple tree. It’s quite labour intensive to make so 100% pure maple syrup can be quite expensive.
We use it on our waffles and pancakes and I use it in baking as well. It’s a healthier alternative to white sugar since it contains antioxidants and some vitamins and minerals.
Similar to coconut oil, in moderation it’s a great item to have in your kitchen.
7. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Our Costco has amazing healthy buys on fresh fruit and vegetables. They’ve started offering a great selection of organic produce at excellent prices.
I try to go on Friday (if I’m working from home) to beat the crowds and get our fruit and vegetables for the weekend. That way I know we’ll be home to get a head start on healthy eating over the weekend.
Where do you find your healthy buys?