Big warehouse grocery shopping can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be.
It’s a great way to stock up at a discounted total cost.
Now that my husband and I are empty nesters with two kids off to college, I’m finding I’m not spending as much time in the kitchen as I used to.
I have plenty of recipes for a large family of four or more but for just two people it can be more challenging.
While I do stick to the local grocery store for everyday items, I usually head to Costco for the best deals.
Buying in bulk can go too far for only two people.
Getting creative with what you shop for is key.
Taking advantage of the freezer and doing a little preparation in advance is the best way you can make shopping for two at Costco easy and at a reasonable price.
Here are the best Costco products for easy, quick homemade dinners for your family of two or more.
Keep reading to see what I make for those nights when it’s just me at home for dinner.
Shop the frozen food section for a great deal
Costco carries certain frozen products that I always grab because they make easy side dishes to so many meals.
My favorites are Alexia French fried sweet potatoes, Tattooed Chef Mexican Style Street Corn, Yakisoba noodles, Organic Cauliflower Bites and the Bibigo Sticky Rice.
I’m also a fan of the Pizzeria Uno Calzones and Marie Calendars Pot Pies when you don’t feel like making something from scratch.
Costco has amazing individual selections of your favorite frozen fish and seafood.
We are partial to wild sockeye salmon and halibut. But you can find tilapia, cod as well as sea bass.
Or pick up a bag of frozen shrimp or scallops.
Here are a few of my fish and seafood recipes using my Costco fish favorites.
- CAST IRON SALMON
- GRILLED MAHI MAHI WITH BALSAMIC TOMATOES
- GRILLED SALMON FILLETS WITH A PEACH GLAZE
- BAKED HALIBUT WITH ARTICHOKES & TOMATOES IN A WHITE WINE SAUCE
- SPICY GRILLED SHRIMP SKEWERS
- LEMON BASIL GRILLED SHRIMP AND COUSCOUS
- SOUTHERN-INSPIRED SHRIMP & GRITS
- HAWAIIAN SHRIMP SKEWERS WITH MINT AND HONEY
Even premade Alaskan Salmon Burgers and Aqua Star Coconut Breaded Butterfly Shrimp are easy to prepare when you have chaotic nights and need a quick dinner.
The frozen food aisle is a great option for premade frozen dinners like Mandarin Orange Chicken, Just Bare Chicken Nuggets (a Chick-Fil-A clone) and Foster Farms Take Out Crispy Wings.
Or grab a bag of skinless and boneless chicken breasts (there’s lots of brands to chose from) and create your own family favorite dish.
Just grab what you need and follow one of these delicious recipes.
- EASY CRISPY BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDERS
- GRILLED CHICKEN KEBABS
- GUINNESS MUSHROOM CHICKEN BREASTS
- EASY CHEESY CHICKEN WITH ZUCCHINI, SPINACH AND SQUASH
- SLOW COOKER APPLE CIDER CHICKEN
- CHICKEN WITH MARSALA WINE SAUCE
- CAJUN CHICKEN IN A LEMON CAPER SAUCE
- EASY MAPLE DIJON CHICKEN
- CAPRESE CHICKEN WITH A BALSAMIC GLAZE
Shop the prepared food section for these favorite Costco finds
If you’re looking for a time saver, skip the prep work and pick up a Costco rotisserie chicken in the prepared foods section.
These crispy whole birds provide enough white and dark meat for all your favorite easy meals.
With minimal effort, you can put a quick meal on the table the whole family loves.
I typically like to pull all the meat off the bird and use it all week long for easy lunch and dinner ideas.
Leftover rotisserie chicken also freezes very well.
- INDIVIDUAL (MINI) CHICKEN POT PIES
- SHREDDED BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDERS
- EASY CHICKEN & MUSHROOM FETTUCCINE ALFREDO RECIPE
- CHICKEN FRIED RICE
- HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
- EASY HASH BROWN CHICKEN CASSEROLE RECIPE
Other easy options you can find in the prepared food section include macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, potato salad and fresh salads.
I typically grab these favorite items when the boys come home with their friends for a weekend.
Shop the refrigerated section for fresh meats and prepackaged dinners
While you’re in the prepared food area, wander into the refrigerated section of Costco to pick up these favorites for easy dinners.
Kevin’s Natural foods are offered in a wide selection, as well as Montgomery Inn Pulled Pork, freshly packaged cooked chicken bites, and fresh soups like Lobster Bisque and more.
Need to make an easy charcuterie board for a potluck or get together?
Costco has one prepackaged for you along side a selection of prepackaged cheeses.
Pick up a one pound container of fresh Pro Crab meat for these easy recipes. It’s a great value for the amount of crab you get!
- EASY CRAB BISQUE RECIPE
- CRABCAKE SANDWICH WITH A CHIPOTLE MAYO
- CLASSIC CRAB CAKES RECIPE (OLD BAY SEASONING)
There is a wide selection of fresh chicken, pork and beef which come in bulk.
But don’t be scared off. I used to avoid buying fresh meat and chicken because I didn’t think we could consume it all.
But you can’t find a whole bird, lamb chops or fresh pork tenderloins in the frozen food aisle.
I don’t hesitate buying in bulk.
I take an extra couple of minutes when I get home to repackage my favorite meats when I get home into smaller portions.
What we don’t use immediately we freeze.
Try these great recipes for a home-cooked meal.
- THE BEST DRY RUB BABY BACK RIBS RECIPE
- BEER CAN CHICKEN RECIPE
- EASY MARINATED FLANK STEAK
- PORK TENDERLOIN SLIDERS WITH A BLACKBERRY BARBECUE SAUCE
- SALT SEARED LAMB CHOPS
- EASY BROWN SUGAR AND BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN
- EASY ANCHO CHILE PORK CHOPS
What to make for dinner when you don’t feel like cooking
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I’ll often cook a piece of sockeye salmon in my air fryer with a sprinkle of McCormick’s Smokehouse Maple seasoning and pair it with the Yakisoba noodles for a single serving.
Other easy dinner is the Mandarin Orange Chicken paired with sticky rice and steamed broccoli.
Rotisserie chicken on a salad or in a quesadilla takes just a few minutes.
Spaghetti and Rao’s tomato marinara sauce is always a winner.
Just Bare chicken nuggets in the air fryer and seasoned with buffalo sauce is my game day dinner when my hubby is at the game. Did I mention these chicken nuggets are a Chick-Fil-A knockoff.
Coconut crusted shrimp takes just minutes to bake and tastes delicious with sweet potato fries and coleslaw.
Shop the dry good section for these pantry staples
If you’re a regular coffee drinker and you enjoy a fresh cup from your Keurig each morning then you’ll wanna pick up a box of 100 plus individual coffee pods.
There’s a great selection to choose from and it’s offered for a great price that can’t be beat.
I also can’t pass up a two pack of Dave’s Killer bread.
It’s like getting two loaves for the price of one.
Make your favorite sandwich on this healthy option for a quick lunch.
I always have a spare box of Triscuit crackers in my pantry because it’s hard to run out with a three pack deal like this one.
Easy when you’re serving up appetizers or needed crackers for that charcuterie board.
Norwegian seed crackers are a close second choice and offer variation.
Rao’s homemade marinara sauce. You can’t beat the flavor and the price and who doesn’t need a jar or two for a quick dinner.
I’m a bit picky when it comes to olive oil. I prefer the Kirkland Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Costco carries what I need.
It’s in a large enough bottle that I’m slow to run out.
It’s my all-time go to high quality olive oil when preparing dinner and is ideal for use in homemade salad dressings.
And right next to the olive oil is the Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar. I’m a big fan of this slightly sweeter aged syrupy vinegar.
It’s by far better than traditional balsamic vinegar because it’s aged for at least 12 years or longer.
Like wine, age matters when it comes to vinegar.
Costco also has a great selection of spices, authentic maple syrup, almond butter, raw honey and their signature basil pesto.
Shop the fresh produce, beer and wine sections for great deals
Costco sells a fantastic assortment of fresh fruit including ready to eat peaches and pears in the fall and sweet strawberries as well as other favorites on my grocery list.
Costco also has an amazing selection of wines.
I discovered that many of the Kirkland Signature wines are top rated, delicious and affordable.
Grab a case for a discount if allowed in your state.
A few final tips for Costco savings that you may not be aware of
You can save on that vacation you’ve been wanting to plan as well as new tires for your vehicle, a new laptop for your new college student or a new mattress for the guest room.
These are offered at significant discounts.
The bath towels are made of Turkish cotton and Costco carries Beautyrest Black pillows at deep discounted prices.
I found pumpkins cheaper than you can get at the garden center at Costco next to the fall mums. And Christmas decorations just a few aisles over.
Need a new pet bed? You can’t beat the selection compared with pet stores.
Is your husband or son a golfer?
Kirkland Signature golf gloves and golf balls are top quality and worth every penny.
My favorite Costco purchase is ordering Christmas cards every year at deeply discounted prices compared to other locations.
Just upload your favorite family photo and choose your favorite template.
And if like me you had the gold membership you may want to consider upgrading to the executive membership where you can earn 2% rewards over the course of a year. I found it pays for itself.
What are your favorite Costco finds?
Let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Costco. Our family just loves the convenience and bang we get for our buck!
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