The One Thing You’re Not Buying At Costco But Should

The One Thing You’re Not Buying At Costco But Should

2020/07/02

Thanks to Costco's auto program, the car buying process can actually be a pleasant experience.

It’s always exciting to buy a new car, but the actual buying process can be quite the project. Before even test-driving cars you have to research cars, look at different dealerships, compare prices and potentially negotiate for a cheaper sum. But thanks to the Costco auto program, these are things you’ll no longer have to worry about.

If you love to DIY, you should be buying these 15 things at Costco.







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Healthiest and unhealthiest foods at Costco


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Healthy: Fresh and frozen fruits and veggies



Whether fresh or frozen, Costco’s fruit and veggie selection hosts plenty of fiber and vitamins, and are convenient for the price. Meg O’Rourke, RD-LDN, specifically likes Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend. It is a great source of vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants. “They are the perfect addition to smoothies, yogurts, or even my personal favorite, as a frozen treat for the summer,” she says. Find out more Kirkland items you should definitely buy at Costco.










Unhealthy: Bread 



Dr. John La Puma, nutritionist and author of ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine, likes to avoid this aisle altogether. Everything looks so delicious, but most of the bread products Costco sells are low in fiber with only a few exceptions. Most of the bread is incredibly processed and has high calories, with little to no dietary benefit.










Healthy: Whole grain bread



The exception? Whole grain bread! Rachel Fine, registered dietician and founder of To The Pointe Nutrition, loves Dave’s Killer Bread, an organic, whole grain option that is both delicious and healthy. Where you can find some nutritious finds like this one may be one of the 15 secrets Costco employees won’t tell you.












Unhealthy: Processed snack foods



Top on licensed dietician and nutritionist Amanda Kostro Miller‘s list of unhealthy foods to limit or control from Costco? Any of their processed snack foods. Most contain lots of fat, sodium, and sugar and not a lot of nutrition. Some of her picks for the worst offenders: cheesy puffs, peanut butter cheese crackers, cheesy or caramel popcorn, and chips.










Healthy: Nuts and seeds



A great substitution for those unhealthy snacks is one of Costco’s massive-sized bags of nuts! One of the most affordable ways to buy some of the pricier nuts is in bulk, which is why almost all the nutritionists we spoke to mentioned them. Nuts are full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, all of which will work together to keep your hunger at bay. Fine added that she likes to stock up on pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds from Costco as well. There is a reason nuts made the list of 15 foods nutritionists always buy at Costco.










Unhealthy: Bakery items



Unfortunately, the pre-made bakery items are also on top of the unhealthy list. O’Rourke specifically points out Kirkland’s Signature Butter Croissants, which are 45 percent fat and tout only a single gram of fiber.












Healthy: Fresh whole cuts of meat 



The good news? That entire section of fresh, whole cuts of meat is fair game! A huge source of protein, iron, and vitamins, just about anything from Costco’s huge selection of fresh meat at bargain prices is a great choice! While it’s usually cheaper to buy in bulk, sometimes a little extra saving can go a long way. Be sure to use these 13 tips frequent Costco shoppers keep to themselves the next time you shop to save as much money as possible.










Unhealthy: Processed meats 



You know the drill. The more processed a food selection is, the more additives it has. And while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it generally means more fat, more sodium, more nitrates, and more preservatives. A few to steer clear of: bologna, salami, and cured deli meat.










Healthy: Canned tuna, chicken, and salmon



While more processed than the fresh whole cuts, canned tuna, chicken, and salmon still host enough benefits to outweigh anything negative that is being added in the processing process. The protein and convenience offered with these options made Kostro Miller give them a thumbs up.












Unhealthy: Pre-made pantry goods 



Pre-made/processed pantry goods like canned ravioli, Hamburger Helper, or box goods that have pre-made, powdered sauces tend to have a lot of fat, sodium, and preservatives. Besides, with all the fresh food Costco offers at affordable prices, it can be easy and inexpensive to make your own! Not everything at Costco will save you money, however. Be sure to keep these 11 Costco items that are actually costing you more out of your cart.










Healthy: Pre-made quinoa and brown rice 



The trend has been pretty obvious thus far. If it is pre-made or too processed, you’re probably going to want your cart to steer clear of that item—but Costco’s quinoa and brown rice are an exception! Carla Schuit, MPH, RD, LDN, a licensed dietitian at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, always stocks up on these staples when she goes to Costco. “So easy to use as a base and toss some convenient protein in, such as grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp,” Schuit says. “Add a scoop of already made quinoa or brown rice and you have an easy complete meal. I always have two bags on hand.”










Unhealthy: Giant cookies



If you’ve ever seen one of these monstrosities in person, you probably saw this coming. However, Dr. La Puma notes that the reason these delicious desserts are so bad for you isn’t necessarily what’s inside them; it’s their size. You can still enjoy the chocolate chip goodness by cutting the cookie into quarters and savoring the flavor over the course of several days, he says.












Healthy: Greek yogurt



Healthy and delicious! Greek yogurt makes a great snack, the base of a delicious smoothie, and it provides these 9 benefits for your gut health. Combine with fruit, raw honey, or just eat plain, and you’ve got a nutritious and delicious snack.










Healthy: Olive oil 



According to Fine, Costco’s olive oil, in particular, received a thumbs up from Consumer Lab‘s independent testing. While we all know that olive oil is rich in healthier fats and a great way to cook food nutritionally, many brands of olive oil come tainted with additional oils mixed in. Kirkland’s, however, completely passed testing.












Unhealthy: Pre-made desserts 



They are delicious, but Costco’s pre-made desserts are primarily pure white flour, sugar, butter, and stabilizers. Not exactly what you could call nutritious. One of our favorites, the Kirkland Signature 12″ Cheesecake, unfortunately has 11 grams of fat in a single slice and very little nutritional value to offset the caloric intake. That cheesecake may be one of the things you shouldn’t be buying at Costco, but you definitely should be getting these 15 things you aren’t buying at Costco.























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If you have a membership, you are also a member of the Costco auto program, which helps you purchase a wide variety of vehicles, either new or used. The Costco car buying program even offers recreational vehicles, mobility vehicles, motorcycles and even parts (or service) for anything you might need. Not only that, but you can experience some serious savings with Costco’s special offers.

Costco’s vehicle program database saves you time

Instead of looking at multiple websites or contacting different dealerships, the Costco car buying program puts all of that information in one place. Once you enter in your zip code, you can browse the type of car you want and choose the dealer from there. Once chosen, you can actually compare prices of the different models side-by-side. The Costco vehicle purchase program will save you a ton of time when comparing vehicles, letting you know which car is the best bang for your buck.







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18 things chefs buy from Costco


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Waygu beef



USDA Prime meat is a big deal at the Prime + Proper Steakhouse in Detroit. That’s why executive butcher Walter Apfelbaum supplies the chefs there with Waygu beef he buys at Costco, according to Food & Wine. “Costco sells some of the most beautiful prime beef I’ve seen out of the restaurant industry,” he says. Here’s more about why chefs love Costco’s beef.










Pork chops





Chef Julie Yoon, who runs an online cooking show called Bits & Piecesbuys a big pack of bone-in pork chops at Costco. She’ll wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a Ziplock bag to freeze for future use.












Bacon





Cardoz likes the heft of Applewood-Smoked Thick Cut Bacon. Yoon, meanwhile, opts for Farmer John Classic Bacon. She gets a four-pack, then freezes three packages and uses it in spaghetti carbonara and grilled cheese. Here are more things at Costco you shouldn’t be without.










Produce





Costco is known for its selection of fruits and vegetables. Yoon’s haul at Costco typically includes baby carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, avocados, and lemons. And don’t forget Mexican limes. They’re not always available at Cardoz’s Costco, but when they are, he likes to pick some up for margaritas. 










Burgers 





Cardoz has been a fan since he got some premade burgers for one of his son’s birthdays. He recommends the unfrozen kind in the meat section.










Kirkland Raw, Tail-On Shrimp





Yoon likes to keep a bag of these frozen shrimp in the freezer. Low in calories, they’re easy to defrost by placing them in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes, she says.