I Shop at Costco for My 2-Person Family — Here Are 9 Things I Always Buy

published Sep 27, 2021
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Credit: Heather McClees

Think about Costco and one thing comes to mind: giant everything. That’s not necessarily wrong, but everyone’s favorite bulk store isn’t strictly limited to people shopping for huge families. I’m half of a family of two, yet my husband and I joined the loyal following of Costco a few years ago and never looked back. In fact, we make our every-few-weeks trip there part of our household budget.

What exactly does a two-person household buy at Costco? Glad you asked! Here are a few things we always get. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

1. Sabatasso’s Gluten-Free Four-Cheese Pizza, $15.99 for three

We always, always, always buy a box of these gluten-free frozen pizzas. We don’t even follow a gluten-free diet; they’re just so good, they’re my favorite out of the whole lineup of frozen pizzas at Costco. At a little more than five bucks apiece, it’s hard to make a cheaper, easier dinner for two. They’ve become our default for those super-busy days, when we can’t pull together a “proper” meal. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

2. San Pellegrino Mineral Water, $17.99 for 15 (25.3-ounce) bottles

Remember when everyone was stocking up on toilet paper during early pandemic days? I stockpiled fizzy water. It comforted me to know that, no matter how long we might be sheltering in place, there would be refreshing bubbly waters. Costco has lots of brands — and flavors — for very wallet-friendly prices.

Credit: Dana McMahan

3. Foppen Smoked Norwegian Salmon Slices, $10 for 12 ounces

One thing my fridge is never without is smoked salmon. It’s good for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, and I go through a LOT of it. But it can be expensive, so I usually only buy it at Costco where the price is right. My favorite is the pack of individually sliced pieces in three flavors: plain, dill, and pepper. I combine this pack with a six-count bag of avocados and bagels, and I’ve got breakfast for almost a week. (I also love their fresh salmon for sushi night!)

Credit: Dana McMahan

4. Cello Cheese Flight, $15.79 for 1.25 pounds

If there’s one thing my fridge will never be without, it’s cheese — cheese for snacking, cheese for cooking, cheese for entertaining. The cheese flights at Costco are a lifesaver when you’re entertaining (arrange them on a nice board with some accouterments to fancy-up the spread), and the big wheels of Brie are a fraction of the price when compared to average grocery stores. Bonus tip: Pick up a big (36-count!) bag of mini Babybel cheeses for personal snacking while you’re there.

Credit: Dana McMahan

5. Short Ribs, $9.99 per pound

My husband has his own Costco go-tos; he heads for the butcher counter to grab a pack (or two) of short ribs. We love, love, love braised ribs — especially if we’re having friends and family over. Serving a few people can be an expensive proposition, so we stock up on the meaty ribs at the attractive price and keep a couple of packs in the deep freezer. If we make plans even a day in advance, we’re all set. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

6. Kirkland Signature Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, $14.00 for two liters

Now this is something anyone who likes to cook can safely buy in bulk. This isn’t the fancy finishing oil you’d pour on a delicate salad. But for anything that involves cooking in EVOO, it’s Kirkland by the jug all day long. 

Credit: Dana McMahan

7. Kirkland Signature Extra Fancy Mixed Nuts, $14.49 for 40 ounces

Walnuts (and almonds and, well, pretty much all the nuts) are expensive! This is another staple I try to only ever buy at Costco because the savings are so good. Yes, it’s a big container, but they stay perfectly fresh until they’re used up. My trick: I pour some into a jar and store them in the pantry. The rest gets put into a resealable bag and stashed in the freezer. It’s so nice to grab a handful without stopping to think about just how much this snack has cost me.

Credit: Dana McMahan

8. Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar, $10 for 40 (1/2-ounce) bags

My neighbor’s little boy turned us on to these delicious 1/2-ounce bags of puffed corn. Individual bags mean we can toss them in our backpacks for a quick snack on the go, or can keep from overdoing it if we’re eating them at home. A close runner-up is the box of individual bags of Veggie Straws

Credit: Dana McMahan

9. Kirkland Signature Asolo Prosecco, $7

I try to never be without a bottle of bubbly at home. You never know when there might be occasion to celebrate (and at this point, a sunny day is reason enough to pop a cork!). I buy many bottles of Kirkland’s legit Italian Prosecco at a time. This way, I’m ready whether the mood for an evening spritz or morning mimosa strikes. 

What are some of the groceries you always buy when you’re at Costco? Tell us in the comments below!