Costco Meal Prep

meal prep

A Costco meal prep plan is a cost-effective and efficient way to prepare nutritious meals for your week. 

Costco isn’t just for large families. If you’re strategic and have the freezer and pantry space, doing some Costco meal prep can save you a lot of money on your monthly grocery bill.

However, if you don’t have the storage for many leftovers, grab a friend or family member with similar tastes and go on a Costco meal prep trip together! 

Why Costco meal prep makes sense

Buying in bulk offers several advantages, and it can be a practical and cost-effective approach for various reasons:

Cost Savings

One of the primary benefits of buying in bulk is cost savings. Typically, the unit price of a product is lower when purchased in larger quantities. This is because bulk purchasing allows retailers to reduce packaging costs and benefit from economies of scale, passing the savings on to the consumer (you!).

Reduced Packaging Waste

Next, buying in bulk often means less individual packaging, leading to a reduction in overall packaging waste. This is environmentally friendly and can contribute to a more sustainable approach to consumption.

Convenience and Efficiency

Purchasing items in bulk means you have a larger supply on hand, reducing the frequency of shopping trips. This can save time and effort, particularly for non-perishable items or products with a long shelf life.

Long-Term Savings

Additionally, while the upfront cost of buying in bulk may be higher, the long-term savings can be significant. By reducing the need for frequent purchases, you can better manage your budget and potentially save money over time.

Stocking Up for Emergencies

Bulk buying allows you to stock up on essentials, providing a sense of security and preparedness, especially during emergencies, natural disasters, or times when access to stores may be limited.

Reduced Transportation Costs

Purchasing in larger quantities can reduce the frequency of shipments, lowering transportation costs and the associated environmental impact. This is especially relevant for non-perishable goods.

While buying in bulk has numerous advantages, always consider storage space, product shelf life, and your consumption patterns. Not all items are suitable for bulk buying, especially perishable goods, so it’s important to strike a balance based on your needs and preferences.

Additional Benefits of Costco Meal Prep 

I’m sure you can relate to the scenario where you’re in the middle of cooking dinner and you realize you are out of that one ingredient for your recipe. You either leave it out or jump in the car and head to the store, which can be so frustrating! 

When you plan your meals ahead of time, you’re more likely to be prepared with all of the ingredients you need and prevent these last-minute trips to the store. 

Additionally, meal prep can reduce your stress levels. How many days a week do you stare hungrily at an open fridge with no idea what to eat? Meal prep helps you avoid that scenario.

Finally, meal prep can support your health and wellness goals. When you meal prep, you’re more likely to consider portion sizes and the types of ingredients you want to prioritize. Meal prep can help you reach your goals and keep you feeling your best. 

5 Steps for Successful Costco Meal Prep

Meal prep begins long before you arrive at the store. Having a plan before you leave the house will make your grocery trip more efficient and ensure you get everything you need to prep delicious meals you’ll look forward to eating all week. 

Step 1: Plan Your Meals for the Week

First, write down what you want to meal prep each week. Make a list of tried and true recipes you enjoy or search for new recipes on Pinterest, your favorite blogs, or ask family and friends for their go-tos. 

Tip: Think about how you can use similar ingredients for multiple meals. For example, hard-boiled eggs or roasted chickpeas are easy grab-and-go snacks, and can also be added to salads.

Step 2: Make a Grocery List

Then, write down your grocery list on a piece of paper or the notes section of your phone. This will help you stick to buying only the ingredients you need and ensure you don’t forget to add anything to your cart.

Step 3: Grocery Shop

Don’t forget to bring your list! Block a specific day and time you can go to the store each week. Make it a weekly habit so you always have what you need on hand for the next step: preparing meals.

Step 4: Prepare Meals

Next, identify a day that you have enough time to do some cooking! Use kitchen tools like a crock pot or an Instant Pot to speed up the cooking time. Choose cooking methods that allow you to cook multiple things at one time, like roasting. 

Step 5: Store Meals

Finally, buy reusable containers to store your meals in. Glass is the best option because it’s microwave-safe. Meal-prepped food is usually safe in the fridge for around 3-5 days. 

Costco Meal Prep Sample Plan

Meal 1: Grilled Chicken with Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables

  • Start by marinating the chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favorite spices
  • Then, grill or bake the chicken
  • Next cook quinoa according to package instructions
  • Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over the mixed vegetables and roast them in the oven
  • Finally, divide chicken, quinoa, and vegetables into individual glass containers

Meal 2: Baked Salmon with Sweet Potato and Salad Greens

  • Begin with seasoning salmon fillets with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper
  • Then bake the salmon in the oven
  • Next roast sweet potatoes in the oven
  • Steam spinach or kale on the stovetop or eat fresh with your favorite dressing
  • Finish by portioning the salmon, sweet potatoes, and greens into glass containers

Meal 3: Veggie Omelette with Whole-Grain Toast

  • First, whisk eggs and make an omelet with leftover roasted vegetables
  • Next, toast the whole-grain bread.
  • Then cut the omelet into portions
  • Finally, pack omelet portions with whole-grain toast or wrap

Snacks:

  • Greek yogurt with mixed berries
  • Fruit with nuts
  • Beef stick with fresh veggies 
shopping list for 3 meals and 3 snacks costco meal prep

Pro Tips for Costco Meal Prep

  • Rotate ingredients to add variety to your meals
  • Experiment with different seasonings to keep flavors interesting
  • Freeze meals for when you need a grab-and-go option during a week
  • Finally, customize the plan based on your dietary preferences, portion sizes, and specific nutritional goals. Explore other protein options, grains, and vegetables available at Costco to add diversity to your meals

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