Embarking on a Whole30 can be incredibly intimidating if you’re not prepared for what lies ahead of you. Prepping freezer meals, cooking in bulk, and making sure you have options on hand are always great ways to stay on track for your Whole30. But the thing that I’ve always found to be tough is knowing what to buy at what store. With options at Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Aldi, Whole Foods, and all your local regular grocery stores, there’s a sea of possibilities.
Costco is a great option when you’re prepping for a Whole30. Sure, you’re not going to be able to make it through 5 pounds of asparagus by yourself before it goes bad, but they have lots of other awesome things available for your Whole30 list.
Depending on where you live, your Whole30 Costco shopping cart might vary, as all the stores don’t always carry all of the same things. I did a quick roundup at my local store here in Charleston, SC. Even if your store doesn’t carry all these exact items, it should give you some good ideas of the type of things available to you.
Nuts & Seeds
There were quite a few more bags of nuts and seeds I could have taken photos of, but I figure you guys get the point with these. 🙂 Pumpkin seeds, pistachios, cashews, almonds, walnuts, sliced almonds, pine nuts, pecans, chia seeds, and more. Just make sure you check the ingredients list before you buy. Many of the raw nuts will just contain nuts, and the roasted ones will contain salt and sometimes an oil (make sure it’s a Whole30 compliant one!) but I usually just prefer to roast them myself and add some spices and flavoring. With this many different options, there’s no excuse not to get in your healthy fats on Whole30!
Dried Fruits and Snacks
Of course…I would take ONE picture going the wrong way. Sigh. This is what happens when there are people looking at you like you’re crazy, carrying a big camera around Costco on a photo shoot, and trying to get to the foods you’re taking pictures of to purchase them. Don’t mind me, lady, just getting stylistic with my pitted dates.
Remember, you’ve got to be careful with dried fruit on Whole30, as they can pack a decent punch of sugar, but snacks like these can be incredibly handy in a pinch. I’ll often grab a handful of dried apricots and raw cashews on my way out the door if I need a quick snack. My Costco had raisins, dried broccoli, apricots, apple rings, figs, and dates. (Whole30 tip: I like to use these pre-pitted dates to make my Nutty Espresso Bars and my Sweet and Spicy Date Bars!)
Sauces, Oils, Condiments, Garnishes and Spices
Ok, I might have been a little sauce/condiment/garnish happy. But really, sauces and spices are the things that truly make or break a Whole30 for me. There’s so much potential flavor to be added to your meals! This is definitely a wide category, but I love the tomato & basil pasta sauce pictured for an easy meal with some spaghetti squash and ground beef (totally Whole30 compliant, even snapped a photo of the ingredient list for you)! I use the Kerrygold to make ghee, the Frank’s Red Hot to make my Buffalo Chicken Casserole, and the avocado oil to make my 5 Minute Mayo and/or my Homemade Ranch Dressing. I cook almost everything in coconut oil on a Whole30, and you can use things like olives, garlic, salsa, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and capers to add flavor and interest to any meat and veggie combo.
Confession: I don’t buy my olive oil at Costco, for two reasons. One, because I’ve found literally the best olive oil ever, and will never go back to another kind ever again. Two, because most olive oil that you purchase from a 3rd party (not directly from the source) is not actually olive oil. You can read all about it, and find my favorite olive oil that I recommend, in this post.
Meat & Protein
Again, maybe a little photo happy? The options are pretty widely varied on this one too. The point here is to show you that there are LOTS of options when it comes to protein at Costco. They have organic options, non-organic, fresh, frozen, and even a few Whole30 compliant pre-cooked meats, such as the chicken & apple sausage, the packaged prosciutto, and the roasted red pepper & spinach chicken sausage. As always, just make sure you read your ingredient labels. The chicken & apple is Whole30 approved, but other flavors by the same brand contain sugar and are not!
Fresh & Frozen Produce
If you’re flying solo, you might want to steer clear of purchasing things like a 10 pound bag of sweet potatoes from Costco for your Whole30 – I’ve found they end up going bad faster than you can get through them. Some of the frozen vegetable options there are great, though, as you can use them only as you need them and keep the rest frozen. I particularly love the frozen stir-fry mix – toss some of that with some sliced steak or chicken in a skillet with some coconut oil, top with some salsa and avocado, and you’ve got an easy meal!
Beverages and Food Storage
Random category, I know. But drinking plain tap water for 30 days can get boring in a hurry. Try some flavored seltzer water (watch out for the ones with added sugar!) to give you some different options. You’ll also find yourself cooking a LOT on Whole30, and need an efficient way to store your leftovers. We use these stackable Rubbermaid containers, and I actually label them with some painter’s tape and a Sharpie that I keep near the fridge so we know what we have. The painter’s tape peels right off and doesn’t leave any residue.
I also put together a quick printable for you, with ideas of things to look for in your Costco. Even if they don’t have the exact things on the list, it will give you some ideas of where to look and what to look for. Happy shopping!