The finds you can find when you go to the larger grocery and wholesale stores can change your whole nutrition game. You know how in my Little Black Dress post I talk about having staples that are always around and available for a quick prep. Also, there are lots of long overdue parties – and where do YOU go to stock up on food and booze? And you definitely need a game plan, so let me give you my golden finds for both party and selfie food.
This post is dedicated to the top finds at two of the most popular discount grocery stores around the country: Costco and Safeway. I get some of y’all may not have a Safeway, but lots of those items are also findable at Kroger, Food Liion and Harris Teeter. And Costco is in at least 47 States including Puerto Rico, so think I am good there!
1. Crunchmaster multi-grain baked crackers – A 6-seed multigrain cracker with Sesame, Amaranth, Flax, Chia, Quinoa and Millet. They are also flavored with soy sauce, so have an Asian rice cracker feel, but with more grains. I like having these with eggplant dip or hummus. For 14 crackers, it’s about 140 calories, which is pretty decent because 5-6 crackers with dip makes me full.
2. Heavenly hunks organic birthday cake cookies- Vegan and available in fun flavors like birthday cake, these are similar to homemade energy balls but also border on a full cookie.
3. Jumbo green olives- these are jumbo delicious green olives. I hate buying regular jars of olives because they run out so quickly. These are also seriously huge olives, which are hard to find. These are not only packed with healthy fat but also are a huge flavor booster- something different to add in when meals might sometimes feel ‘boring,’ but also a great snack to combine with nuts, cheese or fruit.
4. Whisps crunchy parm crisps – hese are the perfect additions to salads, to make them less crunchy and boring. They also pack a really nice bite, and you can have 23 crisps for 150 calories, just 1 g of carbs and 11 grams of fat. It’s about what you would get for a regular slice/serving of cheese, but this has way more quantity, taste, and crush, which will turn salads from boring to awesome.
5. Black glazed miso cod – Seven pieces of cod for 20 bucks and 130 calories per filet is a great deal. This is also great for people who have family members that “hate fish.” There is always one of those. It’s got a very sweet and salty and NON fishy flavor, and goes really well with cauliflower rice, noodles, bok choy or any kind of Asian themed dish.
6. Kirkland Sockeye Salmon – personally, I find these tastier than the Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s pre-frozen wild salmon. Plus, you can get 8 large filets for 35 bucks, which is a good deal compared to the six smaller filets you would get from the other options for almost as much.
7. Shrimp chips – My friend Preeti tipped me off to these. If you are from a non-US country, you probably are used to seeing these as “Prawn Chips.” When I go to England or Australia, these are EVERYWHERE. I thought they sounded gross but they are seriously good, so give them a whirl and serve with some salsa or dip at your next party.
8. Egg whites – – I like to buy egg whites in bulk so I can use them to make protein pancakes, omelettes, or even just throw a mixture of eggwhites and egg yolk into the microwave for a quick meal.. But when buying from regular stores, you can only get the little cartons individually, where as at Costco, you can get a six pack and be set on eggwhites as an emergency Little Black Dress meal planning staple
9. Blueberries – These are usually available in organic and come in a larger package than you can get in most stores. Blueberries make a great fruit because of their low sugar content. You can eat them by the handful, or even with a little bit of salt to jazz it up.
10. Other Costco lists
If you want a list of what not to buy at Costco, read this article here. Surpringly, some of the items listed are stuff I thought made sense to buy in bulk, like OTC meds and supps). Also:
1 Squeezable portable nut butter – another one of my preferred staples is Peanut butter, which you can get in a gigantic tube here at Safeway. My editor Neda would keep this in her drawer at work with the next item to have on hand at work just in case she was hungry and in a bind to only eat in five minutes. For her and her clients, they have found that nut butters or certain spreads really help sway off “hanger” and ameliorate night time gorging. More about the next item below.
2. Mission wraps – see you can have your flour tortilla and eat it too. Each wrap has 70 calories, 5 net carbs and 15 grams of fiber, which is really filling. Plus it tastes like a real white tortilla, not the sand that you get with the other low-carb wraps.
3. Daiya vegan mac and cheese – For you vegans out there, I know that mac and cheese is one of the foods you often feel left out of. Well Daiya makes it really easy by having a pre-packaged deal just for you. I personally like this version better than other vegan mac and cheeses I have tried, and they have a good variety of cheese flavors, like Alfredo and White cheddar.
4.Tahini and miso in a tube – You know how you make vegetable stir fries or side dishes and they get all watery and gross? Do you want that nice and sticky/thick texture that you get when you order in? Well these two provide that magic, either alone or together. Tahini is of course one of the primary ingredients in hummus and so it naturally has a binding effect. Miso also gives that sticky texture and also provides that nice and sour taste if sweet-sour is what you are into.
5. SCREAMING HOT Veggie straws – these are a great healthier alternative to those of us who love flaming hot Cheetos. If you Middle Eastern like me, or just love spicy stuff, you know what’s up. They also make a great mixture to salads for crunchy yet low calorie texture (you can eat 35 straws for 140 calories. That’s normally 2 or three times the amount for normal crunchy stuff).
6. Spicy pumpkin super seeds – I love pumpkin seeds and they are so healthy with a healthy source of iron, but they are BORING. Until I found this spicy version at Safeway, and now pumpkin seeds are fun again.
7. Vegan Marshmallows- Even though I am not vegan I love these for their chewy texture. A nice “20” treat without the shady gelatin. Plus I like the taste better – these are more chewy.
8. Just crack an egg scramble – this is awesome for when you are really in a hurry and on the go, and don’t have time to make your own pre-made egg cups as I highlighted in my recipe post on egg cups.
9. Smoothie/yougurt/oatmeal mix ins – : Goji Berry powder, cacao nibs, maca, and camu powder are popular additions to smoothies and can even be stirred into oatmeals. There is a great variety here and about half the price that you would pay from Amazon or even the actual online Navitas store.