What a Personal Trainer Gets at Costco for Her Family of Six — List

  • I am a personal trainer and love to shop at Costco for my active family of six. 
  • Stock up on protein-rich foods such as chicken breasts, canned chickpeas and peanut butter.
  • I also enjoy buying frozen cherries, monk fruit sweetener and canned black beans. 

My Costco cart is almost always full of healthy food because I have four kids, a busy job as a personal trainer and health writer, and also have four active children.

With my oldest child, I exercise and go to jiu jitsu and kickboxing six times a week. My husband lifts weights every day and brings lunch to work. The wholesale retailer has a great selection of bulk produce, protein, grains, and other food prep staples that we need to fuel our brood.

The store is visited on average once every two week. Here are 21 items I buy from Costco every time I visit:

Cottage cheese is versatile and rich in protein

Cottage Cheese at Costco

Cottage cheese can be used in sweet and savory recipes.

Rachel MacPherson


Cottage cheese can be topped with fruits and nuts, cucumbers, salt and pepper for a snack. You can also mix it into a shake to make a delicious cheesecake-flavored drink.

Cottage cheese is a great addition to eggs. It adds a rich, creamy protein boost. It tastes great in an omelet, or scrambled with eggs.

If you want to increase your protein intake, chicken breasts are an easy choice.

Chicken breasts at Costco in a display

We eat chicken several times per week.

Rachel MacPherson


We consume chicken breasts at least twice a week in all kinds of dishes, including enchiladas and lemon-chicken broth.

I often shred the chicken by placing two to three chicken breasts in a large pot, and then poaching them. 

When combined with mayo and greek yogurt, dijon, seasonings, shredded chicken can be made into a quick lunch. This can be eaten with cucumber slices and crackers, as a lettuce-leaf wrap or sandwich, or on top of a salad.

I also use leftover side salads from the night before and make a protein-packed lunch with them by adding nuts and shredded chicken breast to them.

Kimchi is a small amount, so this giant Hankook jar by Costco will last us for a while 

Jars of kimchi at Costco

Kimchi tastes great with fried rice

Rachel MacPherson


Kimchi is a spicy and flavorful probiotic food, which is good for your gut health. 

You can use it to make many Asian-inspired meals like bibimbap. It is a rice-based meal with fresh vegetables, seasoned meats, fried eggs, and kimchi. Sometimes we add this to leftover rice to create kimchi fried rice — a popular lunch for my kids.

Egg whites can be very useful and handy to keep on hand 

Whole eggs are rich in nutrients and nutritious. The yolks can be eaten, but whites can be a huge help when you are trying to eat high protein.

They’re almost pure protein and it’s easy to add them to things like oatmeal, omelets, and scrambles, or make a lighter version of French toast or pancakes without potentially wasting yolks.

Whole eggs are a great source of protein and can be eaten every day. 

Big packages of eggs from Costco

Every time I visit Costco, I make sure to stock up on eggs.

Rachel MacPherson


Costco allows us to buy at most two flats of 30 eggs every time we visit. 

To have a few snacks on hand, I keep a dozen eggs in my pressure cook each week. Hard-boiled eggs are a favorite snack for my children and husband. My favorite way to spice up my eggs is to add Greek yogurt, mayo, or sriracha. 

Also, we add fried eggs into Korean-inspired dishes. My kids love to make simple egg-drop soups or Greek avgolemono. This is a quick and easy lemon and chicken soup made with eggs.

Whole-grain tortillas can be used in a variety of ways than bread. 

Whole-grain tortillas at Costco

Some of our favorite meals are made with whole-grain tortillas.

Rachel MacPherson


To make wraps with egg and chicken salad, we use whole-grain tortillas. For dinner, I make homemade enchiladas. They are delicious and heat up well. 

We also frequently make the TikTok’s famous folded tortillaYou can fill them with many fillings like salsa, shredded chicken, black beans and black beans to make breakfasts or lunches. These can be prepared on the stovetop, or in the oven. 

We eat a lot more zucchini 

Zucchini display at Costco

Zucchini is versatile, and can be used in both main dishes and desserts.

Rachel MacPherson


As I said, we shred zucchini to add to oatmeal. For a quick lunch, I love to sautee it with shredded chicken, fresh mozzarella, and marinara.

Zucchini is also great for replacing pasta, even if you don’t eat very low carb. Zucchini has a higher nutritional content and a lower calorie count that pasta. Our meals are more nutritious if we add zucchini noodles to regular whole-wheat pasta or bean-based pasta.

We sometimes also shred zucchini into muffins and pancakes to add moisture and bulk.

Top sirloin steak tastes great in salads or other dishes 

Costco top sirloin display

The cold, cooked top sirloin goes well with eggs and salads.

Rachel MacPherson


Costco sells great meats at great prices.

Our family loves steak and prefers leaner cuts. Top sirloin is fast and delicious. It can be used to make salads in a steakhouse with blue cheese, or to marinate it for bibimbap and bulgogi. These are grilled thinly-sliced pieces of meat.  

A cold leftover steak makes a great side dish or salad topping for scrambled egg. 

Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse and a staple food in our house.

Greek yogurt at Costco

To make sauces, I use Greek yogurt.

Rachel MacPherson


Greek yogurt is a delicious, fresh-fruity Greek yogurt that we use to make protein pudding with avocados and protein powder. 

When making sauces, Greek yogurt is what I use most often. I substitute Greek yogurt for mayo in sauces that normally contain it. This allows me to increase the protein and reduce fat.

I use it, for example, in sriracha sauce or another spicy Asian-inspired condiment, as well as in homemade salad dressing for a creamy texture. 

Steel-cut oatmeal is a breakfast favorite

Every day, at least one person eats oats as breakfast.

Bob’s Red Mill offers a quick-cooking steel-cut oatmeal that is both chewy and savory. It can also be microwave-ready in just minutes.

My children love to add chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, or frozen berries to their oatmeal. My husband and I also add egg whites, almondmilk, frozen fruit, protein powder, and shredded zucchini.

I also grind oats into flour to use for making baked goods, homemade protein pancake mix, and healthy mug cakes.

Kefir can be used in smoothies, shakes and dressings 

Kefir at Costco

Sometimes, we use kefir to make smoothies.

Rachel MacPherson


Costco sells a large jug Good Moood Farm kefir. It is a probiotic beverage with more good bacteria than yogurt that can be consumed daily.

You can add it to smoothies and protein drinks. This makes it easy to make gut-friendly salad dressings, such as Caesar and ranch.

Mixed baby greens are used in salads and sandwiches 

Mixed greens at Costco

Mixed greens make great base salads.

Rachel MacPherson


Easy lunches are quick and easy to make. Mix greens in a bowl, with chicken, leftover meat, chickpeas, black beans, nuts and dressing.

Kirkland Natural Peanut Butter is delicious and very well-priced

Kirkland peanut butter at Costco

This peanut butter makes a wonderful snack.

Rachel MacPherson


Peanut butter is always available to add to oatmeal, waffles, toast, or to make smoothies and yogurt.

Peanut butter is a good way to get some mono- and polyunsaturated healthy fats and protein. My middle son is very small so he has protein shakes that include peanut butter and lots of high-calorie peanut Butter to help him grow.

A spoonful peanut butter can cure almost anything.

Sweet potatoes are a staple carb that can be used in many ways.

Sweet potatoes at Costco

A nice topping for salads is roasted sweet potatoes

Rachel MacPherson


You can also cook sweet potatoes in bulk in a pressure cooker. They can then be used throughout the week to make starchy carbs. Sweet-potato fries made with airfryer sweet potatoes are amazing. 

They are great for breakfast, whether they are topped with savory ingredients like salsa, black beans, scrambled eggs, and salsa, or sweet toppings such as Greek yogurt, sauteed apple, cinnamon, and peanut Butter.

Roasted sweet potatoes leftovers make a wonderful salad topping, and are great as side dishes with eggs for breakfast.

These sweet potatoes can be made into desserts and into brownies. I also love to thinly slice sweet potatoes, and then put them in the oven to make bread. 

Garden Fresh’s salsa makes a great topping for many dishes.

fresh salsa display at costco

Garden Fresh salsa is more vibrant than other salsas we’ve tried. 

Salsa is added to eggs, baked potatoes and wraps. 

We also love the Kirkland-brand tortilla chip, which we purchase occasionally.

Grape tomatoes are great as snacks or in recipes 

Grape tomatoes

Grape tomatoes make great salads in a jar.

Rachel MacPherson


Grape tomatoes make great meal prep and leftovers. 

I use them to make jar salads because they can be placed in the bottom with dressing to marinate. They provide a barrier to the dressing, so that the rest of your salad ingredients won’t become soggy.

As a snack, I add grape tomatoes with baby carrots to my children’s lunches. 

Black beans are a healthy source of fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. They are a regular ingredient in many of our meals

Cans of black beans at Costco in a large display

In our Mexican-inspired recipes, we use black beans.

Rachel MacPherson


To Mexican-inspired soups, eggs, salads and dishes made with black beans, we add them to our recipes.

My family’s favorite recipe for light brownies also includes black beans. These brownies are always a big hit at school potlucks. 

Costco sells dried and canned chickpeas.

A costco display of canned chickpeas

Chickpeas can be used in soups or salads.

Rachel MacPherson


Chickpea salad has always been a favourite side dish. I also love making homemade Hummus for school and work snacks.

When I buy dried chickpeas, the pressure cooker cooks them and then I freeze them. Once they have thawed, I can use them to make hummus and dips (both sweet-and-savory), as well as cookie dough and peanut butter chickpea cookies.

For last-minute additions of chickpeas to soups and salads, canned chickpeas can be great to keep on hand.

I love frozen broccoli in my freezer

Nature's Touch frozen broccoli bag at Costco

We love frozen broccoli.

Rachel MacPherson


Frozen broccoli is a great option for quick weeknight meals.

This is easy to prepare in the microwave. We season it with salt, garlic powder, lemon juice, and salt. This is a great side dish for meal preparation.

I use monk-fruit sweetener for my healthier baked goods

Lakanta Monk fruit sweetener bag at Costco

Monk-fruit sweetener may be used to enhance the flavor of baked goods.

Rachel MacPherson


Monk-fruit sweetener is used for black-bean brownies and chickpea-blondies. It also works well in muffins, muffins, and mug cake.

Sometimes, I substitute all sugar with monk-fruit sweetener. But more often, I do just half the recipe because the ingredient can cool, mint-like or alter the taste of certain dishes.

Costco has a wide selection of frozen fruit, but I always have fresh cherries in my freezer.

Frozen dark sweet cherries at Costco

Our favorite thing about oatmeal is the cherry addition.

Rachel MacPherson


Cherries are a staple addition to our morning oatmeal. They’re also delicious in chocolate protein smoothies. 

My kids love frozen cherries. I put them on vanilla yogurt in a cup with a screw-top lid. The cherries are thawed by the time my kids eat it as a snack or lunch, and the yogurt has incorporated the juice. It makes a delicious, sweet treat.

Also, we do it with blueberries, mangoes and mixed berries purchased at Costco.

Click here to continue reading Costco diaries such as this one.

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