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I've been a Costco member for years. It's my go-to store for purchasing household staples: paper towels, T.P., garbage bags, detergent, water, coffee grinds, milk, and eggs. It's also where I stock up on "bottomless" snack supplies for my hungry-hungry-hippo growing kids: big boxes of chocolate-chip granola bars, huge portions of Pirate Booty, endless bags of potato chips, vats of Goldfish, and all the cookies. Here are my go-to items from Costco that help with meal planning. I hope they help you rethink your weeknight rotation of meals.

Fast Is What We Need

When Baby #3 was born, the husband actually did a big cost analysis and discovered that buying the store-brand diapers and wipes would ultimately save us hundreds of dollars. (And FYI, the Kirkland brand is awesome, IMHO, and I've heard they're made by Huggies.) 

But I digress; suffice to say, we really love being Costco members. But my absolute favorite part of shopping those warehouse-style aisles isn't adding up the savings (though that's a perk!), it's discovering new and beyond easy weeknight dinner options.

I hate cooking during the work and school week--there I said it. We're so busy, I don't have the time or energy to buy individual ingredients and make elaborate dishes. Sure, I use the crockpot or InstantPot, but I need all the hacks I can get to keep things simple, delicious, and convenient. And Costco's ready-made section is the answer to my dinnertime woes.

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Seven Things to Shop for at Costo

Add these items to your shopping cart and you'll have a week's worth of easy meals.

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  1. Tortilla Soup: This soup went "missing" from my store for a good year. I was so bummed--because it is our most trusted go-to lunch and dinner staple. When it magically reappeared a month ago, I was elated and stocked up--at $8.99 for two containers, it's a must-have. Not only is it hearty and delicious, it makes dinnertime a total breeze. Heat a full container (it easily serves two people) in a pot and top with sliced avocado and crunched up tortilla chips. If I'm really feeling ambitious I'll add shredded Mexican cheese and a dollop of sour cream. I'm telling you: we eat this at least twice a week--it's restaurant-quality good! You can find Kirkland's soups in the refrigerated section of your local Costco. 
  2. Chicken Pot Pie: Okay, I'm not a chicken pot pie person, but there's something to be said about popping one in the oven on a cold winter night. When you're craving comfort food, this is a deliciously cozy option. The pastry is crusty and buttery, and the inside is flavorful and rich. Also, it's ginormous--so at around $18, it's a bargain to feed five or six people with the real possibility of leftovers. BTW, if you prefer a sweet pie over a savory one, you've got to try their apple pie--it's the best.
  3. Salmon Milanese With Pesto: Salmon is my least favorite fish because of its strong flavor, so I wasn't sure I'd love this ready-made meal. But, oh man, is it good. The butter-pesto melts and infuses the salmon with decadent deliciousness. While salmon is frequently served on the less-done side, I, personally, like to cook this dish a little longer than recommended. Depending on size, this ready-to-go-in-the-oven option, ranges from about $17 - $20, and it serves three. (When I have leftovers, I serve my salmon cold over a green salad for lunch the next day.) BTW, they also sell a jar of this pesto sauce (Kirkland brand), and it's awesome on pasta salads.
  4. Lasagna: The Kirkland frozen meat lasagna might be the bets deal in the store. It's about $10, and it can feed a whole gang of hungry kiddos and grown-ups. Leave plenty of time to pop this baby in the oven (frozen), and serve it with Kirkland garlic bread and a simple green or Caesar salad. This is a legit feast, and you won't be left disappointed or remotely hungry--promise.
  5. Spinach and Cheese Ravioli: This frozen spinach ravioli cooks in just 10 minutes, and it's super delish. Pour a little olive oil and seasoning over it for an easy main or side dish. Easy as it gets!  
  6. Rotisserie Chicken: Costco is famous for their $4.99 rotisserie chickens; they're great on their own or used as a cheat for simple recipes. I buy two--one to eat for dinner and one to use in meals throughout the week.
  7. Frozen Pizzas: Got a bunch of kids over at your house? Pop these in the oven and pizza night will begin in 3-2-1. They've got a pepperoni option that's also awesome, but my little ones prefer a classic cheese. Heck, serve it with a healthy salad and grown-ups will enjoy the meal, too!
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With these goodies in your kitchen you won't have to sweat those questions about what's for dinner. 

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