It’s easy to get derailed in big box stores like Costco, where it seems like they have both everything and nothing you need all at once. But Costco’s healthy snacks are not to be missed. And, luckily, they’re actually kind of hard to miss.
Instead of making a beeline for the snack aisle, like you might in a regular supermarket, you’ll begin to spot Costco’s healthy snacks the moment you walk through the entrance. Look past the electronics and you’ll notice mountains of nuts, crackers, and dried fruits already beginning to appear. From there, it’s aisles upon aisles of nutritious and delicious treats just waiting to fill your cart and stomach.
Though buying in bulk can sometimes feel like it costs more than it’s worth, there are so many pros to stocking up on a large scale, says Cara Harbstreet, M.S., R.D., of Street Smart Nutrition. “Planning and preparation are key to building consistent habits, and part of that is setting up your environment to have access to what you need,” she explains. Basically, you probably won’t regret having a ton of cans of beans in your pantry, even if it feels excessive to buy that many in the moment. (And you’ll usually end up paying less in the long run despite the higher price upfront.)
Yes, there are a lot of pros to shopping at Costco, but there are also a couple of important things to remember to ensure that you get the most out of your bulk-buying experience. For one, Harbstreet suggests sticking to dried and shelf-stable goods so that you don’t have to worry about anything spoiling before you’re able to eat it.
And whenever you’re building your Costco shopping list, take stock of your personal situation. Ask yourself what you always have and what your needs are for that particular time of year to minimize food waste.
Obviously, snacks are something worth having in bulk all year round, and these 20 picks from registered dietitians are worthy additions to your pantry no matter the season. From zesty olives to sweet dried mango, there’s something in this list for just about every craving. If you can’t make it to the store in person for whatever reason, know that many Costco must-haves—including the products here—can now be found on InstaCart or Costco online. If you’d rather shop in-store but don’t have a membership, see if a family member or friend will be kind enough to lend you theirs (and maybe accompany you on the trip).
However you choose to bulk up your pantry, these are some of the best healthy snacks at Costco according to R.D.s.
A note about the word healthy here: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these recipes with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.