Summer is here and that means it’s lemonade time! During the cooler months, I buy an extra gallon of raw milk and keep homemade chocolate milk in the fridge. But in the summer, I like to lighten things up. And so lemonade makes its appearance.
It’s so easy to make from scratch, and it tastes so much better than the powdered mix. Try it, you won’t go back!
Lemon juice is one of the things I always stock up on when I hit Costco. I thought I’d share some of the other things that are Costco stock up staples at our house.
Ten Things I Always Get at Costco
I already said that lemon juice is on this list. These large bottles come in a 2-pack, and they make a lot of homemade lemonade!
That breaks down to less than a dollar per pitcher of lemonade. Not bad!
I will occasionally see butter on sale for around $2.00/pound at other stores. When I do I stock up, but my regular butter supplier is definitely Costco. I keep it in my freezer and just transfer a box at a time to the fridge as needed.
COST: $9.49/4 pounds
I love these big containers of parmesan cheese shreds. We use it on spaghetti, of course, but so much more! I make homemade alfredo sauce with it, and use it in the bechamel sauce for my Lasagna Bolognese with Bechamel. It’s perfect to sprinkle over buttered noodles, rice, or a salad. And it lasts a really long time!
COST: $9.69/16 oz.
We pick up a lot of our meat at Costco and keep it in the chest freezer. Some of my must-buy items include ground beef, chicken thighs (sometimes organic, sometimes not..depending on the current budget situation), sausages, and various beef items. In the fall/winter I always have their beef stew meat portioned and Ziploc bagged in the freezer, or maybe some roasts. When it’s grilling time, I like to pick up their sirloin steaks. Again, I portion them into meal size bags, throw in a simple marinade and freeze. Then they are ready to thaw and grill. If I have to feed a crowd, pork butt/shoulder is in my cart to take home and make the best ever pulled pork.
COST RANGE: $1.99 – 8.00/lb.
In summer months, I find Costco’s prices to be the best on strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I will sometimes pick up organic. If not, I’m always sure to wash them well before we eat them.
COST RANGE: $3.49 – 4.99
Paper Products (Toilet paper & Paper towels)
Toilet paper is a staple that everyone needs, and no one wants to run out of. Prime buy-in-bulk item if there ever was one. ‘Nuff said.
I’m cheap and don’t buy both napkins and paper towels. We use paper towels exclusively (unless I happen to have a clean stack on hand from my “let’s try cloth napkins” experiment). About every other month both toilet paper and paper towels make it into Costco’s coupon book. It’s wise to wait to stock up till then, you’ll save a several dollars on each item.
COST: $15.99/30 rolls toilet paper
COST: $19.99/12 rolls paper towels
Syrup (Real Maple and Log Cabin)
I’ve priced real maple syrup at Trader Joes, Aldi, and a variety of other grocery stores and Costco is the best price I’ve found. While I always keep the real stuff on hand, my husband has a nostalgic attachment to Log Cabin pancake syrup. I also pick that up at Costco, as it’s priced lower than getting smaller bottles at the regular grocery.
COST $13.99/33.8 oz. Real Maple Syrup
COST: $6.99/2 Log Cabin
I use coconut oil a lot. I substitute it for butter, or 1/2 of the butter, in a lot of my baking. I also use it to pop popcorn (THE best is to pop your kernels in 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 bacon fat…yum!). It shows up in several of my herbal salves, too. And I’ve been known to dab a little in my hair to smooth the frizzies. Costco sells its coconut oil in two packs and it breaks down to the cheapest price by far that I’ve found. And it lasts SO long!
I love this stuff! I keep this bag in my pantry and refill my sugar container as needed. Aldi has a good price on this as well, albeit much smaller bags. This is ingredient number two in my homemade lemonade. (Recipe at the bottom of this post)
COST: $7.79/10 lbs
Organic Tortilla Chips
Do you experience the same battle I do of Organic vs Budget? I want to feed my family the healthiest food I can, but I also want to be a good steward of the finances God has given us. Where I have landed in this debate is that I focus my organic food buying on items that we consume the most of. Seeing as pretty much all corn products are GMO, and corn tortilla chips are the main type of chips I keep on hand at all times, I try to buy organic. Costco’s giant bags of organic corn tortilla chips are delicious, and a great price to boot!
So that’s my list. 10 things from Costco that are pretty much always in my house. Costco has some fantastic deals to be sure.
What are your favorite buys? What am I missing?
Here’s how I make my super simple summer homemade lemonade: