Ah, Costco. Resisting the temptations of the bulk packaged fruit cocktails, seemingly endless candy bars and cauldron-sized chip bags is a skill to be mastered. And the samples! Even Kris Jenner calls Costco a "passion."
You may not be keeping up with feeding a family of seven, but even if it's just you, there are still plenty of foods you should buy in bulk — it'll save you a trip, and a buck or two. Plus, a trip to any wholesale store is a treat. Here's what to stock up on.
Rice is one of those ingredients you should always purchase in bulk. White rice lasts up to five years while other varieties of rice have similarly lengthy shelf lives. It's easy to portion out for one, and since the ingredient is so versatile, that 25-pound bag will serve you well.
2. Dried Beans
Practically endless varieties of beans, peas and lentils can easily diversify your bulk purchases. Beans also have tons of protein, fiber, vitamins and other nutrients, making them one of the cheapest, healthiest ingredients to fuel your life with.
Last October, I was gifted 100 boxes of Ronzoni in honor of the pasta company's 100th Anniversary and National Pasta Month. It was a weird gift, but it was also the best day of my life. I've shared random boxes of lasagna and rigatoni when friends stop by, and am still eating my way through the dried noodle stash. In short, load up on pasta. It stays good for at least a year and is always good to have on hand for some #backpocketpasta action. Stocking up on macaroni and cheese is never a bad idea, either. The expiration date is just a suggestion, after all.
The unofficial booze rule is that the larger the container, the less the liquid costs per ounce. Load your cart with those handles of Jose Cuervo and combo packs of flavored Bacardi — you never know when you may host an impromptu rager.
6. Canned anything and everything
Cans are a wonderful way to preserve ingredients; you can never have too many cans, even if you're just shopping for one. Stock up for the apocalypse with cans of tomatoes, beans, fruit, vegetables, soup — pretty much anything you can!
Oatmeal is packed with fiber and nutrients and has a shelf life of 12 months. Plus, it makes for a pretty good, easy breakfast year-round.
Ketchup enthusiasts should splurge on a Costco membership immediately —it will pay off. Before opening, condiments have a shelf life of years and last for many months upon being opened and refrigerated. Plus, you'll probably want some sauce for all that pasta and rice.
If you're a fan of vitamins, supplements and probiotics, get them here. They are almost always cheaper in bulk. Though not required by law to have an expiration date, these last for 1-2 years.
In rural areas and now thanks to the powers of the Internet, meat is easier than ever before to buy in bulk. The benefits are manifold: Transparency in knowing where your meat comes from and how the animal was raised is important to many, and the costs of raising animals for meat can be lowered when producers are guaranteed to sell it. Services like ButcherBox and Homegrown Cow let you buy meat in bulk, to freeze and eat at your own pace.
11. Frozen Meals
If you're the solo diner who prefers to zap a Lean Cuisine rather than cook for one, your best bet is buying your back-up freezer meals in bulk. Combo packs of microwave dinners can help alleviate you from stacking up on six pizzas in the same flavor. My mother, a Costco aficionado a la Jenner, would also like to recommend the "Frozen Japanese Noodles with Vegetables" as a backup meal. Enjoy!