When it comes to meal planning, Costco is a one-stop shop for stocking up on groceries. From pantry staples like canned goods and grains to frozen foods, snacks and more, the warehouse club has almost everything you need when it comes to meal prepping. But if you’re new to the concept of Costco meal planning, it can be intimidating to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to stock your pantry and freezer with items from Costco – so you can have stress-free meals all week long. Whether you’re looking for an easy dinner solution or want tips on creating your own meal plan at home, this guide will help set you up for success. Plus, discover our favorite way to serve up special occasion treats with Costco party platters!

What you’ll need to plan meals at home

The first step to preparing meals at home is to have the right tools and ingredients on hand – which means stocking up before you start cooking. Here are some basic items that are essential to any successful meal prep routine:

Pantry staples

A well-stocked pantry allows you to whip up quick meals without having to go to the supermarket every time. At Costco, look for shelf-stable items like canned beans and tomatoes; jars of olives, pickles and capers; vinegar; oils; breadcrumbs; spices; nuts; dried fruit; oats; pasta sauces; whole-grain flours; rice varieties – and more!

Frozen Foods

Frozen foods are a lifesaver when it comes to making quick dinners on busy weeknights – just pop them in the oven, microwave or add to a stir-fry! Look out for frozen vegetables (especially those already cut into pieces), fruit (great for smoothies!), meat (including organic options), seafood, soups, sauces and even ready-made pizzas.

Snacks & Treats

No matter what type of diet you follow, snacking is always necessary – especially when children are involved! Look for healthy snacks like nuts and seeds, as well as packaged treats like cereal bars and cookies that everyone in the family will enjoy. And don’t forget about drinks – keep juice boxes handy or buy bottles of sparkling water or flavored seltzer in bulk so no one goes thirsty!

Fresh produce and dairy

Fresh produce should be a staple of any meal preparation, but it does require extra care as it spoils quickly if not eaten soon enough. So try to buy only what you’ll be using within a few days – like leafy greens or peppers – and store them properly in sealed containers in your fridge. For longer-lasting items, such as apples or oranges, store them outdoors at room temperature. When it comes to dairy products, look for yogurts, cheese slices, shredded cheese, milk, and creamers – all things that can easily be used in recipes throughout the week.

Kitchen Appliances & Tools

Having the right kitchen appliances makes all the difference when it comes to cooking large quantities of food. Make the most of your slow cooker or Instant Pot by buying larger cuts of meat from their range, along with other ingredients such as stock, potatoes or onions. Also, make sure your kitchen includes basic utensils such as wooden spoons, spatulas, knives, cutting boards, etc. to make tasks like chopping vegetables easier than ever!

Meal planning ideas

Now that your pantry is stocked with all sorts of goodies from Costco, it’s time to come up with some delicious dishes! Start by taking advantage of their rotisserie chicken, which is easy to turn into salads, sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, curry bowls, etc. Other great ideas include veggie burgers, breakfast burritos, stuffed peppers, chili macaroni casseroles – basically anything you can think of! And don’t forget about those handy party platters – perfect for entertaining friends, family, colleagues and so on.

Final thoughts

Prepping meals ahead of time doesn’t have to mean boring, tasteless food any more thanks to meal planning techniques using items found at Costco! With this guide now under your belt, plus some creative thinking, there are endless possibilities every weeknight – no more stressing over what’s for dinner!


Stella Russell is a writer and editor. She holds a BA in Art History from Wellesley College and is certified as a personal trainer through the European Registry of Exercise Professionals .