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My summer social calendar is already filling up with pool parties, potlucks, and patio dinners. I’m looking forward to every moment, so I’m spending time now stocking up on groceries to prepare and share. In my opinion, there’s no better place for seasonal groceries than Costco.
They have sunscreen, swimwear, and pool floats, and as Kitchn’s unofficial Costco correspondent, I’ve spent a lot of time in the warehouse lately picking out the very best groceries to buy this season. Here’s my personal top-10 list.
1. Large Seedless Watermelon, $6.99 each
Watermelon is a summertime staple in my fridge. I cut them in spears for snacking at the pool or picnics, dice them for salad, and even purée them into a refreshing soup. Over the past several summers, I’ve noticed that not only are the large watermelons from Costco less expensive (by several dollars!) than those sold at my neighborhood grocery store, but they are also sweeter and more juicy too.
2. Kirkland Signature Gourmet Chocolate Chunk Cookies, $9.99 for 24 cookies
The ultimate summer dessert is one that comes out of someone else’s oven. This summer I’m giving Costco the job (after all, Costco’s bakery has been the place to be in 2023). These chewy, chocolatey cookies are delicious straight from the package, but I’ll stuff them with a scoop of my favorite flavor for summery ice cream sandwiches.
3. Kirkland Signature Organic Ground Beef, $19.89 for 4 pounds
Come summer, I like to be prepared to throw burgers on the grill for as many people as my patio can fit. Instead of buying smaller quantities of ground beef from my local grocer, I stock up on organic ground beef from Costco for a fraction of the price. The ground beef is sold in saddle packs in 1.34-pound portions, which are easy to freeze as is. I prefer to portion the meat into recipe-ready 1-pound packages and form a few into patties before freezing.
4. Kirkland Signature Organic Lemonade, $6.39 for 2 (3-quart) containers
There are few things more refreshing than an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Organic Lemonade has a balance of sweet and sour. Serve it simply over ice or add a splash of vodka and a basil simple syrup for a summery cocktail. You can also revisit viral lemonade hacks from the not-so-distant past, like this creamy strawberry lemonade and frosty mint lemonade.
5. Garofalo Organic Pasta Variety Pack, $10.79 for 6 (1.1-pound) package
This variety pack of short pasta shapes is on my Costco list all year, but I make sure to never run out in the summer. That’s because pasta is the main ingredient to my favorite potluck recipe: pasta salad. Whether you prefer to make it with or without mayo or featuring herby pesto instead, these pasta shapes can handle it all.
6. Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, $6.79 for 2 (40-ounce)
7. McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning, $7.99 for 29 ounces
8. Limes, $6.99 for 3 pounds
9. Kirkland Signature Beef Hot Dogs, $15.59 for 3 (1.5-pound) packages
Costco is famous for its $1.50 food court hot dog deal. Did you know that you can buy the very same dogs to cook at home? The Kirkland Signature Beef Hot Dogs fit perfectly in buns, are juicy, and have a satisfying snap when you bite into them. The hot dogs are sealed in three (1.5-pound) packages with 12 hot dogs per package. I usually cook smaller quantities than that at a time, so I wrap and freeze the hot dogs in sets of four.
10. Made Good Granola Minis, $11.99 for 24 pouches
Summertime is prime snacking season. Whether you’re heading to the pool, beach, or the park, be sure to pack something tasty, like these miniature granola bites from Made Good. These snacks come in two varieties: chocolate chip and mixed berry. They are nut-free so that makes it a safer snack to send to camps and share with friends.
What are your favorite Costco finds you’re buying to kick off the summer? Share them below!