These 10 Costco Groceries Are My Secret to Quick and Easy School Lunches

updated Aug 18, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Costco is my go-to for dinner shortcuts and small appliances. It’s also better than any grocery store for lunch box bulk buys. Don’t believe me? In my part of the South we’ve been back to school for a few weeks now. I’ve already conquered school supplies shopping and those first early wake-ups, and with school lunches no longer provided free for all public school students, the biggest hurdle has centered on that midday meal. After a few hits and several misses (let’s just say it involved soggy lettuce and no fork), I made a quick pivot during my latest stop at Costco that has made all the difference. Learn from my mistakes and stock up on these 10 Costco buys before school starts.

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Kirkland Signature Organic Chunky Guacamole, $17.69 for 16 (2.5-ounce) cups

Pop these pre-portioned cups into the lunch box with tortilla chips and shredded cheese for build-your-own nachos. Or you can serve it with bread for lunchtime avocado toast. Kids also love eating it just as a dip with baby carrots, bell pepper strips, or pretzel sticks.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Squeezers, $8.69 for 24 tubes

Fruity yogurt squeezers are a hit with kids of all ages. Store these in the freezer before packing and they will stay cold, thawing just enough until lunch.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Roasted Chicken & Swiss Roller Tray, $6.99 per pound for about 2.5 pounds (about 12 rolls)

Making sandwiches every morning leaves a mess on my countertop. These party platter chicken and Swiss roll-ups, however, are pre-portioned and lunch-box ready.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Mini Bell Peppers, $3.99 for 1.5 pounds

Are veggies the lone item left behind after everything else has been eaten? Try adding these sweet and colorful miniature bell peppers to the mix. Some kids will crunch them whole, while others prefer them sliced into rings.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Bear Fruit Rolls, $9.99 for 48 rolls

These snacks rely on the fruits’ natural sweetness rather than added sugar, making this count as both a fruit and treat in one!

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Busseto Foods Bite Size Salami and Provolone Cheese, $ 11.99 for 8 (3-ounce) packages

What’s marketed to adults as a snack is the perfect kid-size portion of protein for school lunch. They’re perfect for mornings when you’re running late. Simply toss into the lunch box with an apple or clementine and make a mad dash for the school bus.

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Bare Organic Apple Chips, $16.99 for 20 (0.5-ounce) bags

Didn’t make it to the grocery store to restock fresh fruit? That’s where these chips come in! Apples are sliced thin and baked until crisp and crunchy.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Snacking Cheese, $10.39 for 24 (1-ounce) packages

Move over, string cheese: There’s a new mozzarella in town! Itty-bitty rounds of fresh mozzarella are perfectly portioned in easy-open packages.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Made Good Granola Minis, $11.99 for 24 pouches

Nut-free granola bar options are inexplicably hard to find, and ones that make little mess are practically nonexistent. Made Good’s granola bites are everything we’ve been looking for, plus they’re fun to eat.

Credit: Patty Catalano

10. Meiji Hello Panda Chocolate Cookie, $9.59 for 32

Complete their lunch boxes with a perfectly portioned sweet treat. These delicate cookies are crisp and filled with a chocolate cream. There’s just enough in each package to make lunch feel special without initiating an after-lunch sugar crash.

This post was originally published on Kitchn. Read it there: 10 Costco Groceries I’m Buying for Easy School Lunches