Your Instagram is all photos of leisurely weekends at the farmers market where you buy local, small-batch produce and $24 jars of honey. But let’s be real: If you’re a smart shopper without a ton of time—aka all parents—your pantry is telling us a different story. So we asked all the busy parents we know to share the one thing they buy over and over again at Costco to make life a little easier.
The Top Things Busy Moms Buy Over and Over Again at Costco
1. Sheet Cakes
“If you need an amazing birthday cake, Costco is the answer. All the moms I know that need cakes, and don't get a crazy custom cake, go to Costco,” says mom Dabee. And $30 for a cake that feeds 48 people? Sign us up. Costco members can pre-order these decorated sponge cakes with a variety of designs from the bakery department along with a customized special message.
2. The Huge $10 Pizza
Dana, mom of a pre-teen, dubbed this easy dinner straight from Costco’s food court a “lifesaver.”
3. Rotisserie Chicken From The Deli Section
“We literally grew up on Costco rotisserie chicken. It’s even become a running joke in my family that all my mom can cook is the $4.99 Costco chicken (sorry, Mom!). But she works insane hours as a pharmaceutical director, so this easy meal meant more time at home and less at the grocery store,” says Catrina.
4. Cooked Ribs From The Deli Section
“You can only eat so many Costco rotisserie chickens. So if you’re looking for an alternative, the ribs are the way to go,” Trisha wisely informs us.
5. Kirkland Signature Italian Basil Pesto
Thank goodness this stuff comes in a 22 oz. jar because mom Muriel uses it on everything—pasta salads, ravioli—her daughter’s personal favorite: drizzled over scrambled eggs. (Psst, you can buy this stuff on Amazon if you’re desperate, but you’ll get it for less than half the price at Costco.)
6. Movie Tickets
If popcorn and the latest art house flick equal your ideal night out, take a note from mom Erika who buys her discounted tix via Costco ($40 for four admissions to Cinemark).
7. Kirkland Signature Napkins
Put simply: “Kids are messy,” says dad of two Mark. And 1,040 napkins for $9.99 certainly helps the cause.
8. Organic 100% Maple Syrup
Repeat after us: $13 for 33.8 fluid ounces of organic maple syrup. No wonder mom Wendy buys it on repeat (if she ever runs out) for baking, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles and anything else that needs a little sweet.
9. Ready-to-make ‘street Tacos’
Tracy, mom of two, told us that she buys the taco kits because they’re easy and, we quote, “So GOOOOOOOOOOOD.” The kits come with 12 corn and flour tortillas, precooked chicken, shredded cheese, lettuce, cilantro lime crema, salsa and lime wedges. The entire thing goes for $5.99 a pound and comes out to around $15 total.
10. Kirkland Signature Extra Fancy Unsalted Mixed Nuts
We should all take a note from mom Jocelyn who has at least three big jars of these in her pantry at all times (probably because her daughter steals one every time she visits). Filled to the brim with cashews, pistachios, almonds and pecans, $20 for 2 1/2 pounds is truly nuts.
11. Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue
Twenty dollars for 30 rolls—you have to be crazy to buy your toilet paper elsewhere. “My mom always buys toilet paper in bulk and mails it to us. She is the TP fairy. She also buys it in bulk for herself,” says Katherine.
12. Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
“These things are like crack for kids...and they’re vaguely healthier than straight up candy,” says Jillian, mom of two.