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There are many reasons to love Costco, from the ample free samples beckoning from every corner of the store to the aromatic golden rotisserie chickens to the always-reliable hot dog to fuel up before or after a big shop.
Whether you’re a proud cardholder or you’re skirting the rules and shopping without a membership, chances are you’ve filled a cart at Costco before.
Because virtually everything Costco sells is in a value size, it’s a great place to buy shelf-stable products and pantry staples that won’t spoil before you can finish them. The canned goods aisles, in particular, are great places to find bargain prices on items you usually buy in much smaller sizes.
I’m a food writer and trained chef, and these are my picks for some of the best canned goods to buy at Costco.
This is high-quality, flavorful tuna packed in nothing but sea salt (aka no brine). The tuna is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and minerals. My go-to for a simple work-from-home lunch is to dress a can of Wild Planet tuna with a generous dollop of mayo and a few capers and scoop it up with any crackers I can find.
If Taco Tuesday is an every week occurrence at your house, you’ll want a solid supply of black beans in the pantry. Goya’s black beans are always reliable and great for bean-and-cheese burritos, cowboy caviar, or homemade refried beans. This pack includes eight 15.5-ounce cans, so you can use the open can within a day or two, rather than having to work through a huge can of leftover beans.
This 8-pack of small cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each) is a fantastic pantry staple. You can use these bright, acidic, and umami-rich tomatoes to flavor simple minestrone soup or chili, make a quick tomato sauce, or braise meat.
This is super creamy and thick full-fat coconut milk that’s pure gold for enriching curries, pureéed soups, and even smoothies. It also happens to be fully organic and vegan. A cold can of coconut cream makes a great alternative to whipped cream for those who don’t eat dairy.
These whole peeled tomatoes from Cento are grown and processed in the only part of the world that can claim the name “San Marzano” in Campania, Italy. They’re a little sweet, super juicy, and full of rich, savory flavor. They hold up well on pizza, stirred into a seafood soup, or tossed with pasta and parmesan.
If you love sweetening your tea, baked goods, or morning toast with honey, this infused sweetener will elevate things in a big way. The pure honey is studded with thin slices of citrus and fresh ginger, which add a bit of spice and bitterness to cut through the sweetness. Plus, honey lasts forever, so don’t be intimidated by the size of these two 2.2-pound jars.
Keep a can of Crisco around, and you’ll always have a substitute for butter in any baking recipe. A little in your pie crust improves flakiness, and it’s totally shelf-stable so you don’t need to sacrifice valuable fridge or freezer space for it.