Guest Post: Some Favorite Things for Eating Healthier

July 6th, 2010 · 16 Comments

[This post is courtesy of Frank who shops in Pittsburgh, PA.  While Frank and his family have only had their Costco membership for just 10 months, he’s already working on his list of favorite things.  Plus, he’s got a list of things that helped him lose 15 pounds in just a couple of months.  Simple changes in the way you eat, really can add up.]

I am 29yr old Male (6’ 200lbs) on a recent health kick.  I thought I’d share some great products that helped me lose 15 lbs in a couple months just by swapping out bad foods for better/healthier foods.
1. Sabra – portioned controlled hummus-  High in fiber/protein. Travels well, surprisingly filling, last long due to individual servings, surprisingly good cost compared with traditional bulk containers of hummus
2. Pita chips- very healthy chip for dipping in the hummus.  Wish it were a bit cheaper, but sometimes you need to spend a little bit more or you’ll pay for it other ways (weight gain)
3.  Clif Bars – These heavy bars are great meal replacements or protein boost after a work out.  They’re filling and delicious.  80 cents per bar is a great price.
4.  Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss – These cheese wheels are ridiculously cheap compared to supermarket (~$2 per wheel vs $4 per wheel).  Excellent on pita chips, or with almonts, by itself, or replace cheese on your lunchmeat sandwich for big time fat reduction.
5. Skinny Cow frozen sandwiches- swap out your nightly fatty bowl of ice cream for these unbelievably good “healthy” desserts. I don’t miss regular ice cream one bit.
6. Fage Greek Yogurt – I’m always starving when getting home from work.  Instead of pouring a bowl  of cereal to hold me over till dinner, I pour a bowl of this yogurt with honey.  It’s packed with protein and low in calories.  It took a little bit to get used to plain yogurt, but I tend to like things more and more as I try them.  Berries, granola, or honey would be great on this.
Prescriptions:
Wow, two prescriptions paid for my executive membership, with some $ leftover.
My baby’s acid reflux medication (generic Zantac) was $90 for 3 months via CVS (best deal we could previously find). Called Costco, they have the same medicine for $9 !!!!
My migraine medication (generic Imitrax) I take when I have a severe headache…normally ~$7 per pill, $3 at Costco!
Random likes/dislikes:
-Kirkland Diapers and Wipes: We like these diapers and wipes. No real complaints. Thumbs up.
-Kirkland Dishwasher Soap: Just bought a Bosch dishwasher and used the sample of Finish tabs that came with the appliance.  We were amazed how clean and shiny our dishes and silverware were. When we went back to the Kirkland brand, the dishes seemed to have a film, even when using Jet Dry. Thumbs down.

I am 29 year old Male (6’ 200lbs) on a recent health kick.  I thought I’d share some great products that helped me lose 15 lbs in a couple months just by swapping out bad foods for better/healthier foods.

  1. Sabra – portioned controlled hummus-  High in fiber/protein. Travels well, surprisingly filling, last long due to individual servings, surprisingly good cost compared with traditional bulk containers of hummus.
  2. Pita chips- very healthy chip for dipping in the hummus.  Wish it were a bit cheaper, but sometimes you need to spend a little bit more or you’ll pay for it other ways (weight gain).
  3. Clif Bars – These heavy bars are great meal replacements or protein boost after a work out.  They’re filling and delicious.  80 cents per bar is a great price.
  4. Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss – These cheese wheels are ridiculously cheap compared to supermarket (~$2 per wheel vs $4 per wheel).  Excellent on pita chips, or with almonds, by itself, or replace cheese on your lunchmeat sandwich for big time fat reduction.
  5. Skinny Cow frozen sandwiches- swap out your nightly, fatty bowl of ice cream for these unbelievably good “healthy” desserts. I don’t miss regular ice cream one bit.
  6. Fage Greek Yogurt – I’m always starving when getting home from work.  Instead of pouring a bowl  of cereal to hold me over until dinner, I pour a bowl of this yogurt with honey.  It’s packed with protein and low in calories.  It took a little bit to get used to plain yogurt, but I tend to like things more and more as I try them.  Berries, granola, or honey would be great on this.

Prescriptions:

Wow, two prescriptions paid for my executive membership, with some money leftover.   My baby’s acid reflux medication (generic Zantac) was $90 for 3 months via CVS (best deal we could previously find). Called Costco, they have the same medicine for $9 !!!!  My migraine medication (generic Imitrax) I take when I have a severe headache…normally ~$7 per pill, $3 at Costco!

Random likes/dislikes:

  • Kirkland Diapers and Wipes: We like these diapers and wipes. No real complaints. Thumbs up.
  • Kirkland Dishwasher Soap: Just bought a Bosch dishwasher and used the sample of Finish tabs that came with the appliance.  We were amazed how clean and shiny our dishes and silverware were. When we went back to the Kirkland brand, the dishes seemed to have a film, even when using Jet Dry. Thumbs down.
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Tags: Fitness · Food · Guest Posts · Health & Beauty · Household Items Share

16 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Carmel // 2010.07.08 at 1:41 pm

    Kimberley, I love these guest posts, thank you! I especially love hearing about other people’s likes/dislikes…we were also wondering where the KS powder detergent had gone. :)

    Re: prescriptions. We save tons of money by using Costco Pharm. Our insurance has tiered co-pays (as most do) so for the one script that my doc will not allow me to use a generic for (Synthroid), I buy it without insurance for $20. The insurance copay for it would be $35. (Yes, the insurance company is making money off of co pays…thank you, health insurance.)

    Now that lots of grocers and Targets are doing free/$4 antibiotic and prentatal programs, it is worth shopping around for scripts. Costco is almost always a safe bet, though.

  2. 2 Kali // 2010.07.07 at 1:52 pm

    Frank,

    What is your home store (the one where you got your membership)?
    Also, how often do you shop at the other two Costcos in the Pittsburgh Area?

    Thanks!
    K

  3. 3 Clue // 2010.07.07 at 1:41 pm

    I don’t know if they have it in your area or not, but Pita Pals brand hummus Costco sells in my area is not only delicious, but it also has far fewer calories and much less fat than Sabra. Their roasted pepper variety is particularly good…and I don’t even like roasted peppers!

  4. 4 Laura // 2010.07.07 at 8:56 am

    One of my favorite items is the Ling Ling Potstickers. They are a great healthy snack, side dish or meal.

  5. 5 Aud // 2010.07.06 at 8:47 pm

    I agree, the Stacy’s Pita Chips are a great alternative to other chips and many crackers. Yes, the big bag is a bit pricy, but much cheaper at Costco than the supermarket. They freeze and refrigerate well, in case you are single or just want to save the great crunch for a while.

    The small portion hummus did not work out for me. I can see if you have kids or “brown bag” it yourself how they can be useful, but I must have my hummus with a splash of olive oil and then some spices and/or chopped olives or veggies on top. I also found it took two to make me happy. I haven’t seen Greek yogurt, but hope it’s thick like lebne.

    My favorite new item is the Genisoy Light & Crispy Multigrain Chips in Rosemary and Olive Oil flavor. They have protein, relatively low in fat and really help satisfy the need for a tasty crunch. The Sun Chips people should try these, they are a much better product.

  6. 6 Emily (Bentobloggy) // 2010.07.06 at 7:43 pm

    We love the Finish tabs, I was so glad to have the BOGO coupon last month!

    As for prescriptions, I’m glad to read about the savings. For some reason I always thought all pharmacies were equivalent in pricing across the board and I have always opted for the convenience of the drive-thru. Now I’ll have incentive to try Costco’s.

  7. 7 Amber // 2010.07.06 at 3:08 pm

    We’ve used the Kirkland liquid dishwasher soap for years and have had no problems with it.

  8. 8 Sharon // 2010.07.06 at 2:01 pm

    Re the dishwashing detergent – has anyone tried the hand dishwashing soap that was marked “eco”? We got it and it seems really dilute – I have to use two squirts and keep adding detergent vs. the previous Costco non “eco” product. Anyone else have this experience?

  9. 9 Brenda // 2010.07.06 at 1:39 pm

    I pick up the Finish tabs when in the coupon book. The latest was a BOGO. 200 tabs for $14.99 +tax.

  10. 10 Ryan // 2010.07.06 at 1:01 pm

    Note that you don’t need to be a member of Costco to use the pharmacy in most states; My membership pays for itself in other ways, but I don’t count pharmacy savings as part of paying for it.

    Having said that, it’s not uncommon for prescriptions to be 80 or 90% cheaper at the Costco pharmacy.

  11. 11 Joanna // 2010.07.06 at 11:29 am

    If you’re not happy with the product, try returning it. Costco is really good about taking back products, no questions asked. I once bought a large pack of sliced cheese that didn’t taste right to me. I took it back and they refunded my money without a problem. In fact, the employee told me she understood because that particular brand had a different flavor than others. It helps to have the receipt, but they are also able to search for the item in their system. They’ll give you cash or a Costco cash card.

  12. 12 Dan // 2010.07.06 at 10:26 am

    Ditto on the dishwasher detergent! I had used Kirkland’s powdered detergent with great results for years but all of a sudden one day last year I went to buy more and it was nowhere to be found (I think all of us regular Costco shoppers know that sinking feeling!). I had hoped it was just a temporary sell-out so I crossed my fingers when I went back a couple of weeks later. Nada. Tried two other stores and no one had it. So I picked what I thought was the next best thing–Kirkland Liquid Dishwasher Detergent. Wow, absolutely terrible. Even run through two whole cycles there were some dishes that would not get clean.

    I bought a small box of the local store brand powder and all was well again. I don’t know if the difference comes down the the enzymes that are in powdered but not liquid detergents, but whatever the reason, the Kirkland liquid is awful. I’ve spoken with numerous people (in addition to other accounts on the web) and everyone I’ve spoken to who’s tried it has the same opinion–the stuff just doesn’t work well at all. I’m surprised, frankly, that Costco has kept it around this long. I usually walk by that aisle when I’m in the store just to see if they’ve released a new version (or brought back the Kirkland powder) but to no avail.

    It’s funny–the Kirkland label is so good it has us all conditioned to actually seek it out instead of the name brand. But the Liquid Dishwashing Detergent seems to be one of the very few exceptions. Hopefully Costco addresses that soon.

  13. 13 Nick // 2010.07.06 at 10:20 am

    Sadly, most of the nutrition/granola bar choices are variety packs, and the vast majority of them tend to have a peanut butter choice. As somebody living alone who is allergic to peanuts… this makes the cost savings marginal unless I save up the peanut butter ones and pass them out to the homeless. (And then I’m afraid that somebody will have an allergic reaction to the peanuts but will eat the bar anyway.)

  14. 14 XUP // 2010.07.06 at 9:24 am

    Good for you, Frank for working toward a healthier lifestyle (which I think is a much better term than “being on a health kick” – which sounds like it’s just something you’re going to do for a short while). I know you’re loving the Costco, but pita chips are incredibly easy to make. Brush some pita bread with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet in the oven until they start browing. Then you can break them up OR you can cut them into triangles first and then bake. That would be a lot cheaper than buying the ready made chips.

  15. 15 Homa // 2010.07.06 at 8:55 am

    Kirkland wipes have lanolin so we don’t buy them. If you are vegetarian or vegan lanolin is a big no, plus it is not a good idea for babies with sensitive skin (per my daughter’s dermatologist). It is a shame since we like the diapers.

  16. 16 Kathy // 2010.07.06 at 8:47 am

    Ditto on the “thumbs down” to the Kirkland Dishwasher Soap. I usually get liquid Cascade, but thought I’d try the liquid Kirkland Dishwasher soap…the dishes seem dirtier and filmier. It’s weird, because I’ve loved every other “Kirkland”/store-branded offering. This one disappoints, though.

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