A Typical 2-Person Costco Trip

I sometimes wonder, when my husband and I roll up to the checkout line at Costco, whether people look at our cart and assume we’re shopping for a family.

Nope! Just two adults with raging appetites and a love of cooking.

People often ask how much and what types of food it takes to fuel all of our running. But unless you spend a few days in our house (or host us in yours, God bless you), it’s hard to paint the full picture. My Week of Boston Marathon Fueling article and its follow-up post were a good start. But if those capture how I eat at the meal-by-meal level, I thought it might be informative to zoom out and share the loot from an ordinary Costco trip—Brussels sprouts, Goldfish, and all.

To give you some context, Will and I usually hit Costco every other week and supplement in between with weekly Safeway runs, weekend farmers’ market visits (May through November), and occasional Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods stops. Rarely do we get out of Costco for less than $300, and if it’s an especially big trip—before a dinner party, after traveling, when we’re all out of meat, chicken, and seafood—the bill runs much higher. While all of that food and time spent shopping definitely adds up, I try to see it as an investment in our health and our running, a part of life to be enjoyed rather than skimped on. Cooking at home is also a whole lot cheaper than eating out, which we do about once a week.

Let’s get to the goods! Here is every item from a recent Costco receipt, and a window into the things we stock up with:


  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Spinach
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Brussels sprouts

Refrigerated Items

  • Greek yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Kombucha
  • Top sirloin
  • Hummus

Pantry Items

  • Brown rice
  • Pasta
  • Dried figs
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Peanuts
  • Rolled oats
  • Wheat bread
  • Trix/Cookie Crisp
  • Hi Chew candy
  • Tortilla chips
  • Beef jerky
  • Goldfish
  • Vanilla whey protein
  • Salsa
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole peppercorns
  • Fine ground black pepper
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning

PRO TRIP If you too bring home big grocery hauls, take a page from my brothers (peak high school) and give the old 2-Man Lacrosse Stick Carry a try: Grab a partner and a long, sturdy rod—I suppose a baseball bat or heavy-duty broom would work, but a men’s defense lacrosse stick is the gold standard here. With one person holding each end, slide the grocery bag handles down the pole until they’re all on or you buckle under the weight. Finally, lug that stash into the kitchen feeling very smug about your resourcefulness.

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