Tag Archives: Costco

Minimalism, menus and buying in bulk

Right about when I started my official “minimalism” conversion, the much-awaited Costco opened up near me. I had been waiting for this moment for YEARS. Remember, I am a Shopaholic at heart. I was afraid Costco was going to become a major stumbling block in my journey, but that hasn’t actually been the case. In fact, buying in bulk has actually helped me simplify our meals. I never thought of cooking in a minimalist way, but now that I am devouring minimalist literature like there is no tomorrow, I’m finding that nearly every aspect of a simplified life appeals to me. With three kids, a part time job, homeschooling and all the details that come with mom-life, I’ve simplified our menu significantly. Check out some of my easy meal ideas here and here. I want to share a few ways that buying in bulk has actually helped my kitchen become more streamlined, efficient and enjoyable to my family.

I should preface this by saying that my children, especially my girls are remarkable open-minded and cheerful in their diet. All three of my kids try whatever they are given. I know that isn’t typical so some of my ideas will not apply to everyone. If you are dealing with a picky eater, you have my sympathies. My kids eat like champs but none of them ever sleep past 7 AM, if that makes you feel any better.

Also, I would like to say sorry I haven’t included any of the prices. I will try to add this info in the future for a post update.

  1. A signature salad: We have never eaten as much salad as we have this year and it’s totally due to bulk-buying. First, we buy the huge container of Organic Baby Spinach at Costco, the huge bag of Craisins, the huge bag of croutons, the huge bag of bacon bits, and we found a salad dressing we all love: Vidalia Onion Vinegrette (we are still using up this dressing from Sam’s Club, but I would like to try a similar one from Costco next). We mix the salad up in a big bowl and the girls have gotten great at gauging the perfect amount of each add-on. Since we always have these on hand, it’s great to always have a healthy side ready to pull out. (Note: sometimes we throw in other veggies or strawberries or cashews. The nice thing is that the base “recipe” is very simple and shelf-stable. I realize the dressing could be healthier, but I’m striving for small steps. Eating a big pile of organic spinach is still a win, in my book. Also, I’m convinced that when a salad is properly tossed in a large bowl, much less dressing is used.)
  2. Beans & Rice: Sorry to mention it again, but it is still a favorite for the Prescotts and it is so crazy easy in the Instant Pot. At Costco, we can buy pretty much all the ingredients in bulk and just have that recipe ready to make any given day. We have loved having a HUGE bag of black beans and a HUGE bag of rice on hand all the time. minimalism-and-buyingbulk
  3. Parfaits as a main course: I totally get that this doesn’t appeal to everyone, but for my kids it’s like they’ve won the lottery. From their response, you would think we were giving them ice cream sundaes for dinner when it’s actually: vanilla yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and/or bananas and granola. We really like the big double bags of granola from Costco and they are insanely cheap compared to granola at the regular grocery store.
  4. Limited Options: One more mindset-shift that fits in nicely with minimalism and bulk-buy is limiting options. Now, I know this sounds like a negative thing, but please bear with me. As parents, most of us bend over backwards providing for our children. We want them to have the best of everything that they might want or need and we want them to have all the choices in the world. One thing I have really been working on in an effort to cultivate contentment in our home is limiting our options.
    Examples: instead of having crackers and cheese, tortilla chips with salsa, potato chips, popcorn and pretzels all in my pantry at once, I am aiming for one main snack for the week (or shopping period). Instead of filling the fridge with all the veggies and fruits, we can maybe have pineapple and carrots this week, apples and broccoli next week. (The exception is bananas, we try to always keep those on hand for smoothies and snacking). This is something new for us, but so far it’s working pretty well and there is less produce wasted. This is so much easier than constantly feeling like I need to provide an entire buffet & salad bar of healthy options for the kids at all times. (When I tried to do this, produce was becoming so wasted and I was exhausted from prepping food or guilty when I handed them a Popsicle instead of prepping the rapidly-expiring food. Live and learn.)

chalkboard-magnetic-menuOne last quick thing and it’s an affiliate link for a product I have really loved having! We ordered this HUGE chalkboard style magnetic menu for our fridge and we have really enjoyed it. It totally helps me to have a cute visual reminder of the menu plan for the week and I’ve used the grocery list spot a lot as well. The magnet is super strong and it goes so well with our other chalkboard items in the kitchen.

What are your thoughts on bulk buying and minimalism?


Friday Favorites: Travel Edition

Ya’ll know I LOVE Favorites. Coincidentally, I also love FRIDAYS so I hope to make Friday Favorites a repeat feature. I will be including Affiliate links for your convenience.

When I started this post, I was thinking of travel items, but we honestly use this every single night:

A Quality Sound Machine

My family is a group of finicky sleepers. We’ve tried lots of things, and one thing that we all can’t live without is a great white noise machine.

We own two of these, and love them: Marpac White Noise Machine

We own one of these, and it’s incredibly similar: Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner

From my fairly picky perspective the Sleep Easy sound seems slightly different from the Marpac, however it works great and the kids don’t know the difference. I would definitely recommend the Sleep Easy at only half the price of the Marpac.Marpac

We don’t travel that often but we would never, ever leave behind our sound machines. They have a gentle, even sound (no harsh “seams” in the noise like some of the machines I’ve had in the past. Yep, I’m picky) and they are small and portable. They have become an irreplaceable part of our sleep routine and really help every one settle down no matter where we are. It also helps to cover all those clumsy noises when we are tiptoeing around in a crowded hotel room. Totally worth it. 

Kidco PeaPod Plus Sleep Tent

When my son started climbing out of the pack ‘n play, I was pretty panicked until my friend gave us this awesome travel solution, the Kidco PeaPod Plus. You would be amazed to see how light this thing is and how easy the assembly is. The mattress is really pretty thick but we tend to place it on carpet or a sleeping bag for a little extra cushion.

kidcoMy 4 year old still fits inside and actually likes the enclosed space (for the most part). I tried to coax him onto a sleeping bag recently because I know he can’t have much longer in the PeaPod at his height, but he is pretty fond of the tent. (I recently saw the Original PeaPod at a thrift store, and my opinion is that it’s too small to bother with….go for the big one!)

Vera Bradley Duffel Bags

I asked my girls what to share as a travel Favorite and they mentioned Vera Bradley Duffel Bags. We own three (for me and each of my daughters) and use them for every single car trip.  I particularly love them because they are light-weight, machine washable, and they hold up really well. Also, if you are packing a car, you can seriously squash these together and maximize your packing space. We also have tons of other Vera bags, so the inside of my van looks like a crazy patchwork quilt when we travel. I know a lot of people aren’t a fan of traditional Vera patterns, but take a look at some of these chic new prints and solids:

Vera Bradley Ziggy Zags

Vera Bradley Fuschia

Vera Bradley Coastal Bluecoastal blue

Vera Bradley Classic Black

Vera Bradley Shower Vines

Favorite Treat: Kirkland Signature Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cashews

Ok, so this is not so much a travel item although I did buy them on a road trip. I shared about Kirkland Signature Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut Cashews (from Costco) on Facebook, but seriously these are unbelievably delicious! I can’t find them on their website, but here’s a pic before we devoured the whole container. Dark Choc Toasted Cashews


Of course, we’ve talked about the Kindles before, but I have to give another shout out to Kindle Fires, which are an awesome price (especially if you go for a refurb from Amazon Warehouse deals). These have a lot of the functionality of an ipad but at these prices, I’m comfortable letting my kids carry them around. I don’t want my kids having free reign over apps, so they only have a few (no netflix, for sure). That way they actually utilize the kindles primarily as I had hoped by reading classic literature (so many amazing books are free!). Right now they are both reading Little Women! My husband and I both use our classic Kindle for library books constantly.

Notebook Journaling

I’ve talked about this before but this is still my very favorite method of organization and planning. It helps me so much to clear my mind and keep everything relatively organized. This goes DOUBLE when I am planning any kind of trip (I’m talking to-do lists, to-take lists, to-buy lists, to-remember lists). Tomorrow I will have a Notebook Journaling Hack that I use that’s really helped me, so please check back!

What are your Travel Favorites???

Continue reading Friday Favorites: Travel Edition