When Costco Makes Me Too Tired To Cook

This is my super simple, go-to meal for when I have a big Costco trip....because after buying and hauling all that food to the car and in the house, I'm too tired to cook!

The simplest of simple meals :
I love their Rotisserie chickens, of course!
And then I make this EASY spinach recipe my kids love.
Last, but not least, I will add pasta or a baked sweet potato or rice...whatever we have on hand.

This is a really lovely meal. Add candles + wine. Lovely!


Another Costco trick for times when I have kids taking up too much room in the cart is... I will go through the store twice.

This morning, I went through once and bought bread, produce, and dry goods, and then I took it all to the car. Then I went in again and got milk, cheese, and meat. I like to zoom through there....like it's race or something.

Three cheers for the baby who slept in her car seat through part 1 and part 2 of the experience!

A few weeks ago I decided I was tired of using my Saturday mornings to do all our grocery shopping. I'm always so happy when I get it done during the week even if that means going with kids.

I have made many many many exasperating mistakes when it comes to grocery shopping. But through much trial and error, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.


So what are your tricks? Or the simple meals you come home to after an exhausting shopping trip?


  1. My trick is using two grocery carts. The twelve year old pushes one with a 5 year old in it. The ten year old pushes a cart with the other 5 year old. The 9 year has to be watched the most, so he has to walk ahead with me and put whatever I pull off the shelf into the cart. That keeps him very busy. Don't misunderstand-- this is not a fun way to shop!

  2. You are a wise lady! I haven't worked my way up to taking my 2 year old and 6 month old for our big weekly shop. It doesn't help that I get our meat at a nearby meat market--same town but still, one more in and out of car seats is more than I can wrap my tired mind around. I've been getting sick of going on Fridays (when my husband is off) or Saturdays and have been considering switching my shopping day but am slightly terrified. Compounded by the fact that we are about to potty train! Any more tips on grocery shopping with kids is so appreciated!

  3. My trick is to put the kids to bed (8pm) and then go to the grocery store that's open 24 hours. Sure, I'm tired, but there's very little traffic in the evening and I don't have the kids with me to distract me. So it's worth it to me. But I don't go to the grocery store every week - I do most of my shopping downtown at the farmer's market and then about every other month I do a really big bulk food shop. For that, I go alone or only take the big kids and then they help me.

    I really love the crockpot for days when I have tiring tasks. I load it up in the morning and then it feels like someone else cooked supper when the time comes!

  4. On the days I'm exhausted we have vegetarian quesedillas. I just put shredded cheese, black beans and sometimes tomatoes into the tortilla and heat it in the skillet until it's crispy. We eat it with sour cream, salsa, guacamole or all 3.

  5. So clever to make two trips through the store,especially when you have bulky diaper and wipes boxes that you can tuck away for round #2. You were brave to go on Saturday mornings. Even when I worked full time and had to go on the weekends, I've found late Sunday afternoon to be much less crowded and easier to navigate.
    On busy nights in general I reach for some Costco faves; panko breaded tilapia (frozen section) with mango salsa (refrigerated section), steamed jasmine rice and a simple salad.
    The fresh mango salsa is a secret crockpot weapon-a can of drained black beans and corn, a few pieces of chicken ( or shrimp), and serve over rice or in tortillas.

    A trick is that I never use their boxes for item transport to the car. I bring several sturdy, reuseable bags into which I put all the smaller items. It took me awhile to figure out this is much easier than tossing all those smaller items into the back of the car.

    -Kim from Philadelphia

  6. I will only go to Costco with Steve. He's a master at managing everything and knows just the things to buy that will save us money (and that will last). I admire you for trying it with kids. Hooray for your precious Caroline for being so helpful.

  7. Costco wears me out, too. When Alice started sitting up and could ride in the front of the cart, it was a game changer. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and fruit is my go-to meal when I'm too tired to think/care. I need to remember the rotisserie chicken, though. SO convenient.

  8. I think it's really impressive that you could ANYTHING after an exhausting trip. I usually make a desperate run through ChickFila or plan to shop on a night we have leftovers. :)

  9. As always you are a briliant and hardworking cleaver lady, the chicken looks yummy. Making the kids go to bed then rush to shop nearby is another good idea toi deal with.

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