Ten years ago, I associated summer with relaxation: long days at the beach with no real agenda (or diapers), a leisurely road trip (without carsickness or “Are we there yets?”), a peaceful picnic in the park (without chasing a toddler with a bottle of sunscreen).
Nowadays, my summers are filled with schlepping. To the beach, to the pool, to baseball games, on the boat—all of these activities involve a schlep and, when you have kids, no schlep is complete without a cooler full of snacks.
5 Cooler-Friendly Snacks From Costco
I love picking up snacks that require minimal prep work, and with two hungry, growing boys, we need snacks available in bulk. Not surprisingly, Costco is one of my go-to stores and these are the top five snacks I buy to keep everyone from getting hangry. Just toss them in the cooler and go!
** Prices as of mid-June 2023. It may differ based on your location and date of purchase.
1. Balanced Breaks Cheese & Crackers
Each of these adorable snack packs comes with two types of precut Sargento cheese and either Wheat Thins or Ritz crackers as an accompaniment. I love that these are small enough to serve as a snack, but substantial enough to tide you over until dinner. I’ve also been throwing these in my son’s camp lunchbox and have yet to hear any complaints!
Price: $12 for 12 packs**
2. Chum Fruit Bites
While these technically don’t need to be in a cooler, there is something about a chilled fruit snack in the summer that just feels right. These bite-sized fruit leather snacks are 100 percent fruit with no added sugar. I picked up the strawberry flavor, which is made with just strawberries, apples, and pears. The Shark Bites fruit snacks of my youth could never compete.
Price: $12 for 24 pouches**
3. Wild Wonders Mini Peppers and Mucci Baby Cucumbers
These require a rinse before serving, but I love that there is zero chopping required, and my kids can still get a fresh veggie snack while on the go. I usually wash them all at the beginning of the week, so I’m good to go when it comes time to pack the cooler.
Price: $5.99 for 1.5 pounds and $5.99 for 1.75 pounds, respectively**
4. Kirkland Organic Hummus Cups
This hummus is amazing when paired with the above cucumbers and peppers. I’ve consumed many of these in my car while waiting for children at various activities and can confirm the spread is super creamy and delicious.
Price: $7.79 for 20 individual serving cups**
5. Perfect Bar Variety Pack
This is the only protein bar I’ve ever tried that actually fills me up. In fact, sometimes I feel like I only need half! These bars come in the refrigerated section of the store and must be chilled since they contain no chemicals or artificial preservatives. They are made with organic ingredients and contain whole food protein and over 20 superfoods. What else in your cooler can do that?
Price: $19.99 for 12 bars**