Renting a condo versus staying at an all-inclusive resort means we have to do our own cooking. I’m still deciding how I feel about it because the last thing I want to do on vacation is to cook. But this time I had no choice because we came down to Mexico for a month versus traditional week or two at the resort, it was my sacrifice.
We have a van that we rent from our condo’s owners, so we can go out. It is definitely a must with 2 kids!
Costco is 5 minute drive from our condo in Los Cabos. Driving in Mexico is a bit different than in the US or Canada. There are quite a few missing white or yellow lane dividers, speed bumps everywhere, “stops” without the actual stop sign and “retorno” instead of an exit or a turn from a highway. You kinda look around and do what others do. Being from Ukraine I’m kinda not really surprised haha.
Anyways, we headed down to Costco around 10 AM. It is all the same just like home, my friends, with one big exception – there was barely any people. Like literally the store was empty. I don’t know about where you live, but any Costco in Vancouver and across the border in WA state I have ever been is buzzing with thousands of people, no matter time of the day. Going to Costco is like running a marathon because you gotta really move your shopping cart fast enough. Not much time to think. Here in Los Cabos, it is “dead”.
Maybe because prices are pretty much the same like in Canada and the US, and in case of wild salmon burgers even more. Yes, no savings at Costco in Mexico for sure.
Here is what we bought. Considering we already went to a farmers market in the morning and kids were super whiny, I tried my best to pick healthy food while looking at completely new to me packaging, trying to “read” Spanish and calculate the price in US$ and $CAD. This was the toughest morning of this vacation so far LOL. I really tried my best.
Selection of organic items wasn’t as large as at home, plus considering I’m on vacation and don’t want to cook as much as at home, I used a few shortcuts like salami for kids’ sandwiches. And of course a few treats.
Wine: I know that US Costco sells alcohol but, believe it or not, Canada is probably the only country left in the whole entire world where grocery stores do not carry alcohol. You have to go to a separate liquor store which is a pain in the butt, honestly, for this mama who loves wine. Like if I don’t see it at the grocery store, I wouldn’t buy it?! Like what era do we live in?!
Anyways, even in Mexico wine is sold where mamas buy milk. We stocked up.
Club Soda: We love to drink it with ice and lime in the tropics, so we stalked up on a Mexican version of Canadian club soda – mineral water. Like in Ukraine and Russia, this is what is common and I’m yet to find club soda in Mexico. Mineral water is tasty!
Burger Buns: I’m not fan of Arrowroot bread products because of their ingredients and non-organic factor, but I needed thin whole grain buns for burgers since we cook outdoors here a lot.
Bagels: White flour bagels for boys – I consider these a treat for them. I usually buy organic sprouted grain at home. I had to buy Philadelphia cream cheese at Walmart too, not organic. However, maybe dairy in Mexico is not fed GMOs. Who knows? I decided to stay sane and not go that far because we are here temporarily anyways.
Steaks: A treat, last time I bought steaks was a few years ago. A glass of red wine with steak on a balcony with an ocean view is any vacation must-do.
Salami: For kids’ lunch sandwiches.
Cooked Chicken: For adults’ lunch sandwiches.
Fresh Mozzarella: Dairy is extremely delicious in Mexico. There is something about a fresh mozzarella salad with basil and arugula in the heat. Got it.
Organic Cheese: It was my first time trying Manchego cheese and oh my, it is so good!!! Maybe I have tried it at the resort before without knowing what it was.
Hummus: I’m still not sure what it is with, some kind of spicy child peppers, like 1 out of 100 Mexican varieties. This hummus is very similar to Sabra, even the container.
Organic Ravioli: This is an example of exactly the same product sold in Canada but in a different package. You can see it in my American version of healthy Costco shopping list I posted a month ago. This was our quick lunch for kids an Alex.
Vegetables: There is a large variety of packaged vegetables, very few organic though. We already stocked up at the farmers market on organic produce before so we almost skipped this section.
Broccoli: Not organic.
Avocado: Amazing! Hello, we are in Mexico. We ate a lot of avocados so far. Filling with fiber and fat, amazing for quick grab and go food.
Cheese Pizza: My emergency food was here (again look at my other Costco list where I explain what I buy pre-cooked when I have no time to cook). Funny enough, once baked this cheese pizza looked and tasted differently than at home, because of ingredients – they are the same but taste differently. It was super tasty, I took a bite!
Organic Veggie Burgers: I put them down because of the price – super expensive, but I shouldn’t have.
Turkey Burgers: I got these instead of veggie burgers and I shouldn’t have, they were SO dry, never again. I’m sure they are sold in Canada too, I just never bought.
Salmon Burgers: We buy these in Canada all the time, and I grabbed a pack, but then my math came to a price of $25 and I put it down. Too much.
Greek Yogurt: Ugh, this was a real struggle. First of all, it is 0% and is tasteless, I still haven’t found full fat yogurt even at Walmart. All you see is 100 varieties of yogurt full of sugar and crap. Considering I didn’t bring my plant-based protein powder (big mistake because I can’t find it in Mexico – maybe I missed it), I needed some source of protein. When I got home, I found one tub broken and spilled (not by me – the box was already wet I just ignored it because of whining boys), so that was a waste because I simply felt too lazy to go back and exchange.
Frozen Mango: I made my coconut mango ice cream and it was SO good in this heat, and so tasty OMG!
Grapes: We froze them and they made such a great snack in this heat, and eatable ice cubes too!
Organic Milk: It took us a few minutes to figure out if it was full fat and it was. Tastier than Canadian and I liked small bottles instead of giant jugs for storage and handling reasons.
Organic Lime Popsicles: Kids loved them and I loved that they were tiny.
Organic Corn Tortillas: For tacos.
Cheese Strings: Kids couldn’t stop eating. I never buy them at home because they are not available organic, so this was a treat. I’m not a fan of feeding kids a lot of dairy. You can read my view on animal products.
Organic Quinoa: Thank goodness the package was Costco size small. Organic food price tags are covered with green plastic in Costco in Mexico. Convenient.
Maple Pumpkin Seeds: I bought these to add to oatmeal and yogurt with fruit. Very good.
Oatmeal: Some time ago, a reader asked me if she could use Coach’s oats in one of my recipes. At that time I had to Google what they are, now I bought them in Mexico. They cook fast and still have a crunch, very good, not organic though. Am I eating glyphosate?!
Nature’s Path Organic Cereal: For kids’ breakfast.
Agave Powdered Sweteener (?): I didn’t buy it, just took a photo because I found it interesting. Not sure why haha.
Avocado Oil: Mexican version of our Chosen Foods avocado oil.
Organic Pita Chips: Kids went nuts for these. Costco in Canada used to carry Stacy’s pita chips but stopped a few years ago. And even then they were not organic.
Organic Cashews with Honey: I think these nuts are covered in honey, but I taste sugar as well. Alex grabbed them because they are organic. I can’t say I’m too crazy about their sugar content or taste. We eat them but they are just OK.
Organic Bars: These are super good snack bars with quinoa, amaranth and chia. Not overly sweet.
Of course there were other healthy organic items that we didn’t buy like coconut oil, canned tomatoes, maple syrup etc. We also bought lemons, bread, almond butter and coffee I forgot to take pictures of. I might have missed a few other healthy items (don’t think too many) because kids were really losing it.
Thank you! I am going to vacation in Cabo San Lucas and this really helped prepare a plan for our food!
I am trying to find out which credit card Costco now accepts in Los Cabos since we are going soon for 5 months. Anyone know?
I think the best way is to call them.:)
Of course you make sense about rebuilding. Maybe just an odd time for shoppers of Los Cobos. I must say, after looking at the packages you photographed, I am very impressed with your sharp math skills in converting money exchanges! I would need a cheater app for my phone.
Laurel, I have a Bachelors degree in accounting. I better be good in math, which is very convenient for my husband who has almost no memory or math skills. Alex has a great imagination though haha.
Wow! That was some experience. Was the store empty do you think, because there are so few few residents that can afford to shop there?
I honestly have no idea because I have been there once. Maybe it was too early in the day and clearly much smaller population of Los Cabos can afford Costco/shops there because they are tourists who do not need so much bulk food. I am thinking if it wasn’t profitable, Costco would have closed down this location, don’t you think?! Yet they rebuilt it after the hurricane in 2014 and it is still in business. It was definitely a change to a Canadian Costco scene LOL.
We moved to Mexico City (so not Cabo but still Mexico) last year. A few suggestions buy microdyn to clean your veggies, chicken, fruit and fish you get at the market. I have only gotten sick twice from good since moving here it was from restaurant salad nothing from at home. So I think it works.
Only buy your meat from Costco – we have been told that the meat industry is not regulated here so they pump lots of antibiotics into cows. Costco all their meat is USDA certified.
I agree the turkey tastes different here – I have not found any turkey other than sand which meat that I like.
Look to see if they have City Market or La Comer – both have a lot of American/Canadian things I want – including the full fat yogurt and protein powered.
Enjoy your time in Mexico!
Hi Melissa. After I read your comment, I realized what those tiny bottles in my cupboard are – microdyn. My first instinct was to go and wash everything with it and seems like previous occupiers of our condo did just that, but then I stopped at a thought of how much more work I would add to the fact I have to cook on vacation LOL. I also thought that we have been to Mexico and other Caribbean countries over 10 times and never ever got sick from food, unless resorts wash everything with microdyn?! I can’t stop but give credit to way less sterilized environment we grew up in Ukraine and Russia which I think built a different immune system for both me and Alex. I do find North America disinfects and protects everything and everyone too much, honestly I do.
I found grass fed antibiotic free beef at Walmart yesterday, will give that a try since I couldn’t force myself to go to Costco again with crazy kids. We also bought chicken from farmer’s market which is organic technically.
No stores you mentioned so I have to adjust for a few weeks. There is MEGA in San Jose del Cabo but from what I remember visiting it last September it wasn’t much different from Walmart.
We are having an amazing time anyways. Why did you move to Mexico if you don’t mind me asking?!
I only started using microdyn after two cases of what I call Mexican stomach. It is awful – I have found most restaurants I would guess resorts use purified water and microdyn to clean everything. We moved for my husband’s work. It’s a huge change – but we are so spoiled compared to our life in the states and many people’s life here. We love it – but I have defiantly had to adjust how we eat as it way to expensive to eat the way we use to. I enjoy trying new things but I definitely miss being able to go to one store and farmers market for all my food. I go to multiples stores and markets and still can’t find everything we like. I am trying to embrace what is local. I always enjoy your blog – but I have very much enjoyed your journey in Mexico. Thank you for sharing!
PS – the Costco in Mexico City is almost always packed – but I do find it a little less busy in the morning. Everything is later here – breakfast later – the comida (main meal of the day) is from 2-4pm and then a snack at dinner time. We have tried to embrace the Comida and snack dinner – but my kids still get up at 6am so we have morning snack.
If by tomorrow nobody gets sick then we are good. I just couldn’t imagine using micro dyne i na edition to cooking on vacation LOL. But I don’t blame you!!!
I hear you 100% – eating here is a big adjustment! To find many similar healthy products like we eat in Canada takes time and sometimes still doesn’t work. Plus lack of Spanish for me. Getting used to reading new labels is hard, sugar is in everything. I feel like Mexico is even worse reprocessed foods than the US. I definitely threw in a towel o many things here because we are here temporarily.
We in North America are definitely spoiled, I’m trying to tell it everyone every day LOL. Glad you enjoyed my journey! I’m ready to go home. I had a real struggle with water here because it has so much calcium, so I feel like dishes, clothes and apartment is never clean – always blowing sand and salt. But I love the culture!!!
Are you guys staying in Mexico for long?