Make things easy (and budget-friendly!) with this go-to list from the wholesale store.

By Stacey Ballis
Updated August 19, 2020
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Labor Day is right around the corner, and this year we’re all revisiting how we plan to mark the weekend that always feels like the last act of summer.

Whether you're staying home, decamping to a weekend getaway, serving just your family, or hosting some members of your social bubble for a distanced backyard gathering, Costco as always is the best place to find everything you need for a great day. Here’s your go-to Costco shopping list for your best Labor Day Weekend cookout ever.

Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Courtesy Instacart

Lemonade and Sparkling Juice

No matter how summery the weather is (or isn’t) on Labor Day Weekend, you’ll want something tasty in the drinks department. If you have a small crowd, think about a two-pack of organic lemonade to quench thirsts. If you are doing a more grown-up or intimate party, Izze sparkling juices are the perfect alternative to soda, and—if you are so inclined—a good start for cocktails. Just add a shot of your tipple of choice for a refreshing adult beverage.

Buy It:

Kirkland Signature Organic Lemonade ($9.79), Instacart.com

Izze Sparkling Juice Variety Pack ($13.49), Instacart.com

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Courtesy Instacart

Appetizers

Socially distanced gatherings are always made easier with single-serve items, especially when it comes to chips and dips. Costco has great hummus and guacamole in individual cups, and the variety pack of Sun Chips gives everyone their own bag of dippers. The Garden Salsa and Original Sun Chips are great with the guacamole, and the French Onion and Cheddar are both terrific with the hummus. Having a more private event? A shrimp platter never goes awry, and the cilantro lime version is a peppy upgrade to the usual plain.

Buy It:

Kirkland Signature Organic Hummus Single Serve Cups ($8.09), Instacart.com

Kirkland Signature Organic Chunky Guacamole ($18.89), Instacart.com

Sun Chips Multigrain Variety Mix ($15.89), Instacart.com

Kirkland Signature Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Fully Cooked ($18.29), Instacart.com

Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Courtesy Instacart

Salad Kit

Any gathering will need a salad, and it is nice when you have one that satisfies all comers. This organic Avocado Ranch Salad Kit is kid friendly, because, well, ranch, but with that little something extra that makes it great for adults as well. Crunchy and light, it is a great salad with anything off the grill.

Buy It: Organic Avocado Ranch Salad Kit ($8.59), Instacart.com

Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Courtesy Instacart

Burgers, Buns, and Easy Protein Upgrades

Speaking of the grill, since this year you don’t have to feed the whole neighborhood, why not go a little more upscale than the usual bulk burgers and hot dogs? Pair Angus burger patties with some brioche buns for an easy upgrade. Or think about a change of pace and pick up a tray of Costco's marinated Korean-style bulgogi. Want to get your fancy on? The wild lobster tails are fantastic on the grill. And my new go-to for backyard barbecues is to keep a pack of Good Foods single-serve Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad tubs in my fridge. That way, if you get the guest who has suddenly decided they don’t eat red meat and forgot to warn you, you have a backup plan at the ready. The individual portions can be eaten as is or put on a sandwich or salad; dole out what you need and save the rest for lunches during the week.

Buy It:

Meat District USDA Choice Raw Angus Chuck Beef Patties ($21.99), Instacart.com

La Boulangerie Super Soft Brioche Buns ($7.09), Instacart.com

Choice Beef Bulgogi ($23.65), Instacart.com

Kirkland Signature Wild Cold Water Lobster Tail ($48.78), Instacart.com

Good Foods Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad ($13.29), Instacart.com

Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Courtesy Instacart

Potato Salad and Corn

You don’t get more classic in the cookout side dish department than corn on the cob and potato salad. If you don’t have a potato salad recipe you love (or don’t have the time between Zoom calls and homeschooling to make your own), Reser’s is as classic as it gets. And at less than a dollar an ear, Costco’s Super Sweet Corn in the produce aisle will be just what you need.

Buy It:

Reser’s Potato Salad ($8.59), Instacart.com

Super Sweet Corn ($8.59 for 8), Instacart.com

Credit: Courtesy Instacart

Courtesy Instacart

Dessert!

Sweet treats are always essential for any celebration no matter how large or small. Start with a watermelon, because it just might be the last one until next summer, and pair it with mini brownie bites (always a great indulgence), an easy pre-portioned no-muss choice. Did you go for the lobster tails? Then you might want something a bit more upscale. This easy-to-slice Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake is decadent and delicious, and thankfully, freezes beautifully if your party is on the smaller size.

Buy It:

Seedless Watermelon ($7.39), Instacart.com

Just Desserts Ghirardelli Brownie Bites ($9.79), Instacart.com

Kirkland Signature Tuxedo Chocolate Mousse Cake ($19.59), Instacart.com