I'm an Olympian and semi-professional athlete. Here are 16 things I always buy at Costco for myself.

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A full Costco cart with protein powder and produce
Olympian Gemma Acheampong stocks up on produce, protein powder, and more at Costco. Gemma Acheampong for Insider
  • I'm a Ghanaian track and field Olympian and semi-professional athlete who loves Costco.

  • I have housemates but usually shop for myself, buying things like frozen salmon and pasta sauces.

  • I try to buy my produce and protein from Costco because that's where I find the best deals.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

frozen salmon costco
The frozen salmon is perfect for last-minute dinners. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

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I try to pick up at least one vegetable on each trip.

Asparagus at Costco
Asparagus is easy for me to prepare. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I'll admit it — I suck at eating vegetables. Making diet changes to make the most of my training really highlighted how few veggies I actually ate every day.

Now, I make it a point to grab some vegetables I know I'll enjoy no matter how they're cooked.

On this trip, I got a bag of asparagus because it's super easy to prepare. 

A bag that's just over 2 pounds costs $6.

Strawberries are amazing when they're in season.

Costco Strawberries
I usually split this large container with my housemate. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

If I know I'm making a Costco trip soon, I'll hold off on buying produce from my local grocery stores. I usually get the best deal when I buy fresh (and often local) in-season produce from Costco.

I'm terrible at eating a whole container of these berries my own before they start going bad, so I usually split them with my housemate. 

I pay about $5 for 2 pounds of strawberries. 

Spinach has to be one of the easiest greens to add to any meal.

Organic baby spinach at costco
I think spinach is a great choice for athletes. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

Years ago I got my iron tested and found out I was anemic, so along with taking an iron supplement, I made it a point to incorporate more iron-rich spinach into my diet. I throw it into soups blended and unblended, smoothies, and salads.

If I'm ever missing green on my plate, I just throw some spinach into the mix and immediately feel like a healthier person.

 

I only buy grapes from Costco - they're way too pricey at my local grocery store.

Grapes at Costco
I bought black and green grapes on this trip. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

In summer months, I throw grapes in the freezer to make them into a crunchy and refreshing treat. I learned that trick as a kid and it's never failed me. 

On this trip, I grabbed both green and black seedless grapes, which cost me $8.69 and $8.99 for 4 pounds, respectively. 

Golden Kiwis are one of my favorite snacks that remind me of a tart, healthy candy.

Gold Kiwis at Costco
Golden Kiwis are best from July to September, in my opinion. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

There's a small window of time — from around July through September — when golden kiwis taste delicious. During that time, I pick up a carton or two from Costco.

Golden kiwis are a bit less tart than regular kiwis, full of Vitamin C, and don't have that weird fuzzy feeling that green kiwis can leave behind at times.

Although I might cave in and buy other fruits outside of Costco, this is one item I buy exclusively here. Costco has the largest size carton I've found anywhere, the cheapest price, and the best-quality selection. 

I spent about $10 on 3 pounds of these. 

These small watermelons are perfect for anyone in smaller households.

Small watermelons at Costco
I highly recommend these for those living solo, too. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

To be fair, I don't often buy watermelons. They're huge and hard to get through on my own. If all my housemates want some, we'll grab a large one and share. 

On this trip, I came across these smaller ones that ended up being perfect. With these, half of the fridge wasn't taken up by tons of leftover watermelon

A two-pack of these melons cost me $6.99.

I love how mindless using laundry pods can be, but don't grab them unless the sale is good like it was on this trip.

tide pods at costco
I buy my laundry supplies on sale. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I go back and forth between buying laundry pods versus liquid detergent.

I always grab my laundry supplies from Costco, and simply pick up whatever is cheapest. These Tide pods were on sale on this trip, so I grabbed a tub.

I got 104 pods for just under $25. 

Kirkland-brand paper towels are the way to go.

Paper towels in Costco Kirkland brand
My housemates and I take turns buying these. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

My housemates and I take turns buying these when we run out, so I don't grab these often.

I'm also trying to change my habits to be more sustainable, so I'm trying to slowly wean myself off how often I grab these. 

This giant pack cost me about $15. 

These Boba ice-milk bars are one of my newer finds.

Boba ice cream bars costco
I try to share these with my housemate. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I tried these bars last summer as I was lameting that my track season was lost because of the coronavirus pandemic. I fell in love with them.

I was surprised to find them at Costco since I struggle to buy them at my local Asian markets. My housemate and I usually share a box so we don't feel as guilty for eating so much pure, sugary goodness. 

I'm not sure how long they'll be here or if they're even available at every Costco, but if you find them in your freezer section, I recommend you grab a box to enjoy.

A box of 12 comes to about $13. 

My day doesn't start until I take my first sip of green tea.

Green tea at Costco
I buy 100 bags of green tea when I go to Costco. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I'm an avid tea drinker, and I probably finish three or four cups a day. 

I switched from black to green tea in the morning because I love the antioxidant boost it gives. The taste can take some getting used to, but I love it.

I usually get 100 tea bags for just under $14. 

I only buy agave from Costco since it's the best deal I can find.

Costco Agave Kirkland brand
I use this agave in my tea. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

A few years ago, I started adding agave to my tea instead of sugar. I remember taking the plunge by buying these from Costco and I haven't looked back since.

I still use sugar for my regular cooking and baking needs, but I stick to this organic blue agave for drinks.

This two-pack of large bottles is $9. 

Victoria pasta sauces are my favorite for quick dinners.

Pasta Sauce at Costco
I like to toss veggies and pasta in this sauce. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I've tried a variety of sauces during my many years as a pasta lover, and the Victoria brand is my favorite. 

This brand is best straight out of the jar — I don't need to add seasoning to get a great meal. I also make meat sauce with this, since it's a perfect base. 

It's also great for lazy days when I haven't planned ahead. I always think twice about ordering out when I know I have this simple solution on my hands.

My quickie meal is whatever protein and veggies I have on hand served with some pasta and tossed in Victoria sauce.

I usually get two 40-ounce jars for just over $9. 

Whey protein powder is a staple for me, and I try to buy it on sale.

Whey protein Costco
Whey protein powder isn't exactly cheap. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

Early in my career as a semi-professional athlete, I struggled to regularly drink protein. My teammate (who is also my housemate) recommended this brand and I've taken it every day since. 

Keep in mind that this protein can easily double or triple the total cost of your trip. A bag of this, which is just under 5 1/2 pounds, costs $50. 

My biggest tip is to stock up in January when health and fitness items are typically on sale. 

I started taking probiotics a few years ago.

Probiotics at Costco
This pack has 100 probiotic capsules. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I think my housemates and I saw this was on sale and figured we'd give it a try. We already take a bunch of supplements every day, so adding one more wasn't a huge deal for us. 

The biggest perk I saw after taking these was a more consistent bathroom schedule. I'm sure there are plenty more benefits to probiotics, but that's what I've noticed.

I've only ever tried this brand from Costco that's regularly on sale — on this trip I paid about $13 for 100 capsules. 

I don't grab towels every time I go to Costco, but if I need more or want to replace one, I look here first.

Costco towels
Costco always has a variety of towels for sale. Gemma Acheampong for Insider

I love the quality and plushness of the towels Costco carries and the store always has a color on hand that I'll love.

Again, for the quality, the price at Costco really can't be beat.

Note: Prices are based on my local Costco in upstate New York and they might differ from location to location.

Click to keep reading Costco diaries like this one.

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