Fall tends to be a busy time of year with back-to-school season in swing and the return of afterschool activities and extracurriculars -- and packed schedules often mean less time to cook. Fortunately, Costco offers a number of frozen foods that make for easy meals, sides and snacks.
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Kellogg's Eggo Waffles
Mornings can be a scramble, so opting for an easy meal like frozen waffles can help you get out the door on time.
"You can get a huge box of 72 waffles for around $12, and they make a super fast and easy breakfast during the week when you want something more than cold cereal but don't have time for eggs and toast or oatmeal," said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com.
Dr. Praeger's Organic California Veggie Burgers
This easy dinner is a healthy option for the whole family.
"These are gluten-free veggie burgers, and you can get 12 of them for around $13.11 or so -- that works out to $1.09 per burger patty," Ramhold said. "All you have to do then is pick up buns and add a side of some kind. These are great to keep on hand because they're healthier than fast food, but they cook up in a flash -- especially if you have an air fryer."
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Garden Lites Spinach Egg White Frittatas
These frozen frittatas make for another quick and easy breakfast option. Ramhold said they are comparable to Starbucks' sous vide egg bites.
"These are gluten-free, nut-free, low sugar, wheat-free and shellfish-free, so they'll fit with practically any diet you're conforming to," she said. "Each one is a serving, so a box of 20 is about 76 cents each, or $15.29 for the whole box. They heat up in 45 seconds in the microwave, which means you can have an easy but filling and warm breakfast for those cold mornings in no time."
Kirkland Signature Italian Style Beef Meatballs
"If you have a standing pasta night on your meal plan, this is a great way to save yourself time," Ramhold said. "These come in 6-pound bags for $21.85, which is about $3.64 per pound or 23 cents per ounce. You can easily turn these into a filling for meatball subs, cook them in a cream sauce or serve them up with your pasta of choice, but either way, these are a shortcut to a fast dinner that's perfect for cooler nights."
Petite Cuisine Mozzarella Sticks
These frozen mozzarella sticks make for an easy snack when hosting your kids' friends or your own friends for game day.
"Five pounds of mozzarella sticks for $17.48 is a good thing to keep on hand if you'll be entertaining this fall," Ramhold said. "They're a nice snack on their own as well, but they definitely shine alongside other typical game day foods like barbecue cocktail franks, pigs-in-a-blanket and hot dips."
Bibigo Beef Bulgogi Mandu or Ling Ling Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers
Just add rice and some veggies to these frozen items, and you have yourself a convenient and tasty dinner.
"The potstickers are $13 for 4.2 pounds, while the mandu is $15.18 for 3 pounds, so they're both great budget-friendly options -- especially compared to shopping for the same items at standard grocery stores," Ramhold said. "They're both quick to prepare as well."
Kirkland Signature Lasagna
"It doesn't get much easier than a pan of lasagna you just throw into the oven," Ramhold said. "It comes in two varieties -- an Italian sausage and beef variety for $18.46 and a standard beef lasagna for $18.14, so you can pick whichever one you (or your family) will like better. The Italian sausage and beef lasagna is 3 pounds, while the standard beef variety is a whopping 6 pounds. Either way, they'll feed a crowd, so it's perfect for large families or even dinner parties without all the work."
RealGood Foods Grande Chicken Enchiladas
Marie Clark, founder of the Costco blog CostContessa, said these frozen enchiladas are one of her favorite frozen meals at Costco.
"They're gluten-free, low-carb and loaded with protein," she said. "I prefer to bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes, but in a pinch, these are still delicious right out of the microwave in only five minutes."
Clark also recommends this frozen steak, which is a new item to Costco.
"This thin-sliced sirloin steak cooks quickly and can be used as a shortcut to make a number of meals," she said. "We use it to make Philly cheesesteaks, steak tacos, enchiladas and a variety of pasta dinners."
Authentic Motor City Pizza Co. Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza
Frozen pizzas are often a crowd pleaser. Among Costco's numerous offerings, Josh Tyler, CEO of the product review site Tell Me Best, recommends the two-pack of Motor City Pizza Co.'s deep dish pizza.
"This particular brand doesn't taste like the frozen pizza that it is," he said. "Once heated, it tastes like it is freshly made, and its flavors really will give you the most bang for your buck. It is one of the most popular Costco items this fall and all the hype behind this Detroit-style pizza is not an understatement.
"Motor City Pizza Co. beats its competitors at only $13.99 for a two-pack of pizza," he continued. "Comparatively, one box of Domino's pizza alone can cost $17.99, while Papa John's will make you spend about $13 to $20 per pie."
Kirkland Signature Wild Pacific Mahi-Mahi
This frozen fish makes for a great dinner entree.
"The price is less than supermarkets and the quality is always perfect," said Teri Gault, founder of The Grocery Game and author of "Shop Smart, Save More." "I love the Mahi-Mahi for busy days because they're individually vacuum sealed and frozen. On my busiest of days, at the last minute, I thaw them in a bowl of cold water, pat them dry and cook them in a pan. They cook up quickly and perfectly in minutes -- it takes about 15 minutes from prep to finish."
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 11 Frozen Foods To Stock Up on at Costco for Busy Fall Days