The other day, my roommate asked me what I usually buy at the grocery store to be prepared to make meals throughout the week. I realized that I’m a creature of habit and tend to get very similar things each time I go to the grocery store. I’ve outlined my grocery shopping essentials, along with my favorite grocery shopping app to keep me organized. I hope you find my list helpful in guiding you through the grocery store!
Recently, I’ve been using a free grocery shopping app called “Buy Me A Pie.” It allows me to type in my grocery list, categorize the items by section of the grocery store, and cross off items as I grab them. It’s been really helpful and keeps me on task – I can tend to end up in the candy aisle if I don’t have some guidance. You can download it for free in the App store!
Spices & Flavorings:
These ingredients are commonly used to flavor many of the recipes I make. I try to make sure that I always have them on hand and for the most part, they have fairly long shelf lives. This allows me to have them on hand for long periods of time without them going bad. These items rarely need to be replaced – once you invest in them, they last quite a while and are extremely versatile!
Sea salt grinder
Honey or agave
Spinach: I generally use spinach in smoothies, on sandwiches, in pasta dishes and by itself as a salad. It’s a very versatile ingredient and so good for you!
Lemons & limes: Granted I’m kind of a citrus freak, I love having lemons and limes on hand. I use lemon juice in a number of dishes (like my Microwaveable Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Noodles), I add it to my water or tea, and use it as a low-cal salad dressing in combination with olive oil, salt & pepper. I use limes in a similar way by adding them to my water, and in guac. Yum, guac.
Avocados: I sometimes get a little avocado happy at the store and buy like…12 avocados at a time. The love is so real. I’m learning that they go bad extremely quickly and I generally can’t eat them fast enough. SO – I’ve been buying 2-3 avocados at a time and that’s been much more ideal. I add them to salads, mash them on toast, add them to sandwiches and of course – I make guac.
Berries: I like to have berries on hand to add on top of my oatmeal in the morning. It’s my breakfast of choice so I generally go through them pretty easily. Blueberries and strawberries are my faves.
Onions: I use onions as a starting point for many dishes as a way to build flavor. They tend to have a pretty good shelf life so I don’t need to buy them that frequently!
Apples: Apples are great to have as a healthy snack on the run, or to dip in peanut butter for a quick protein boost!
Baby Carrots: These are perfect for snacking, dipping in hummus and roasting as a dinner side dish!
Tomatoes: I love having tomatoes around to add to wraps, pasta, and salads. One of my favorite combinations is to add tomatoes to quinoa with avocado, lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil- you gotta try it.
Milk: I’ve always been a 1% milk kind of girl, but I’ve recently switched over to purchasing almond milk at the store. This is totally up to personal preference, but the almond milk has been wonderful in smoothies, my morning coffee and in the few baked goods I’ve made recently!
Parmesan Cheese: Basically, I just really love cheese. I always have parmesan on hand because it adds a lot of great flavor when added to pasta, over roasted vegetables, or when I just…eat it. Idk.
Cottage Cheese: I like to get a small container of cottage cheese because it’s a great source of protein and a quick, healthy snack!
Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is my best friend. I like to get a medium/large sized tub of it because its generally more cost effective than purchasing the smaller cups. I add it to smoothies, overnight oats (like my Piña Colada Overnight Oats), I eat it with fruit, and I’ve even substituted it in baked goods to reduce calories from fat. My recipe for Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Muffins is a great example of that.
Quinoa: Quinoa is great to have on hand and is extremely versatile. I sometimes have quinoa as a side, or turn it into a meal on its own. It can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge for quick meals throughout the week.
Rice: Rice is also a great ingredient to have on hand and serves a similar purpose to the quinoa – just a little different! One of my favorite rice recipes is my Cilantro Lime Rice!
Rolled Oats/Oatmeal: Oatmeal wasn’t really my jam until this year. It’s great for heart health and is so delicious with berries and almond butter. It’s also an essential ingredient for overnight oats!
Whole Wheat Bread: Bread is great to have on hand to make sandwiches, and avocado toast of course. It takes me a while to go through a loaf of bread, so I like to store it in the freezer and take out pieces of bread as I need it. I’ve saved a lot of money this way!
Meat & Proteins:
Chicken: I don’t cook a ton of meat, but when I do, it’s usually chicken! One of my favorite tips for using chicken is to buy a family sized pack of chicken breasts, and package 1-2 breasts in a ziplock bag when I get home. From there, I can freeze the chicken and thaw it in single servings as I need it.
Frozen Shrimp: This can tend to be a more expensive ingredient, so I don’t purchase shrimp as often. However, when I do purchase shrimp, I keep it in the freezer and thaw it as I need it. I can generally get 3-4 meals out of each bag. Its great to add to pasta, fried rice, or to eat by itself with a side of vegetables.
Eggs: Eggs are great to have on hand. I use them for breakfast, baking, and I occasionally hard boil them for a quick snack option.
Lunch meat: I like to have sliced turkey or ham in the refrigerator to make wraps, Bagel Sandwiches, or for a healthy snack paired with cheese and crackers.
Hummus: Hummus is a great healthy snack option when paired with veggies, or pita chips. It can also be added to sandwiches or wraps!
Almond Butter: Almond butter is delicious on toast and drizzled over oatmeal and yogurt. I store mine in the refrigerator and it usually lasts me a while!
Granola Bars: I like to have granola bars around to shove in my backpack or take on the go! My personal favorite brands are Kind Bars (high in protein), and That’s It. Fruit Bars (gluten free, vegan, & non-GMO)!
Frozen Fruit: I like to buy large bags of frozen fruit to act as the base of my smoothies! I currently have a pineapple, peach, mango, strawberry mix and a triple berry mix in my freezer. You can also use frozen fruit to assemble Smoothie Prep Bags to have for quick single serve smoothies!
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