This morning I completed the scary task of cleaning out my purse (any busy mom can relate to the frightening things that may emerge from a bottomless messy purse). Amongst the crumpled up receipts, small toy animals, and a few empty zip-close bags (which I'm assuming once had raw nuts in them), I found at least three old grocery shopping lists from the past several weeks.
I'm sure if I were a bit more organized these lists would have not been written on small sticky notes, back of envelopes, and scrap pieces of paper, but hey, who ever said I was organized...hehehe.
Back to the lists...
What I quickly noticed when scanning through each old list was that they were almost identical; that is, all the foods that were written were almost the same foods each and every week.
Now, it's not that we eat the same exact meals every day, but there are a few STAPLE items we keep in our home all the time. These items can be divided into 3 categories:
- Foods from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or farmer's market (detailed list below)
- Meats, poultry, and fish - almost all purchased online (see below)
- Amazon or other online resources
Before we get to the "shopping list," here are the staple items that can always be found in our pantry:
- Raw honey
- Coconut water (in fridge once opened)
- Coconut butter (my son loves this stuff!)
- Steel cut oats
- Coconut Oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar (in fridge once open)
- Celtic Sea Salt
- Shredded coconut (to make coconut milk)
Those are the absolute "must haves." If one of these items runs out, we quickly replace it because those are the foods everyone in our home eats often.
On to the food shopping list...
I am a master "budget shopper" which means I know exactly which items are the cheapest at each of the different locations where I shop. Here is what a typical food shopping list looks like for the week:
- Avocados (bag of 5 is cheapest at Trader Joe's)
- Eggs (purchased from the local farm store)
- Veggies (best deals at Trader Joe's and farm store): cauliflower, broccoli, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, red onions, spinach, arugula, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots (I buy almost all of these every week). I look for the best-looking veggies and the ones with the best prices and then go home and search for new recipes. If I don't have time for a recipe, I saute any vegetable in coconut oil, Celtic sea salt, and garlic and it's always a hit. Or we just eat it raw.
- Fruit (best deals at Trader Joe's and sale items at Whole Foods): blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears, bananas. I also buy some frozen fruit to make smoothies with coconut milk and honey. My sons' favorite are the frozen peaches we get at Whole Foods.
- Frozen peas, green beans, and spinach: These are my "back up" items. I never know when things are going to get crazy and I need a super quick veggie source.
That's pretty much it as far as supermarket shopping.
I'm sure you're wondering where all the protein is. I order 99.9% of my meat, poultry, and fish online (sometimes I buy from Trader Joe's or the local farmer's market). After some really thorough research and taste tests, I have found a few websites that I can guarantee are of the highest quality when it comes to raising animals and sourcing the best quality fish. Quality was always extremely important to me (grass fed, pastured, and free of antibiotics and hormones), but this became even more important to me once I had children.
Here are a few of the staple items always in my freezer:
- Beef hot dogs (my son is currently in a "hot dog and bacon" stage)
- Beef bacon and pork bacon (my husband also eats a lot of bacon...like father, like son)
- Whole chickens (lots of leftovers and the carcass is great for homemade chicken broth)
- Ground beef, bison, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey (I make meatballs, meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, and chilis of all varieties. Super easy in the slow-cooker, and the leftovers freeze really well. "Leftovers" is my middle name.)
- Salmon (frozen and canned)
- Sardines (fast and easy protein with tons of Omega-3s)
Ordering these foods online seemed a bit more expensive at first until I got smart about this. For example, when you order 40 lbs of food from Grassland Meats, you get $25 off, so I split the order with my parents to get the discount. I also have signed up for all three of the site's newsletters and I watch (like a hawk) what is on sale that week. So if the ground chicken goes on sale, I will stock up on that during the sale. The Vital Choice site (where I buy fish) is really great about having different sales every week. I don't think I've ever paid full price for anything on that site.
There you have it...all of the delicious items that reside in my house on a weekly basis! I hope that help you make your next food shopping trip (or order) a bit easier.