Sunday, February 1, 2015

Surviving the Grocery Store

When I lived at my parent's house I loved grocery shopping. I could pick out the items I wanted and then didn't have to worry about adding everything up at the end (c'mon who doesn't love that?). Since I have been living on my own, I figured out grocery shopping is not near as fun when you're the one who has to be cost-conscious. The first few times I went to actually "stock" up, I didn't have a plan of what to get and ended up only coming home with the ingredients to make a single dish and two days later was living on protein bars. After a few practices, I finally started to figure out what exactly I needed and how much. I think now I have mastered the art of grocery shopping by focusing on the staples and then a couple different experiment items. Here are some of my grocery staples (keep in mind this is veggie, so your list might be different if you're a carnivore).

1. Amy's Pizza - This is my favorite of all frozen pizzas. The crust is soft and tastes like a fresh pizza. We usually bring the "No Cheese" flavor home from the store for nights (like tonight) when we're too lazy to cook. If you haven't tried this one, you need to. It sounds crazy without cheese, but it has a balsamic sauce that's delicious!

2. Black Beans - We always have some type of beans in our cabinet (actually usually 4-5 cans). Hey, we're veggie! We use them on salads, for tacos/burritos, or really whatever we're in the mood for. Simple Truth is my favorite because has a huge variety of organic beans for $1 a piece! 

3. Tomato Soup - We make grilled cheese and tomato soup at least once a week. It's a great comfort meal, especially in the winter time, and it's so quick and easy to make. My favorite flavor is Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato from Simple Truth!

4. Hummus - No explanation needed. 

5. Frozen burritos - The Amy's frozen burritos are my go-to for lunch at work. I usually keep 1 or 2 in the freezer at work in case there is a day I forget my lunch. They have lots of different flavors, but the southwest is probably my favorite. Amy's also has a lot of other frozen entree options, like Asian dishes and lasagna which and they are usually on sale!

6. Tofu - As a vegetarian, this is obviously a staple. I am one of those weirdos that actually loves tofu. You can do anything with it since it soaks up any flavor you add to it. I use it a lot on salads and more recently to make homemade tacos!

7. Granola - Right now I'm really into granola and cereal for breakfast. I went through an oatmeal phase, but I think I overdid that. I am one of those people that eats the same breakfast every morning for a year and switches to something new. Cascadian Farms Ancient Grains is my favorite because it's not too sweet but sweet enough where you can eat it plain with milk. 

1. Greens - We always make sure to grab some type of greens (spinach, mixed, kale, arugula, etc) to use for salads or juice. 

2. Green apples - These are my favorite apple right now. They have the most flavor (reds are always hit or miss) and are the best to use when I'm making juice. 

3.  Lemons - It seems like almost every recipe I make calls for lemon. So I always make sure to have a couple in the fridge. Right now I have about four lemons that I took from my grandma's lemon tree in Arizona! 

4. Sweet Potatoes - Recently it seems like we've been eating sweet potatoes a lot in different recipes. Especially in winter soups, which I will share in a post soon!

5. Cauliflower - One of my all-time favorite recipes to make is curried cauliflower. It's super easy to make and you can keep it in the freezer for leftovers. But, cauliflower/broccoli are always great veggies to keep in the fridge since they can really be added to anything.

6. Green Peppers - Stuffed peppers, tacos, omelettes. No question, green peppers are the best. Not too spicy, but have enough spice to add flavor. 

7. Ginger - We seem to always go through ginger, especially now that we have starting making juices more and Asian dishes (which we make often as well).

8. Carrots - I always have a bag of carrots around for snacking (with hummus), using in juice, or soup/chili recipes. I like the large carrots best since I can use them for all of the above.


These are just a few of my staples and they change depending on seasonality (especially the produce). What are your grocery staples?

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