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What I Buy at the Grocery Store

February 24th, 2011 3 Comments

— By Nutritionista

People always ask me what I buy when I go grocery shopping, so I thought I’d shed some light on what items always make my list!

Grocery shopping can be brutal: expensive, time-consuming, and confusing. But to me, it’s mostly just fun and relaxing. That’s because I usually buy the same things every time and don’t branch out into the dubious processed food-filled aisles.

My go-to grocery stores are Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Arbor Farms (a local grocery store that carries the most amazing local, organic, and hormone-free meat!). I buy all my meat at Arbor Farms, but for the sake of this post, I’ll leave it out of the mix. Let me break it down by store for you!

What I buy at Trader Joe’s (mostly snacky stuff):

  • Roasted Seaweed Snacks
  • Just a Handful trail mix
  • big bags of nuts (any kind, usually unroasted and unsalted). Sometimes I’ll get the Chili-Lime mixed nuts (which is almonds, cashews, peanuts, and maybe one or two other types with Thai flavoring and big chunks of dried basil and chili pepper — amazing!).
  • Mini goat cheese and brie
  • Pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs (though last time I went, they were MIA).
  • Avocados — they’re a good deal at TJs.
  • Organic, grass-fed ground beef. It’s pretty cheap here, and as far as I know, it’s the only grass-fed meat they carry.
  • Coconut milk
  • Uncured, nitrite-free bacon. It’s cheaper here than most places.
  • pre-made mire poix. I love when they have this — it’s always SO handy!
  • specialty cheeses. If a recipe calls for gruyere, I’m buying it at TJs!

What I buy at Whole Foods (mostly high-quality staples):

  • Local, raw goat cheese. For some reason, WF is the only place I can find this where I live.
  • Cage-free, organic eggs.  You can also get these at TJs, but I think WF has better options.
  • Meat sticks. Not sure what their official name is, but you find these in the ready-to-cook meat area. You can buy them in beef, bison, or turkey, and they’re a great snack!
  • All my produce, which usually consists mostly of spinach and other leafy greens (love kale!), berries if they’re in season, and other necessities for recipes I’m making. Spaghetti squash has been on the list lately, too.
  • I would buy fish and meat here if they had more wild/local/grass-fed options. Usually, they have at least one grass-fed type of meat, but there’s not a whole lot of choice.
  • Coconut oil/cream/butter (depending on my mood).
  • Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. I love their “fire roasted” varieties. Definitely a staple.
  • Any other obscure spices/fresh herbs/ingredients. WF has almost anything you’d need. At a price, of course.

Of course, any of this could change depending on what I’m making that week, but these are the things I seek out for the most part.

Click through to the comments to see Mary’s list and add your own. What are the staples on your grocery list, and where do you shop?

  • On my list, you’ll always find:

    – Fresh squeezed orange juice
    – Some kind of greens (romaine, spinach, arugula)
    – Bananas
    – Broccoli
    – Tomatoes
    – Avocado
    – Sweet potato or butternut squash
    – chicken (rotisserie or breast with skin and bones)
    – Onions
    – Red bell pepper
    – Hummus
    – Quinoa
    – Some kind of berries
    – Gnu bars or Odawalla bars
    – 1 Alternative Baking Company Vegan Cookie

    Then I’ll prepare it differently using different spices and sauces, but the staples stay the same.

  • Ann

    I found a tumblr called traderjoeismyhomeboy. Looks new but trader joes food is always fun to look at.

    • Ok, I’m following them. Looking forward to seeing where he takes this! Thanks for the rec Anne.