I love grocery shopping, and I always have. There is something about walking down the organized aisles of food that feels almost meditative for me. But if I go in without a plan of action, I get stressed out and/or end up buying way more than I need. If I go in hungry? Forget it.
As adults, we’re all forced to be regular grocery shoppers (unless you are an order-in-aholic), and this is my professional strategy for keeping things in order during my favorite weekly errand.
I last shared our weekly shopping list a few years ago, but it’s changed a lot since we’ve had Amalia and I’ve done quite a bit of tweaking to how I shop in order to avoid buying too much. Throwing out food that goes bad before we can eat it is one of my biggest pet peeves, so to avoid that, I try not to make impulse purchases at the grocery store too often.
This isn’t actually my fridge. I wish it looked this amazing! Photo via The Home Edit.
Where We Shop
Whole Foods: Most often, we shop at Whole Foods Market because they have everything we need, and the quality of organic produce can’t be beaten (except by the farmer’s market). The prices are higher than other stores, but I try to shop their in-house 365 brand when possible to save money.
Farmer’s Market: Our farmer’s market only happens during warmer months, but when it’s here we go every weekend! I love picking up fresh local basil, tomatoes, corn, sourdough bread, greens, and fruit for the week.
Traders Joe’s: I think I might write an entire post dedicated to our TJ’s hauls because a lot of their products are so specific, and people often tell me that they have a hard time navigating the store. I go to Trader Joe’s about once a month to pick up things that we can’t get anywhere else like Bamba’s (Amalia’s favorite snack) and their Salsa Authentica (my absolutely favorite salsa). They also have the best flower selection at ridiculously low prices.
Fairway: Fairway is an NYC-based grocery chain but we have an outpost here in Stamford. I love shopping there because the aisles are huge and they have every single brand/item imaginable. It’s a little overwhelming because it’s so big and I don’t think their produce is the best, but I shop there every few weeks.
Stop & Shop: After I did a collab with Stop & Shop last year, I was totally sold. I had only been there a handful of times before that, but now I go more often because I know how many great organic/natural products they carry. It can also be overwhelming and crowded so I try to go on weekdays. For whatever reason, it’s also Amalia’s favorite store and she literally asks to shop there! Their baby section is the best which might be part of the reason why.
Brandless (online): I mean at this point you know about my love for Brandless. The price point is really the best, and they have some great grocery products. Our favorite food items are the sweet potato tortilla chips, the sour gummy worms, olive oil spray, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
Thrive Market (online): If you don’t know about Thrive Market, you need to know immediately. It’s an online shop where you pay a yearly fee but then can buy pantry staples at a much lower cost. It has many of our favorite brands and we use it about once a month for things like olive oil, ghee, and Amalia’s snacks. We used to also buy her goat’s milk formula there because it was cheaper than any other retailer.
How we shop
I like to grocery shop with Amalia on weekends because we have so much fun doing it together, but it’s definitely faster when I go alone! I usually do one big haul with her on Sundays and then a quick pick-up of ingredients I need for recipes mid-week on my own. Then I place our online orders once a month to fill in the blanks.
When we travel and I don’t have time to get to the store, I use Instacart which is a lifesaver. I don’t love paying the delivery fee, but I love the option when we’re in a pinch.
Creating our shopping lists
Anel and I have a few joint lists on the Google Keep app. We have one for groceries, one for drugstore items, and one for our weekly to-do lists. It’s a free app and has been so helpful for us to keep joint notes. The key for groceries is to update the list as soon as we run out of something. Otherwise, it often gets forgotten. We both have a rule that if we finish something, we have to add it straight into Keep.
I divide our list into the categories below so that when I’m shopping I can cross things off section by section and don’t have to waste time in the store going back around because I missed something on the list.
I have most of the items below on my weekly list then add meats/veggies/other ingredients based on whatever recipes I want to try that particular week.
Our Shopping List
These are the products that we buy most often. They’re not all included every week, but it gives you a good idea of our go-tos. I also added a few recipes after ingredients that I use in them for some meal ideas!
Baby carrots: Veggie-packed muffins
Bananas: Spinach blender muffins
Scallions: Soba noodle salad
Radishes: Buffalo chicken bowls (and on every salad!)
Sweet potatoes: Chicken sausage skillet
Limes: Anel’s killer margaritas
Meat & Fish:
Ground beef: Slow-cooker chili (I’ve been using beef instead of turkey lately)
Chicken broth: Detox lentil soup
Salmon: Miso-glazed salmon
Ground turkey: Turkey Bolognese
Goat milk (for Amalia before bed)
Sheep’s milk yogurt
Grated parmesan: Kale Caesar salad
1/2 and 1/2
Annie’s mac and cheese
Earl Grey tea
Banza chickpea pasta: Protein pasta
Rao’s marinara sauce
San Marzano’s diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes
Tortillas: Chicken tortilla soup
Coconut water: Green smoothie
Simple Mills crackers
Freeze dried berries/apples
Popcorn (We love Boomchickapop or Skinny Pop)
Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles
Brown rice: Honey chicken teriyaki bowls