My Grocery Stopping List and Where/How I’m Shopping
Now that we’re a full two months into stay at home/safer at home, I feel pretty good about our grocery shopping process. I thought I’d share our grocery shopping list and where/how I’m shopping during this period.
We’ve been able to stretch our grocery store trips to every two weeks. I’ve found I actually prefer it and plan to keep it up as much as possible. While I’ve never been an every other day grocery shopper, I definitely went once or twice a week pre-COVID-19.
I make all of our meals at home with the exception of takeout twice a week – once for lunch and once for dinner. I tracked our food and dining expenses for April and found we spent $1,200 for the month for a family of four – 2 adults and 2 preschoolers. I’ll look at the amount for May once the month is over to see if it’s consistent and update if necessary.
Where I Shop and How Often
Both pre- and during stay at home/safer at home/shelter in place, I buy the majority of our groceries at Whole Foods every two weeks. I think their produce is much better than competitors. It simply lasts longer and tastes better. I know they can be expensive, but I’ve comparison shopped several items I regularly purchase and found the price to be comparable.
That said, I do purchase some grocery items at Target once a month because the prices are consistently lower (flax milk, Applegate products, Dave’s Killer Bread and the best chocolate chip brand, Guittard).
For certain pantry staples, I order from Vitacost once a month. Vitacost is similar to Thrive Market, but there’s no annual subscription. My mom told me about it a few years ago. They have a lot of organic, gluten-free options and many of the same brands you’d find at Whole Foods, but at a lower price point. I almost always stock up on applesauce, chicken and beef broth, crackers, HU chocolate, coconut and olive oil, ghee, and jelly (Bonne Maman is the best).
I’m fortunate that my cousin has a farm in Minnesota and raises cattle and pigs. Once or twice a year, my parents drive out to visit and bring us a cooler full of ground beef and pork that they’ve purchased from him.
Every 3 months, I buy pork from a local farm, Sky Pilot Farm. They don’t raise their own cattle, but they have ground beef and beef patties from another local farm that I buy as well.
I supplement Whole Foods, Target and Sky Pilot Farm with a couple of speciality brands that I order whenever I need them. I get tea from Harney & Sons (I’m an iced tea for lunch every day kind of girl), kombucha from Health-Ade and spices from Penzey’s, Balanced Bites and Primal Palate (some versions sold at Vitacost). My kids have kombucha a few times a week with their lunch and we all drink it on longer car rides to help with motion sickness.
These are all items we like to have on hand, but I don’t have to buy them every trip to the store. Some produce on the list depends what is in season. I included brand names if I feel strongly about a product. Otherwise I usually buy whatever the house brand is (i.e., 365 at Whole Foods).
I don’t buy exclusively buy organic products. I try to buy organic produce according to the EWG guidelines for fruit and vegetables and a mix of organic and non for dairy, meat and bread. It depends if items are on sale and what’s available. I prefer to purchase organic, but the cost is definitely a consideration.
Apples (Opal is our favorite)
Romaine or Spring Mix
Red, Orange or Yellow Peppers (or Mini Peppers)
Meat / Poultry / Seafood
Applegate Sausage (Chicken & Maple for kids)
Tapioca Starch / Flour
Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
Guittard Chocolate Baking Chips (both dark and milk)
King Arthur Pancake Mix
Pasta / Bread
Montebello Pasta (penne, orecchiete, rigatoni)
Rao’s Marinara Sauce (I stock up during sales, it’s cheaper at Target and Vitacost)
Annie’s Mac & Cheese
Dave’s Killer Bread
Dave’s Killer Bread Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Sir Kensington’s Ranch Dressing
Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise
The New Primal Classic BBQ, Mustard BBQ and Mild Buffalo Sauce
Red Boat Fish Sauce
Lundberg Thin Stackers
Snyder’s Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks
HU Chocolate Bars
Applegate Corn Dogs
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers (put on top of salads)
Applegate Chicken Nuggets
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice Cream (we buy pint / quart sizes from our local ice cream shop, Sweet Cow)
Alexia Hashbrowns (I prefer these because they don’t have added sugar)
Roasted Bell Pepper Strips
Sushi (lunch on Whole Foods days)
Cheese (shredded, sliced, colby jack and manchego)
Buffalo mozzarella (for pizza and grain-free chicken no-parmesan)
My go to cookbook is The Defined Dish. I cook a recipe from it at least 1-2x a week. Our family favorites are the turkey taco skillet, grain-free chicken no-parmesan, muffuletta salad, and lemony chicken thighs and potatoes.