What kitchen staples do you buy at the grocery store each week? You know, those items that you want to keep on hand at all times so that you can throw meals together in a hurry. I have quite a few that I buy weekly because I can use them in multiple recipes and ways.
Yesterday someone was getting ready to head to the grocery store and they asked me to give them a few ideas on what I get. I tossed out a bunch off the top of my head like chicken breasts, ground turkey, oatmeal, and other basics. Each week my list of things I actually buy varies.
I gather recipes and meal ideas that I plan to use during the week, then I check and see what out of the list I already have. I cross out what I’ve got, and head to the store to buy what’s left. Here’s what I got on my shopping trip today along with what you can do with them once you buy them:
Bananas – You can use these in baking in place of the oil, and it makes great maple banana muffins, banana bread, and high protein chocolate banana bread. You can also use them to top oatmeal, spread with peanut butter, or even to stuff inside your blueberry banana French toast. They’re portable and great for school lunches.
Frozen Fruit – I get whatever variety is cheapest and will also opt for fresh fruit if there is a good sale going on. You can use them in the above mentioned French toast, in protein shakes, on top of oatmeal. You can also use them in savory dishes and salads like a blueberry quinoa bowl with grilled chicken.
Salad Greens – Again I look for what is on sale and I don’t usually get boring lettuce like iceberg. I like heartier, firmer varieties like spinach, kale, cabbage, and this great blend of shredded veggies. I use them as a base for my lunch salads since they hold up well if you make them the night before. You can make a kale slaw with warm miso dressing or barley strawberry kale salad. You can steam and stir fry the tough greens too if you prefer them hot. You can’t do that with lettuce so I go with what has multiple uses.
Salad Veggies – Repeat after me, sale sale sale. Go cheap here and just get a variety of things like carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes. You can even get broccoli and cauliflower. You can use them in salads for lunch and in stir fries, wraps, burritos, chilis and all kinds of dishes for dinner. Check out my Mexican sofrito bowls, General Tso cauliflower, and broccoli mushroom stir fry for a few ideas.
Sliced Deli Meat – I get these for ease of use and to supplement the grilled chicken and burgers that I keep in the fridge. They make easy sandwiches for lunches, and you can also use them in breakfast sandwiches. I throw a few slices of turkey or ham on an english muffin with egg whites. You can also put them between two pieces of bread with buffalo sauce and cream cheese, and grill it in your waffle iron for a buffalo panini.
Flour – I always keep flour in the house for baking. I try to bake many of my own goodies instead of buying them at the store or using a mix. It’s cheaper but you can also control the ingredients and calories much better. It doesn’t take a lot more time but you can whip up your own oatmeal whole wheat bread, Italian creme cake, or chocolate lava mugcake. I will also use a tablespoon of it in my oatmeal to give it a cake like texture.
Soy Milk – Today’s purchase was for The Kid since she drinks chocolate soy milk with dinner. I keep both soy and almond milk on hand for baking, to pour over oatmeal, and to use in all kinds of recipes in place of milk. The Kid has a dairy allergy which is the main reason we don’t use dairy milk, but I prefer almond milk to keep calories down in baking and when drinking my coffee.
The grand total for today’s shopping trip was $18.96 so it really helps to have a list and to stick to items that you can multi-purpose. Each week, see what you have and fill in the blanks instead of buying bits and pieces to get pushed to the back. Let me know if you need more ideas on how to use ingredients. I love talking food.
If you’re interested in working with me to get meals together fast while working towards your health goals, I’d love to chat. Drop me an email, or come on over to Facebook and ask a question.