My Grocery Essentials

I may be in the minority here, but I LOVE grocery shopping. I seriously look forward to my weekly shopping trip. It’s my little Friday afternoon ritual: after work, I head up 202 to Brandywine Town Center to complete my weekly errands. About 50% of the time, this includes a trip to Trader Joes, but it always includes a trip to Target (where I do most of my basic grocery shopping). Sometimes I’ll also supplement with a trip to Acme (if I need more in-depth ingredients), Branmar Liquors (just keeping it real), or Petsmart. I save the occasional Wegman’s or Whole Foods trips for weekends typically, since they’re a little further away and I tend to wander. After I do my grocery shopping, I pick up a pizza from Nino’s on Naaman’s road (where I won a year’s supply of free pizza…yup!) and head home for pizza night.

Although I fall victim to impulse buys every single week, I’m more or less a creature of habit and fall back on a list of essentials that I purchase week after week. These are my go-tos that I almost always have on hand (not including everyday essentials such as eggs, spices, and half-and-half, which I also keep on hand):

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  1. Trader Joe’s Smooth Salted Almond Butter
  2. Trader Joe’s Creamy Valencia Peanut Butter; Salted
  3. Trader Joe’s Whole Milk Vanilla Greek Yogurt OR Fage 2% Plain Greek Yogurt OR Siggis Vanilla Skyr (I switch back and forth – I’m a bit of a yogurt addict, and also often buy novelty yogurts like those Chobani Flips and various flavors of Noosa, which I’m obsessed with)
  4. Trader Joe’s Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries
  5. RX Bars (assorted flavors; I also like the kids’ version because they’re smaller and better as a snack size)
  6. Starbuck’s Medium Roast Iced Coffee (I’ve tried fancier, “better” brands as well as cold brewing my own, and I just love the flavor of Starbuck’s for some reason.)
  7. Trader Joe’s Multigrain Slims OR Arnold’s Mutigrain Sandwich Thins (I use these as buns for turkey burgers or veggie burgers)
  8. Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers (so good and inexpensive!)
  9. Trader Joe’s Cowboy Quinoa Burgers
  10. Frozen, salted edamame in pods (one of my favorite snacks!)
  11. Pre-sliced apples (I know, SO lazy…but I’m honestly so much more likely to eat them this way. I buy the real deal during honeycrisp season, though!)
  12. Sargento Pepperjack Thin Slices (again, for turkey/veggie burgers)
  13. Trader Joe’s Teeny Tiny Avocados (The perfect size…I’ll often use half an avocado and let the rest rot in the fridge, and these prevent me from wasting)
  14. Canned Black Beans
  15. Trader Joe’s Frozen Roasted Corn (the version with the cotija cheese and zesty sauce is AMAZING as a treat)
  16. Feta cheese crumbles
  17. Parmesan Cheese (I usually like to keep a whole wedge and grate as needed, but I’ll occasionally buy pre-grated)
  18. Halo Top/Enlightened (various flavors, but my favorites are the Enlightened Cold Brew Coffee or Butter Pecan, or Halo Top Cookie Dough or Peanut Butter Cup)
  19. Some type of fizzy La Croix style water (I love the OG La Croix – Lime and Cherry Lime are our favorites, but so many flavors from different brands are popping up, and I change it up pretty frequently)
  20. Dark Chocolate Squares (I like to keep these on hand to kick the random chocolate craving…my favorite is Ghiardelli Sea Salt Soiree)
  21. Lundberg Salted Brown Rice Cakes (this is the only brand of rice cake I’ve ever actually liked…a co-worker got me hooked on these, spread with almond butter)
  22. Larabar Bites; Chocolate Macaroon
  23. Rao’s Arrabiata Sauce
  24. Pre-rinsed Quinoa
  25. Instant Brown Rice (I know, I know…LAZY again. But it takes 5 minutes and comes out perfectly every time! Can’t beat that.)
  26. Ground Turkey (I’m not picky, but I try not to get the extra lean – it’s less flavorful and dries out too easily.)
  27. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  28. Cholula Hot Sauce
  29. A-1 Sauce (Our trashy addiction – Jeff and I will eat A-1 on pretty much anything. We especially love it on Turkey Meatloaf Muffins…I’ll post the recipe someday soon)
  30. Cilantro (I’m a cilantro ADDICT…I’ll often replace parsley in recipes with cilantro)
  31. Lemons and limes
  32. Broccoli (I often buy it pre-cut…again, LAZY! But the mess it makes when you chop it makes me twitchy)
  33. Baby Spinach
  34. Van’s Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers (addictive!)
  35. Bananas (to freeze and make banana ice cream or the occasional smoothie with – this is the only way I eat them)
  36. Red Onions
  37. Garlic (though I usually don’t need to buy this – Blue Apron sends an entire BULB for EVERY RECIPE that includes garlic, so I’m usually swimming in it)
  38. Whole-fat Coconut Milk
  39. Edy’s Outshine Lime Fruit Bars (specific to summer)

There you have it! Whatever else I buy depends on what dinners I have planned for the week, or which impulse buys catch my eye. As you can probably tell, I’m very “snacky,” and tend to be drawn towards Mexican or Mediterranean flavors (I also do a decent amount of middle-eastern/Indian cooking – Jeff’s very into anything curry/coconut based, and loves things served in a bowl). What are your weekly essentials?

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