Stock it Up

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Growing up, I never realized what went into the meals my mom planned. Not only did she physically cook the meal, but she planned out what she needed and went shopping for it. The budget was always tight for my parents, as it is now for me and Taylor, but my mom always managed to have a delicious, well-balanced meal for us. Thanks, Mom!


Now that I am buying groceries and cooking for my husband, I find myself wondering "how did she do it?" How did she figure out staples to buy that would keep us fed (healthily) every week?

Thankfully, there are now plenty of resources that help with both meal-planning and groceries lists to coincide. I have provided a link that I found on PopSugar for a meal planner and grocery list planner. I am excited to start using it myself!

PopSugar


The list above will help you plan, but you still need an idea of what staples should always be in your fridge/pantry. I have compiled a small list of things that I consider staples. Your list doesn't need to be exactly the same, but it should contain healthy foods that you use often.


My Staples
Eggs- I eat eggs almost every morning. Either in a scramble or over-easy with whole grain bread. I also bake often. This means that if I eat an average of two eggs per day, and I am buying groceries for the week, I will need to buy at least 14 eggs when I go grocery shopping. If you eat eggs as quickly as I do, buy the big pack; you'll save money. Or if you are super adventurous and know how to take care of them, invest in some chickens ;)

Whole-Grain Bread- I am a sandwich kind of gal. I know they aren't the healthiest things in the world, but I love em! I do the best I can to make healthy sandwich choices, like buying whole-grain or whole-wheat bread instead of pasty-ole white bread. I also use the bread to make toast to eat with my eggs. Look for breads with high amounts of fiber and as few ingredients as possible, since many breads have a ton of unpronounceable, unnecessary ingredients.

Spinach- I go through a bag (at least) of spinach per week. I use spinach in my egg scrambles and in smoothies. Spinach is fantastic for you and you can basically eat as much as you want without worrying about the calories.

Potatoes- I have never been and will never be on a low-carb diet. I love potatoes (in any form) way too much. I usually bake them, or add them into my breakfast scrambles, which are two of the healthier (ish) ways to eat them. A big bag will last me about two weeks.

Almond Milk- For smoothies, soup bases, and cereal, I use almond milk. I don't love it, but it doesn't bother me and it has way fewer calories than cows-milk. Almond milk is a good way to have a creamy smoothie without completely ruining your calorie count.

Fruit- I switch up my fruit each week, but usually I buy apples or pears. I am more likely to eat these because they pair well with peanut butter (my favorite!).

Peanut Butter- It is a crime against humanity if I am out of peanut butter.... Nuff' said!

Sweet Peppers- I have recently fallen in love with red, yellow and orange peppers. I use them cooked with meats, in my roasted red pepper soup, in my scrambles, in my salsa, and I love them raw with ranch too!

Shredded Cheese- Cheese gets a bad name in the diet community, but in small portions it is good for you and adds so much flavor! I use shredded cheese in soups, on sandwiches, in my scrambles (yes, I eat a lot of scrambles) and in pasta. Just be sure to use the recommended serving size, or you could get yourself in trouble!

Green Beans- I always, always, always have green beans. If I had green beans every day, I would be a happy girl. Unfortunately, and strangely enough, my favorite green beans are canned....not the best way to have them. They are still good for you in the grand scheme of things, but canned green beans have preservatives, so its better to buy them fresh or frozen.

Meat- I love pretty much any meat. Fish, chicken, steak, pork, clams, shrimp.....you name it, I probably like it. And I am also married to a carnivore, so I try to keep meat around. The problem is, meat is pretty pricey, so you are better off choosing one meat for the week and buying one big pack. For example, I could decide to make meatloaf, tacos, and spaghetti and meatballs this coming week, so the only meat I would need to buy is beef. The next week I could make meals with just chicken, or just salmon. You get the point. This will cut down on cost some. It also saves money to buy meats that are a day or so away from their expiration date. The store marks these down to a lower price and you can freeze them if you aren't going to eat them right away.

So these are my staples. I'm still working on getting the bill lower and learning how to find good sales, but I know this list usually works well for me. Thankfully, green beans, potatoes, and apples aren't that expensive, and the bread, cheese, and peanut butter should last you for more than a week. Almond milk lasts a lot longer in your fridge than regular milk, and you can freeze spinach if it starts to wilt. All of these little tricks should help you get more out of your groceries each week :)

What are some tricks you use to make your money and food go farther? What are your food staples? Comment below :)

2 comments

  1. I've been vegan for several years now and although I'm not entirely sure if it's actually saving me money, I feel like I'm eating better for my money - if that makes sense. Whenever my partner and I head out to do a shop at the grocery store together, I'm always amazed at the cost of meat, eggs, and cheese. But then again, I spend a lot on fresh produce. To each is own! I definitely understand that veganism isn't for everyone but it works well for me and I feel like I'm saving money. So that's always good!

    I tend to go through different food staples. So for a week or two I'll eat a lot of a couple of things and then switch it up and not go back to them for a while. Right now I'm eating a ton of squash, grapefruit, oranges, and lentils.

    Kathryn
    http://www.throughthethicket.ca

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    1. Yeah, I don't know that I would make it as a vegan, but I admire your discipline. That's awesome!

      I definitely switch on some things. Like right now, I'm obsessed with a potato and egg scramble I make (you could make it without the eggs of course!), but in a month, I'll be on to something else probably. But the things I listed are items that haven't changed much for at least a year :)

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