I will post dinner tomorrow morning… I wanted to answer a reader’s question!
Diana by Design asked, "I was wondering if you could do a post on some bare essentials to get at the store for people who are just starting to eat healthy? I am just becoming a runner and eating healthy but I’m not sure what foods to buy at the store so I end up with very mismatched foods that don’t make great meals…."
Answer: To answer this question, I waited until I went grocery shopping for the week so I could show you my weekly haul!
There are some pantry items that I don’t buy every week, so I’ll just list them below.
Next to each ingredient I’ve listed meals I make each week using the food. I only list meals you could make with said item (plus a good list of spices, olive oil, and other basics on-hand).
- Polenta – Great for use as a grain alternative (search the blog for polenta recipes).
- Block of Cheddar Cheese – Used on sandwiches, in omelettes, on top of beans and rice, omelettes, as a snack.
- Eggs – to make pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, eggs over easy on English Muffins.
- Frozen Chicken, Ground Turkey, or Other Lean Meat – For stir-fry, for sammies.
- Deli Meat – for sammies, in omelettes.
- Yogurt/Cottage Cheese – as a snack or breakfast when mixed with granola or cereal.
- Skim Milk – for cereal, banana oatmeal, pancake mixes, drank straight up.
- Half and Half – for coffee.
- Bananas – eaten whole , with PB, or in banana oatmeal
- Raw Spinach or Romaine – in salads, on sandwiches, in green smoothies
- Berries – Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries (whichever is on sale)
- Peaches or Plums
- Sweet Potato – for side dishes, as fries, in a black bean burger patty
- Celery or cucumber – for salads or snacks
- A green vegetable for side dishes with dinner – Asparagus, broccoli, green peppers, etc.
Pantry Items and Boxed Stuff
- Brown rice
- Beans – on top of rice, in stir fry, into bean burgers.
- Garbanzo beans – to make into home-made hummus
- WW Pita Bread or English Muffins – an option to bread when you need something different (you can always freeze it).
- Organic Peanut Butter
- WW Pancake Mix – for pancakes or waffles
- Nuts – for snacks or mixed into pancakes or oatmeal
- Maple Syrup
- Dried Fruit
- WW Bread – for sammies, French toast
- A chocolate bar!
So, that’s it! This runs us about $60 to $75 a week (for two people. Also, we make all our meals at home, so we don’t regularly eat out). I probably wouldn’t have to buy the basics so frequently if I was living alone (as mentioned, freeze bread!) and it would likely be $40 a week.
What’s your grocery list look like?