As part of my new challenge to only eat-in for the rest of February (I’ll probably extend this challenge into March, too), I thought I’d introduce a new blog series called Eat-In Challenge Shopping Cart.


Over the years, many people have asked to me to write about grocery shopping, but it’s so hard to really detail what’s in our fridge and pantry in just one blog post (hence, a series!).  The last time I did this kind of thing was February 2009 (it’s funny to look back at our groceries – I spy deli meat and frozen chicken,  which of course we don’t eat anymore since we’re now vegetarians!).


I shop at three grocery stores, but my favorite is Trader Joe’s.


TJ’s is cheap, cheap, cheap!  My favorite thing about Trader Joe’s is that the organic stuff isn’t that much more expensive than conventional.


Here are our thoughts on organic v. conventional:  we always buy organic when it’s available.  And we try to buy local if it’s an option (as you see by my pineapple below, clearly sometimes I forget this goal).  The Husband is really into organic products because of his job (holistic doctor/acupuncturist) and is a firm believer that the pesticides and chemicals in conventional produce and products really inflicts long-term damage to our bodies.  I’m not 100% behind his stance on organic v. conventional (and I am cheap), but I’ll support him in whatever he wants to do, so I mainly buy organic.


So, what was in my cart today?



Organic broccoli (times two)

Conventional pineapple

Organic bananas

Organic spring mix

Organic spinach

Organic carrots

Conventional onion

Conventional potatoes

Organic apples

Conventional cabbage


Vegetarian Protein Sources


Sunflower seeds

Sunflower butter


Refried Beans

Kidney beans

Organic eggs


Best hummus in the entire world


Dairy/Dairy-Like Stuff

Crumbled goat cheese

Rice Milk

Soy Milk Creamer


Dry Stuff

Cornbread mix

Organic cereal

Ezekiel Bread




I get groceries 1 – 2 times a week, depending on how big the first haul was.  Total cost: $69.


What’s on your grocery list?  Do you shop at different stores to get the best deals?



  • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 18, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Yayy for TJs! I shop there, Sprouts/Henry’s (famer’s markets), and occasionally at walmart/ralph’s for things that I can attain there. For example, if it doesn’t make much difference in the products 🙂

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 18, 2011, 3:28 pm

    We eat a lot of the same things day after day, so I buy lots of the same stuff: salad stuff for lunches, whole wheat bread, PB, eggs, oatmeal, bananas, other fruits, veggies, refried beans/black beans/burrito stuff, almond milk, frozen berries, sweet taters, etc.

    I do go to a regular grocery store for most foods, I get to Trader Joe’s 1-2x per month and a natural food store maybe once every 2 months (for protein powder, supplements, chia seeds, etc)

  • Johanna B February 18, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing what’s in your grocery cart. It’s always interesting to see what another healthy eater buys. Good ideas.

  • Carolyn @Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. February 18, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Lots of fruits and veggies, hummus, beans, soy milk….

    I shop at 4 different stores too – Whole Foods, Publix – national chain, local HFS, and Costco.

    I wish there were better farmer’s markets closer to my home, but no such luck.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:34 am

      i miss costco so much.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing February 18, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I seriously have a love affair with TJ’s. Everything is so cheap but the quality is really good.. especially produce. But i’m a sucker for their cereal. I’ve declared it my personal mission to try each and every one 😉

  • J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) February 18, 2011, 3:38 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s!! Wish we had one closer to us! 🙁 Maybe someday soon.

    I need to do a eat-in challenge. We eat out more than we probably should!

  • Jamie February 18, 2011, 3:44 pm

    I am so bummed that there are no Trader Joe’s in Colorado! I normally shop at a place called King Sooper’s here in Denver but sometimes I will go to Whole Foods. I know that it is possible to budget shop at WF, but I have a hard time with it.

    • Kim February 18, 2011, 4:35 pm

      YAY King Sooper’s!! I’m from Colorado originally and didnt realize until I moved that they dont have that everywhere!!

      And speaking of budget shopping at WF, check out this post:

      Great tips on shopping at Whole Foods and not making it Whole Paycheck 🙂

      • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:35 am

        That’s a great post by Beth!

  • Sarah for Real February 18, 2011, 3:44 pm

    I’m curious about the difference between your organic/conventional purchases on this trip. For example, bananas are less pesticide ridden because of the thick skin and you bought organic. But potatoes are notoriously chemical-laden because you eat the thin skin, and you bought conventional.

    Is that just based on availability in the store that day? I’m not hating here. Personally, if potatoes were on the menu tonight and my store didn’t have organic, I’d go conventional too. I know that many people do try to put the extra money toward organics that are known to be “dirty” like potatoes.

    • Caitlin February 18, 2011, 3:56 pm

      Our family rule is if the organic version is available, buy it. If not, buy conventional if we really need that one product.

  • Leanne (For Health's Sake) February 18, 2011, 3:47 pm

    We shop at 2 different stores! 🙂 I wish that organic stuff was cheaper… the high price makes it hard for me to want to buy it.

  • Carin February 18, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Ha ha – I love the description of a “conventional cabbage”! Makes me want so say – y’know what, cabbage? Live a little! Be who you want to be – don’t be limited by society!

    Obviouly feeling flippant in my old age… it gave me a laugh, anyway!

    No TJs in NZ so I’m just feeling jealous.

  • Jackie @ Baking Charms February 18, 2011, 3:54 pm

    I shop at Earth Fare for my hippy food and Harris Teeter for regular stuff 😉 Good thing they’re just down the street from one another!

  • Lisa February 18, 2011, 3:54 pm

    LOVE love love those TJ gnocchis!!

  • Lauren February 18, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I’m so out of the loop – there’s no Whole Foods or TJs in my state at all. We have a ton of local co-ops though with local foods from farmers, which is awesome, but they get expensive after a while. I did notice our campus is using fair trade, organic bananas now, which I love!

  • Kacy February 18, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I usually don’t have a list. I just buy on a whim and then construct my meals around what I’ve purchased. Not the most efficient way of doing things, but it works for me 😉 I can’t WAIT to move and be near a TJ’s. We don’t have them in Oklahoma.

  • Rebecca February 18, 2011, 3:56 pm

    My family shops mostly at Cashwise (which is mostly in the Midwest), but some at Wal-Mart too. My sister goes to Target pretty frequently, too. Our grocery bill went up a little this school year, having an extra person in the house, but it’s not terrible.

    We don’t eat out too much, except on special occasions or if we’re in a hurry. I eat lunch at school two days a week because of my schedule, but I don’t spend much more than 10 or 12 dollars a week at school. On weekends that I work, I either bring lunch from home (leftovers or a frozen meal) or walk over to the little coffee shop/cafe for a sandwich, which usually costs me about $5. So I rarely spend more than $15 on food in a week. 🙂

    Ezekiel Bread? OMG! My best friend found that (cereal) at a Hyvee in South Dakota. 🙂

  • Baking 'n' Books February 18, 2011, 3:57 pm

    I honestly hate going to the store now – it challenges me and my wallet WAY too much…

    BUT – I would love to see these things called WF’s and TJ’s one day!

    Do you eat nut butters or milks?

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy February 18, 2011, 3:58 pm

    TJ’s and Wholefood’s are near my work (far from my house!) so I go there on lunch breaks and then on the weekends or if we need a quick item, we run to the local grocery store near our house. They recently expanded (at the grocery store) their organic section. So that’s helpful.

  • Kelly February 18, 2011, 3:59 pm

    I shop at Earth Fare, HT, and TJ’s, but TJ’s is my standard. Be careful at that particular TJ’s b/c the eggs are often broken. I’ve learned to check them before I put them in my cart. Are you a sunflower butter addict too? I need an intervention.

  • Ellie @ The Mommyist February 18, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I shop at Trader Joes and a local natural food store, New Seasons. I try to buy everything organic and I buy my produce at New Seasons, it may be more expensive but they buy local when possible and the quality is better, in my opinion. In the summer I hit the farmers’ markets but we don’t have them this time of year.

  • annette February 18, 2011, 4:04 pm

    I love TJ’s too- but sadly none where I live 🙁 I try to buy organic if it is a reasonable price for sure! We buy at one store that offers local produce-which I love! I love your protein sources….good choices to add to your diet 🙂

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 18, 2011, 4:11 pm

    TJs is the best! I shop at different grocery stores not to get the best deal, but to get the biggest variety of foods. It’s not uncommon for me to go to 3 stores before I’m done.

    (And 1 of them may just be a “for fun” visit… yes, I realize I’m a sick individual.)

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 18, 2011, 4:12 pm

    My weekly grocery list varies because I shop for one. But my basics include PB, oatmeal, skim milk, soy milk, whole grain pasta, assortment of cheeses, whole wheat bread, fruit, veggies, etc (the whole gamut)! And I really do shop at different places because the deals vary by store…I am a value shopper! 🙂

  • LIz February 18, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I have found that the quality of produce at TJs is usually sort of terrible (at least in CA). Luckily, because we live in CA, we have farmers’ markets all year round, which is awesome. I shop at a local co-op that carries local and organic produce and it’s actually pretty affordable!

  • mary (what's cookin' with mary) February 18, 2011, 4:15 pm

    One week I shop at Trader Joe’s and then the next week I’ll go to Henry’s Farmer’s Market. I pretty much never go to the traditional grocery store these days.

  • Clare February 18, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Yay a grocery post! I’m always so curious.

  • Jill February 18, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Caitlin, I would love to hear your feedback on almond milk vs. soy milk vs. rice milk – I’ve had soy, and lately I’ve been using/loving almond in oatmeal, cereal, coffee, etc., but I don’t know anything about rice milk. Thanks!

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:38 am

      I try to intentionally limit my soy intake, so I rarely buy soy milk since I get soy from other sources (tofu). I think almond vs. rice is all kind of the same especially because i just cook with it (oatmeal, mainly) and don’t drink it straight. I like the Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened the best – the kind that’s in the fridge though!

  • Erin February 18, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I haven’t figured out how to do my “real” grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. I think that’s partly because we are meat eaters at my house so I buy a lot of that and TJ’s doesn’t have much. Perhaps one of these weeks when I’m eating down the freezer and don’t need to stock up on meat I’ll see if I can do all the rest of my shopping at TJ’s.

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good February 18, 2011, 4:24 pm

    I love TJ’s hummus! I do shop different stores depending on what’s on my list. We eat meat, and I like getting meat from TJ’s. There is a much better selection of meats from grass fed/finished animals who have not been given hormones and antibiotics. TJ’s is also where I can get sprouted bread. (I think that is the right term.)

    If I have many non-food items on my list (cleaning supplies, paper supplies, etc. I will try to combine my supply and grocery shopping into one trip at a Walmart or Target. (I am cheap too, and non-food at the grocery store costs a lot more!) I was surprised to realize that I can find a fair number of natural items at Walmart.

    From May to December, I get organic produce weekly through a CSA. The other produce that I buy at a store isn’t necessarily organic. I’m more picky about meat and dairy. I wash the produce and hope I’m getting most of the junk off… I can’t wash away what the animals have ingested. (Speaking of that, I’ve heard of the dirty dozen produce items that are worst for pesticides; I should look that up and keep the list handy.)

    Congrats on your successful eat-in goal! It sure helps the budget to eat at home most of the time, doesn’t it?

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:40 am

      I want to join a CSA. I’m going to look into it today!

  • Tami February 18, 2011, 4:25 pm

    where are you recycled bags! you might win a gift certificate if you bring them in (i wonder if someone really wins!!?)

  • D February 18, 2011, 4:27 pm

    I love posts like this!

    How long do you typically buy for? Is that a weekly/monthly haul, I mean? Do you mind sharing how much you typically spend on your groceries? I find that Trader Joes is super cheap and convenient, but I actually spend more there because there’s not much ‘bulk’ stuff. Do you find that buying salad bags are more convenient/cheaper/better than buying a head of lettuce (just an example)?

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:50 am

      I updated the post with this info, thanks for reminding me!

      that haul cost $70 or so and it will last us for 5 days.

      honestly, i’m sure i could get more salad out of a head of lettuce, but it’s just not worth the cost difference to me…. i’m too lazy/busy.

  • Carrie February 18, 2011, 4:33 pm

    That TJ’s cornbread mix is THE BEST. I am obsessed.

  • Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles February 18, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I pretty much only shop at Trader Joe’s. But there’s a great grocery store that has many locations throughout the Bay Area that I recently discovered – it has great organic & all-natural groceries. I’ve starting making random trips there to get Chobani, since TJ’s doesn’t sell it!

  • Stephanie February 18, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Trader Joe’s is my main stop! I supplement with a smaller health foods chain, Earthfare, because they have good deals too and have a wider variety of things. Plus, other than eggs and milk, Trader Joe’s organic dairy selection sucks.

    Just wondering if the husband and I are the only ones: as vegetarians, do you find it important to buy all organic dairy since they are regulated to treat the animals humanely?

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:54 am

      Actually, organic is not regulated to treat animals humanely at all. Check out this link:

      Basically, there are very few laws for organic food that relate to animal welfare.

      But yes, I buy organic in the hopes that it’s at least a little bit better.

      • Stephanie February 19, 2011, 9:36 am

        Wow. Thank you for that link. I guess since Organic Valley is practically the only brand out here, and they do have higher standards for animal care, that I assumed that was normal. I should learn by now that assuming something about the food industry is never a good thing! lol

  • Beth @ 990 Square February 18, 2011, 4:42 pm

    I’m a Whole Foods shopper. Pretty much all the time. I have a soy allergy and the labeling at WF just makes it worth it for me. I normally only buy WF brand stuff, and try to stock up when stuff is on sale (like today–organic whole chicken for $1.69/pound…I bought three!) I used to shop some at TJ’s but I found that we ate way more processed/boxed stuff from there than I wanted to eat.

  • Lauren @ laurenINlawrence February 18, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Caitlin – I have bet you have seen articles like this before, but my favorite money-saavy website for us 20-something women Learnvest had this article earlier this week about what is important to eat organic and what it isn’t as relevant on:

    And $0.69/lb for organic apples is awesome! I can’t get regular apples that cheap!

    • Ellen February 18, 2011, 9:26 pm

      TJ’s sells apples by the piece, aka it is $.69/each. sometimes it is a good deal, but not always. i think it’s a little deceptive, myself.

      • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:54 am

        Thanks for passing along that link, Lauren!

  • DefineDiana February 18, 2011, 4:55 pm

    I have two questions. Is this for just the week? Will you go to the grocery store periodically during the week to pick things up if it is?

    My other question is how much do you typically spend on a grocery run? It’s only my boyfriend and I and I swear we spend so much money on food, and we do not eat out that much. I would be interested in what others spend that are in a similar situation, buying similar items.

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:55 am

      We spent $30 – $125 on grocery runs and go 1 – 2 a week!

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt February 18, 2011, 4:56 pm

    Great loot! I share the TJs love. I do the bulk of my shopping there and Harris Teeter with a little bit at Earth Fare. It has gotten to where I know which stores carry the best deals, so I know what items to get at which store.

  • SaraK February 18, 2011, 4:57 pm

    TJ’s refried black beans with jalapeno is basically the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

  • Rachel February 18, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Can you share how much your grocery bill was for all of those yummy goodies?

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:56 am

      Just updated the post – it was $69

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 18, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I shop all over the place, but I try to stay close to home and TJ’s is only a treat for me since it is not really convenient and I would save that much by driving. Oats, almond milk and apples are a must in my cart!

  • Jennifer (Mother of All Students) February 18, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I guess I am lucky because we NEVER eat out. Reason being: you never know what is in the food or how it has been prepared. I have seen burger joints who offer veggie burgers cook in on the same grill where a regular burger was just cooked. :/ Not cool. Most people in Texas do not understand what a vegetarian really is, so I can’t blame them.

    My shopping cart looks a lot like yours. Mostly soymilk, all types of veggies and fruit. Frozen veggies like spinach, peas, green beans. Tofu and other meat substitutes (eaten sparingly – it is still highly processed!) Dry items include oatmeal, lentils, rice, beans, etc. I buy lots of lentils and rice because I also make my dogs homemade vegan food. 🙂

    What do your dogs eat? I have thought that question many times, but always forget to ask. Do you buy them regular dog food made with meat, or are they veggie dogs?

    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:57 am

      They eat organic/more natural pet food. We buy them Newman’s wet good and Holistic Select dry. 🙂

  • Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland February 18, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Trader Joe’s is my home away from home! lol. Their cornbread mix rocks! I shop mostly at Trader Joe’s and a local grocery store chain called Woodmans. Occassionaly I will pick a few items up at Whole Foods, but I try to avoid it. WF is a budget killer!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} February 18, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I love looking at other people’s groceries. Is that weird? I do shop around different stores to get the best deals. Some weeks it doesn’t happen, but I try to. I wish one store had everything I needed at the best price! ugh.

  • Jen February 18, 2011, 5:36 pm

    I shop around a lot when I have the time. I get local organic apples, berries, oranges, and potatoes, and wild-caught fish from a co-op market near my house; surprisingly, all of this is much cheaper than the chain grocery store! I buy dry goods and dairy at the chain grocery store, and meat from a local deli. And then my mom sends me stuff like enormous jars of peanut butter, crackers, bags of almonds, granola, and canned pumpkin because she’s awesome! 🙂

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty February 18, 2011, 5:39 pm

    When I’m back at school on the East Coast, I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes to supplement the dining hall foods. I like having some organic fruits and veggies and some organic oatmeal to keep in my room. I’m also lactose-intolerant so it helps to have some soy or almond milk on hand as well! I wish that we had a Trader Joes here in Colorado, but there’s a new place called the Sunflower Market that I’m anxious to try!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 18, 2011, 5:39 pm

    I’m excited to keep up with this new series! It’s always interesting to see what people buy!

    I wish we had TJs here. I usually shop at Loblaws (a Canadian grocery store) for the most part. But once in a while I make a trip to our indoor farmers market and the natural food store.

  • Johanna B February 18, 2011, 5:42 pm

    I shop at the same two stores depending on my transportation. My staples are yogurt, cottage, cheese, spinach, almond milk, fresh fruits and veggies, canned beats, black beans, tomatoes, frozen fruits and veggies, pumpkin and pineapple.

  • Johanna B February 18, 2011, 5:42 pm

    I shop at the same two stores depending on my transportation. My staples are yogurt, cottage, cheese, spinach, almond milk, fresh fruits and veggies, canned beats, black beans, tomatoes, frozen fruits and veggies, pumpkin and pineapple. From our local HFS I buy granola and quinoa.

  • Maryann February 18, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Omg this post made me so excited 🙂 TJs is my favorite. The sunflower seed butter is to die for!! Also love the high fiber o’s. I usually buy the mediterranian flavored hummus but Ill take your advice and pick up that one next time!

  • Lili February 18, 2011, 5:50 pm

    T. Joes is my favorite and im lucky to have one by my house. I recently ‘discovered’ their Almond butter – the one that comes in a glass bottle. so good!. I have never tried the Sunflower butter though. I also buy a lot of frozen blueberries and frozen veggies ( green beans, broccoli).

    I bought goat cheese there last week – and made this recipe from Beth’s page:

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:57 am

      Beth has such good recipes.

      • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 19, 2011, 10:18 am

        aww thanks guys! Lili – so glad you tried that souffle! I might make one again today… its so simple but so delish!

  • Katie G. February 18, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Love TJ’s! Right now, I shop at 3 stores, if Trader Joe’s was closer I would love to cut it down to 1-2…the closest TJ’s is 30-40 mins away so I go on my way home from work sometimes (a bit of a de-tour). I’ll have to try that hummus, looks good!

  • monicanelsonfitness February 18, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Haha! You and I buy alllmost the exact same stuff! Bless T Joes. 🙂

  • Kiran February 18, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Obviously! Just shopping at Whole Foods breaks my bank! Wish we had TJ at Orlando 🙂

  • Katie @ peacebeme February 18, 2011, 6:46 pm

    I mainly shop at King Soopers (Kroger) for everything and then Vitamin Cottage (a locally owned natural grocer’s in Colorado) for my gluten-free products.

  • Krissy @ Make It Naked February 18, 2011, 7:06 pm

    We buy very similar food! I LOVE that bean dip. LOVE it. I also really like their organic reduced sugar jelly and these apple cranberry fiber muffins. Wish they had more organic nuts but I still love that store and had to put myself on a TJs budget bc I was going there everyday. It’s less than 2 miles away. Walkable and dangerous!

  • Beatrix @ Beaglebea February 18, 2011, 7:10 pm

    I wish Trader Joe’s was near me too. Your groceries look awesome..healthy and nutritious.

  • Rachel (Olalliberry) February 18, 2011, 7:27 pm

    It’s been way too long since I’ve been to TJs! Lately I’ve been making more use of the bulk section of my local grocery store, it really helps to cut back on the grocery bill.

  • Runeatrepeat February 18, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I am the biggest fan of TJ’s, but am not a fan of their fruit most of the time. Everything else is the best though 🙂

  • Rachel @ Healthy Teacher February 18, 2011, 7:32 pm

    I love TJs. I buy once or twice a week with small loads though, so I never get to bring that many goods home at once.

  • Jenifer February 18, 2011, 8:04 pm

    I’m excited… I have my very first trip to Trader Joe’s planned tomorrow afternoon!

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:58 am

      Yay! Have fun!

  • Natalie February 18, 2011, 8:10 pm

    You realize the majority of TJ’s produce is from Mexico!..

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 18, 2011, 8:46 pm

    I mainly shop at Publix but I fell in LOVE with TJ’s when I went to one in DC during Winter Break. Which we had them here in Florida! 🙁

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 18, 2011, 8:55 pm

    I shop at so many difference stores every week – but trader joe’s is my favorite!

  • Kelly ( February 18, 2011, 9:06 pm

    Love Trader Joe’s!!

  • Julia February 18, 2011, 9:27 pm

    I don’t have TJ’s or Whole foods for a long distance. We have a Sun Harvest/Henry’s, Walmart, Albertson’s and some other gnarly local stores. Price matching and shopping sales means my family eats lots of produce, and I spend $280 a month on groceries for two adults and a baby. Oh, and Costco for staples and items like vanilla/coffee, etc.

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged February 18, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Im so unbelievably jealous that you have a TJs!!!

  • tricia February 18, 2011, 11:02 pm

    I shop at the local co-op. It provides reasonably priced organic foods and supports the local farmers, which I love. Our family only eats out 1-2 times a year! NO fast food ever. Eating your own cooked meals is fun and you know all the ingredients. I cook pots of soup on the weekends in the winter and freeze them. Then after work, just add a salad or crusty bread. YUM! Find recipes you love or cooks you love and soon, you will love cooking too. It is important to also include your kids, what better way to show your love, then to provide nourishment for all our beautiful bodies!

  • alli February 18, 2011, 11:08 pm

    i love trader joes! there’s one about a mile away!
    i recognize a lot of your groceries; i have some of the same things in my kitchen right now 🙂

    i’m going to get the gnocchi next time, i’ve never had it! i like their bag of mixed grains. i forget what its called, but theres a mix of israeli cous cous and other types of quinoa and such. it’s really good!

    i do end up going to a few different places for the best deals. i recently started buying fresh eggs. there are a lot of people near me who have chickens and post ads on craigslist when they need to sell some.

    • Caitlin February 19, 2011, 8:58 am

      I almost bought the bag of mixed grains… darnit!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] February 18, 2011, 11:28 pm

    I shop @ TJ’s for ~80% of my food — great for a college budget! I don’t like the fact that a lot of their produce is from Mexico and that it’s all wrapped in plastic though =/

  • Lindsay February 18, 2011, 11:52 pm

    I unfortunately do NOT have a Trader Joe’s where I live, but I make due with what I have. I go to about three to four stores every friday to get groceries. I am buying all of the food and cleaning supplies so my grocery bill is usually around 180-220$ a week, alot I know but we dont eat out. On weeks like this week where I had to buy alot of extra cleaning supplies to restock we can spend close to 300$! I am very luck that I am able to spend so much at the store! 🙂

  • Jolene ( February 19, 2011, 12:06 am

    I am always amazed at how cheap groceries are in the US!!!! Even Whole Foods is cheap compared to Canada! We get royally ripped off!!!

    I go to about 3 grocery stores per week and spend more than I want to know … I don’t keep track.

    • Charlie February 19, 2011, 3:23 pm

      I was thinking the same thing! I spend so much on groceries it is ridiculous! I’m always amazed when I see how much a US blogger spends on groceries! Buying all this would cost me at least 100.

      • Emilie February 23, 2011, 10:08 am

        I know its really bad for our economy but I cross the border to shop at Trader Joe’s….more in the winter than in the summer when my garden is in full swing.
        Canadian retailers need to smarten up and give more options like TJ’s.

  • Ashley February 19, 2011, 12:09 am

    I always shop at about 2-3 stores depending on the week and what I need.

  • Katie February 19, 2011, 8:10 am

    Yeah ummm they know me on a name basis at Trader Joes. Both of them. I have a problem lol 🙂

  • Cyndi @ Weightless Life February 19, 2011, 8:59 am

    We used to just shop at one place, but we got a BJ’s membership so now we shop there every other week. I’ve been trying to cut back our grocery bill. So far it’s going well.

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing February 19, 2011, 11:07 am

    I’ve been doing a February grocery series too (as Beth linked in her post). I do believe that the chemicals in our foods have effect on our brains, especially in children. I think it effects children from the womb on, and that scares me, so I’m starting now, with myself. I buy organic on every piece of produce I can unless I go to the farmer’s markets and know the farmer. There are definitely ways to save on organic foods! TJ’s has some good stuff but I dislike their produce selection, so I either use my regular grocery store, Whole Foods (they often have organic kale on sale 2 bunches for $3!), and the farmer’s market (my preferred choice).

    Once the spring hits, I plan to get all produce, eggs, and meat locally. Slow food rocks!

  • Amber K February 19, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I shop at WinCo for the cheap deals, New Seasons for the organic and speciality nutritious food items and Fred Meyer for filling in everything inbetween.

    We still spend more on food than I’d like, but I do feel better about not putting as much junk into my body.

  • tricia February 19, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I spend about $325 a week on groceries. Mostly organic and we rarely eat out. I read The Omnivore’s Dilema… great book. He states that we used to spend much more on food (good quality food) and our doctor’s bills were much less, but now in the US we spend very little on food (junk) and our health care bills have sky rocketed! I don’t feel guilty at all about spending money on good food. it is what nourishes your body for a healthier life!

  • Rosi February 20, 2011, 10:35 pm

    I love Trader Joe’s so much. Also, I’ve found that Super Target has a lot of healthy alternatives than the typical grocery store, so I go there too. Both, I’ve found, are fairly inexpensive. Speaking of, it’s almost time for me to do a bit of a shop. 😉

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing February 21, 2011, 9:56 am

    I am a big fan of Trader Joes too! They don’t have everything, so I don’t always shop there but what they do have is so reasonably priced and usually a winning combo of healthy and delish.

  • elaine! February 21, 2011, 7:24 pm

    My boyfriend and I have been experimenting with meal planning and eating 95% of all our food in. (Exceptions are coffee and occasionally a cone from McDonald’s… lol.) We switched from shopping at a conventional grocery store to shopping at another store that also offers more bulk foods, and can keep prices low because they don’t accept credit cards and you have to bag your own food. I think we spend between $70-$100 per week without trying very hard to cut costs on anything. And with all the leftovers that we freeze, we could probably stretch it out to 10+ days if I didn’t have time to cook or something. Normally the big spending weeks are weeks where we need non-grocery items (like laundry detergent) or if we need to buy more meat than usual. (I tend to get the big bags of frozen chicken breasts, which last us about three weeks.)

    As soon as farmers markets come to our area for the summer, we’ll probably hit them up first and then the grocery store. I’m interested in seeing how that affects our overall costs — though I’d support local farmers even if it did cost us a little more. Oddly, most of our “local” farmers at the farmers markets are from California… close enough I guess, can’t be too picky when you live in the middle of a desert.

  • Christina February 22, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I haven’t had cornbread in so long! Most boxed cornbread mix has either chicken fat or a form of pork fat in the mix so I don’t buy them. I’m going to check out TJ’s brand, I hope it’s legit! If it is I’m in there like swimwear!

  • Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy February 22, 2011, 10:52 pm

    I love that sunflower seed butter! Just finished my last spoonful yesterday 🙂 Yeah TJ’s is super cheap, we load the car up every time we’re in Charlotte visiting family – mostly with Charles Shaw wine lol but also their frozen Indian food dinners are the best I’ve ever had (compared to Whole Foods & Chamberlain’s). Check out their spicy soy & flax tortilla chips – they’re like healthy protein Doritos and totally addictive!

  • Emilie February 23, 2011, 10:06 am

    I LOVE TJ’s.
    But I live in Canada, where alas, Trader Joe’s is not. So every other month, I drive 4-5 hours each way and do a big haul… sick I know.

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