This Week’s Grocery Haul

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I have been getting a bunch of questions about how I grocery shop: Do I go to one store? Multiple? Do I always go prepared with a list or do I just wing it? So, I decided to answer a lot of those questions in this post by showing you this week’s grocery haul.

I typically grocery shop once a week. I, most often, go to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or both. There are certain items that I only get at one or the other, so usually I end up making trips to both. I like to buy pantry staple items such as spices, oils, vinegars, grains, flours, etc at Trader Joe’s because the prices are great, so it is a good place to stock up on those types of items. I then buy all of my beef, poultry, and produce at Whole Foods because the quality is very high and they have the wide selection I often need.


(I always try to bring my own bags. They charge you 10 cents per bag now in LA…which is good for the environment, but bad for me if I forget to bring my own!)

I always go to the store with a list. I generally like to plan at least three dinners for that week and the rest of my list is comprised of staples I need to stock up on. I write my list in the Evernote App on my iPhone. I love making my list this way because I usually think about things I need to buy at random moments (like while I am daydreaming about food at work…shh!) and it’s a convenient place to keep track of everything since I typically always have my phone with me.



This week I only went to Trader Joe’s because I just had to restock on some staple items. This is what I bought:


Sweet Onions

Bananas: For Protein Pancakes and to snack on with yummy nut butter

Navel Oranges: I LOVE juicy California oranges. I usually eat them for a snack at work or for dessert after dinner.

Tarrazu Coffee: TJ’s has really good coffee! I love that you can grind your beans right there in the store. I started buying this Tarrazu coffee back in college and still love it! It is a medium- dark roast and very smooth!

Stevia: All-natural sweetener for my morning coffee

Haricot Verts and Shallots: To make a yummy side dish this week

Grapefruit and Avocado: This may sound like a weird combo, but these two ingredients actually make a DELICIOUS side salad

Tomato and Basil Hummus: I am not married to one particular kind of hummus – I am always trying new flavors.

Dried Mango Slices: These are for Travis. He loves the dried mango slices from Whole Foods, but ran out so I decided to buy these for him instead.


Empire Kosher White Ground Turkey: To make my Turkey Meatballs, of course. We made a big batch last night. I know I said I usually buy my poultry at Whole Foods, but this Empire Kosher Ground Turkey is fantastic. In fact, I really like all Empire products and I am very happy that Trader Joe’s carries it.

Chicken Broth Packets: These are a staple in my kitchen. It comes with 12 individual packets to make 1 cup of low-sodium chicken broth, which is great when you’re in a pinch or only need a small amount.

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk and Frozen Blueberries: These are my breakfast staples and I use all of them to make my overnight oats for workday breakfasts.

Spinach: I love to keep a bag of spinach on hand to make salads with leftover chicken throughout the week.

Eggs, eggs, eggs: I buy three cartons a week. Travis and I plough through eggs. They go into protein pancakes, scrambled eggs, cookies, everything. I feel like we never have enough.

Gluten-Free Rolled Oats: This is an item I always go to TJ’s for. I am in love with these oats and I love that they come in such a big bag because Travis and I eat so many of them! I also have been on a major oatmeal kick this winter – I just love having something warm to start my day – so the more oats in the house the better!

Pink Lady Apples


Of course, this is not the ONLY food I will eat this week – I want to stress that. There is lots more in our fridge that we already had and I didn’t show here.

Now, what about you?

Where do you love to grocery shop? What are staples in your kitchen? 




  • January 13, 2014 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Nice insight! Sounds like you think everything through. I agree on TJ’s for staples/prices and WF for quality and selection.

    Love that you use Evernote — I’ve been slowly using it more and more, and want to eventually turn it into my one and only life-managing app, but I’m not there, yet. Are you fancy with it, or just notes/lists like this?

    (Fun fact: The notes I jotted down for brainstorming my blog when sitting in your little livingroom/bedroom… were recorded on Evernote!)

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 14, 2014 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      Mer – I remember that day so well! Yes, I use Evernote for ALL my lists: movies I want to see, books I want to read, restaurants I want to try. It is great because I have a terrible memory, so when a friend gives me a suggestion I can just jot it down in Evernote and I have it saved for as long as I need it.

  • Christine @ Cooking with Cakes
    January 14, 2014 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    trader joe’s is by FAR my favorite place to shop – you can’t beat those prices! on a weekly basis I’d say I’m always picking up diced onions, an assortment of cheeses (usually a mix of full & reduced fat) lean proteins, and frozen/fresh veggies. Other than that, it really depends on my cooking sched and just how strict I feel like being with my diet 🙂

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 14, 2014 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Christine – I completely agree! The prices are amazing and they almost always have what I need. P.S. that avocado dip on your blog is making me drool!

  • Alyssa @ My Sequined Life
    January 14, 2014 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing your methodology here. I find with a semi-erratic work schedule I can’t always plan ahead or pick a set day to grocery shop (try as I might), so I’m always attempting to streamline my technique. The first thing that needs to happen is for me to stop writing partial grocery lists on whatever scrap of paper happens to be lying around. 75% of the time those papers disappear before I even step foot in the store!

    I’m lucky, in that a few blocks from my house there’s a conventional supermarket (Ralph’s), with an organic specialty store (Jimbo’s Natural Foods Grocer) a few stores down in the same plaza. That way I can take advantage of the full selection at Ralph’s and pick up our staples like fish and meat from Jimbo’s in one trip.

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 15, 2014 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      Alyssa, I used to do the partial grocery lists, too! I always wrote them on post-it notes and lost them on my desk, in my purse, etc. That’s why i love Evernote now 🙂
      You’re lucky those two stores are so close to each other! How convenient.

  • Megan
    January 18, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Another weirdly delicious side salad to try: watermelon, red onion, and avocado. It’s Barb’s summer staple, SO easy and delicious.

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 19, 2014 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Megan, that sounds delicious actually! I will definitely try that – it’s so simple!

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