My Grocery Staples

I am by no means the healthiest eater around. A lot of other bloggers share their grocery staples from Whole Foods and it’s all super healthy items which is great inspiration but not always realistic. Groceries are one of our biggest expenses, they are SO pricey in Canada and the fact that I need gluten and dairy free everything also adds a lot to the final tab. But I thought I would share the basic items I always have stocked in my kitchen after recently doing a big grocery shop. A lot of it is healthy, not all, and a lot of it includes budget items.

Fruits & Veggies

When I do a big grocery shop, I stick to the basics for fruits and veggies and then supplement them throughout the week. This is probably one of my biggest expenses as I always crave tropical fruits like pineapple and mangos or berries, which add up quick.

When doing a staple shop, I stick to the following items:

  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • peppers
  • iceberg lettuce
  • kale
  • baby Spinach
  • bananas
  • apples (or pears or oranges)
  • lemons
  • garlic
  • onions (not pictured)

The baby spinach I freeze and I use in smoothies and a lot of my cooking. A big bag lasts a long time and is a great way to sneak in greens. I also always have to have some grab and eat on the go fruit like bananas and apples. I know iceberg lettuce isn’t the healthiest, but it lasts the longest so I find I get more from it than if I bought green lettuce which would wilt in a couple days. This is also why I love kale because it lasts so long and I’ve been obsessed with this kale salmon recipe.  We cook very simply in this house and meals are often meat, potatoes, and carrots.

Dairy Products

Because I need lactose free, this is an expensive column on my grocery receipt. I always like to have:

  • almond milk (for smoothies and baking)
  • lactose free milk (for cereal or granola)
  • lactose free block cheese
  • lactose free mozzarella (I make a killer gluten and lactose free lasagna)
  • eggs (not pictured)

MEAT

Meat is ridiculously overpriced here in Canada. During these years I’ve been a student I’ve learned to rely on a few basics, mainly frozen options for affordable animal protein.

  • Ground chicken
  • Salmon
  • Fresh chicken

We eat a lot of hamburger based meals (spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, shepards pie) because it’s the most affordable meat and I feel healthier sticking with ground chicken or turkey versus beef. A whole chicken can make 2-3 meals if planned right.

Pantry Items

This is another area that gets expensive because I do gluten free. I like to keep the following in my pantry at all times:

  • Gluten free gravy
  • Rice noodle bowl
  • Gluten free spaghetti noodles
  • Trail mix
  • Udi’s gluten free bread
  • Gluten free oats
  • Corn tortillas
  • red peppers
  • ground flaxseed

The trail mix has been an essential since I’ve started substitute teaching and never know when I’ll get a break or time to eat lunch. Nuts are banned at most elementary schools, so I bring these to middle and high school and can pop a handful in my mouth so I’m never starving. The rice noodle bowls also make a great emergency lunch if I’m rushed to get out the door without time to make a proper lunch.

RANDOM

These are thre three items that I always have and don’t fall into a specific category.

  • Frozen berries- I put these in smoothies, oatmeal, thaw and mix with yogurt, in pancakes, I use them in everything!
  • Coconut water- for smoothies. It lasts longer than almond milk so if I run out of almond milk I always have a coconut water back up
  • Frozen fries- I didn’t say everything was healthy. I ALWAYS have frozen fries in my freezer because they make a hot and quick meal if I’m feeling super lazy or just craving starches really bad.

What are your grocery staples? 

What do you do to keep your grocery bill down?

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