Friday, November 12, 2010

What are your food must-haves?

It's getting time to go grocery shopping again.  Jim's been out of town this week and so I've been just trying to eat (or not eat, as the case may be) what is left in the fridge before I break down and have to do another shop.  Money's been a little tight the last couple weeks since we had to shell out for Piggy's little soiree with pancreatitis, so I've been avoiding the expenditure for as long as possible.

Anyway, I've been thinking about my grocery lists and what gets written down as soon as I realize we're out.  Bear in mind that we hardly ever eat out anymore, so pretty much everything we eat these days is what I buy on our every-10-days-or-so shop.  But what do I always make sure we have on hand to make sure we eat well and healthily? 

our fridge after a shop a couple weeks ago
  • fruit of all descriptions (bananas, apples, grapes, oranges or clementines, grapefruit + whatever else might be on sale or in season such as raspberries, strawberries, cherries, etc.)
  • vegetables of all descriptions (tomatoes, some type of lettuce/salad, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette/zucchini (which is a favorite!!), savoy cabbage or some other green, sweet potatoes, onions, avocado and fresh garlic + whatever else might be on sale or in season)
  • 1% or skim milk
  • lowfat greek yogurt (it's so versatile!)
  • lowfat cheddar cheese
  • laughing cow light cheese
  • parmesan cheese 
  • feta or goat's cheese
  • string cheese for snacks
  • wholegrain bread
  • wholegrain tortillas
  • canned black beans 
  • canned pinto beans
  • lowfat hummus
  • olive oil 
  • sea salt
  • spices (cumin, chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, peppercorns, curry, etc.)
  • fresh herbs (basil, cilantro/coriander, thyme, sage, rosemary)
  • roasted chicken or turkey breast for sandwiches 
  • parma ham
  • light mayo
  • mustards (wholegrain and english)
  • Our fav - Moroccan cup-a-soup
  • oatmeal
  • Special K
  • Cocoa Krispies
  • cous cous
  • pasta (wholewheat or regular - Jim's not a fan of the wholewheat, but I am)
  • tomato marina or arrabiata
  • fruit jam (either homemade or store-bought for oatmeal, yogurt or toast)
  • extra lean ground beef
  • turkey and/or chicken breast
  • canned tuna steaks
  • eggs
  • fish (either smoked mackrel, canned salmon or fresh fish)
  • almonds
  • walnuts 
    Ryvita crackers
  • dried apricots
  • cup-a-soup (Ainsley Harriot does some great ones!)
  • Ryvita crackers
  • flour
  • yeast
  • sugar (preferably all-natural cane and fair-trade if I can afford it)
  • lemon and lime juice
  • honey
  • Quavers in single serving bags 
+ whatever else might be needed for particular recipes that week...

What do I no longer buy that I used to always have on hand?
  • peanut butter (which I still love and could buy lowfat, but I still eat WAY too much of if it's around)
  • butter and margarine (unless it's required for catering we're doing or baking)
  • biscuits or cookies
  • chocolate
  • canned soups (Jim just whips up a pot of soup for me on Sunday evenings from whatever veggies we have that need to be used so I can take it to lunch during the week.  He made a LOVELY curried parsnip soup for me last week.  It helps having a brilliant chef in the house.)
  • 2% milk
  • cream/half-and-half
  • white bread
  • potato chips (we saw last weekend what happens when they're around!)
  • fruit juice 

    I'm excited this weekend because I may have found us a new (well, new to us) freezer!  We've been without one for a few months now since our last one died and we lost everything in it.  :o(  And boy did it take time to adjust to not having one!  But now I can save money again on meat by buying it when it's on clearance and freezing it.  Hopefully it'll be delivered Sunday night and we'll be able to store food and plan even more economically, while still sustaining our healthier eating lifestyle change.

    Question:  What are your must-haves?  What do you always keep on hand? What are your go-to ingredients for meals?


      1. New look on the blog? It seems different to me, but I can't be sure.

        Love the refrigerator post -- I did a similar photo shoot last week here:

      2. yeah, i decided the wood background just wasn't working for me, despite how much i loved the texture of it.

        and i saw your fridge post as i was in the process of writing this one up (but just got around to finishing it today). great minds think alike! :o)

      3. Since I live alone, I usually spend a few hours every two or three Sundays cooking up a storm and freezing it in single servings. It helps not only with portion control, but when I get busy and stressed with work, it's nice to not have to worry about going home and cooking!

        And - peanut butter. *sigh* There's a gourmet peanut butter sandwich shop in Greenwich Village and my mom used to send me jars of my favorite: white chocolate peanut butter. I could eat the whole jar in a couple of days, and not even on sandwiches. Straight up, spoon from the jar. I've recently started eating PB again - I find that it helps curb my sweet cravings - but when I buy it, I buy prepackaged serving sizes (about 2 tbsp). I don't think I'm ready to buy jars just yet.