grocery staples

It’s simple. Don’t buy junk food if you’re trying to be healthy and lose weight. Fill your fridge with healthy fruits & veggies and lots of lean protein, and you’ll have no need for a bag of chips or a box of cookies.

When I first started grocery shopping, I never bought enough fresh produce because I didn’t think I’d use it all, and I’d find myself eating processed foods from the pantry. Now, 90% of my groceries are staple items that I buy each week, and there hasn’t been one instance where anything went to waste. Last weekend we needed a LOT of food since we hadn’t been shopping in two weeks. This is what I bought:


Look at all that deliciousness! Kind bars were on sale so I stocked up. I don’t go through these too fast because they are a treat for me, or for emergency’s. That giant thing of strawberries was also on sale, hence why I bought it. The rest of these things are staple items. Here’s the breakdown:


fruit bowl

I buy around 7 apples every week, one for each day. Bananas are also a staple. I will buy 3 huge bunches at Trader Joe’s once every few weeks. Once they ripen, I break them into chunks and freeze them for smoothies. Banana week is my favorite because then I can make coconut fried bananas for dessert! I also buy a pomegranate or a couple mangoes for my greek yogurt.


I never think to buy these since I don’t eat them like I would other fruits (I forgot this week!), but recently I’ve started to buy lemons to add to my water or tea, as well as homemade dressing. Many marinades and homemade dressings are based with lemon juice and oil, so if you keep them on hand you have fresh dressing whenever you need it. If the occasion presents itself, you can combine lemon or lime juice with vodka and soda water instead of using sugar-filled premade mixes.

onions & garlic


These go together since I usually use them together. I buy two onions each week and I always use them. They’re a key ingredient in soups, crockpot meals, pasta sauce, fried rice, omelettes, potato hash, sandwiches, etc. Garlic lasts a very long time, I’ve actually never had garlic go bad. Maybe it’s because I have this sweet little garlic saver from TJmaxx.

baby spinach


This is what I use for all my salads. It’s better for you than iceberg or romaine lettuce, and it’s another great ingredient for smoothies. If it starts to wilt, I saute it with garlic for a side with dinner.

greek yogurt

greek yogurt

I eat greek yogurt every day. I used to buy the individual cups with the fruit inside, but I realized it’s cheaper to buy a big tub of plain 0% nonfat greek yogurt (Dannon Oikos, to be specific). This way I can portion out the amount I want, and top it with my own fruit without the added sugars. Best topping combo: mangos and cinnamon. Try it. Greek yogurt is also a great substitute for sour cream when baking or cooking. Chobani’s conversion chart is very helpful for substituting greek yogurt.



This one’s a no brainer. Other than the obvious reasons to buy eggs, most people often forget they can hard boil them for salads or the perfect to-go snack. It even has it’s own wrapper! I bought these cute ceramic egg cartons at TJMaxx to hold my eggs. It’s easier to just grab one or two from the fridge instead of taking out the whole container, and I can tell which ones are hard-boiled because the Eggland’s Best stamp disappears when I boil them.

almond milk


I use almond milk for all my smoothies, and since it lasts much longer than cow milk, I always keep a backup carton in the fridge. I even use it in place of regular milk when baking and cooking, and no one can tell the difference. (Except for the time I used the Vanilla flavored one to make scrambled eggs, bad idea!)



We make chicken A LOT. I try to switch it up with meatballs and shrimp, but chicken is just so versatile. I buy chicken breasts to freeze in small bags of two, and I buy a rotisserie chicken every other week for chicken salad.

The other things I bought this week were specific to the food I planned out, like ginger and green onions for my asian noodle bowl, and other items I was low on like the organic shredded coconut and frozen berries. There are other things I didn’t buy that I always have in my pantry, but I get them from other places.

Stay tuned for my Trader Joe’s staples next week!

What items do you buy every week?

Do you shop at specific places for certain items?

7 thoughts on “grocery staples

  1. I’m obsessed with KIND bars but they’re like $2 a pop so they are a very rare splurge. I’m like you and have to have bananas. They’re super cheap at Costco. I think last time I got 10 bananas for about $1.50!

  2. Our food shops are pretty similar! ‘cept for the bars (which I don’t think they have in the UK?!) as I tend to not have much self-discipline for treats and often end up gobbling them all down in one sitting…

  3. Thanks for this post! I am slowly trying to have a “cleaner” diet (less processed foods) and it isn’t easy living in a house filled with junk food for other members of my family. I’ve been looking for a list just like this to take shopping with me so I can start stocking our house with healthier food options!

  4. Pingback: Trader Joe’s healthy staple items | The Pomegranate Bandit

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