Grocery Shopping – aka, Your Worst Nightmare

The woman in the pink shirt is the one who tells you which register to go to… This is the SHORTEST line I have ever seen at Trader Joe’s in the evening after work.

How often do you go grocery shopping and feel confident about your eating plans for the next few days? What are the hardest things about shopping for you? Finding things at the right ripeness (Avocados!)? Thinking of everything ahead of time? Dealing with the people? Gambling on how much you’ll be able to carry up to your sixth floor apt with no elevator (my life!!)? Yeah, it’s not an easy task figuring all that out!

MAKE A LIST FOR YOURSELF! FOLLOW IT! – It honestly helps me to have a hand written list that I can hold in my hand and crumple when I get stressed from all the angry shoppers and screaming Upper West Side children that just want to leave or eat all the ice cream… or just open it and put their hands in it (saw that last week). Otherwise I make a list on my phone but then I forget to check it.

I don’t buy the same things every time, but, in terms of meal prepping for my lunches and dinners each week, my average trip to Trader Joe’s will have 80% of these things:

  • Red/Yellow/Orange/Green Peppers (these are a staple in my cooking!)
  • At least one (maybe two) onions (red, yellow, white, whatever, and I like to put green onions in just about everything).
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • A Sweet Potato if I’m feeling frisky
  • One or two frozen meals for emergencies (Jack Fruit Curry is my FAVORITE, it’s vegetarian).
  • Some type of cheese (usually every other time I go).
  • I prefer to get eggs from the farmers market, usually six eggs is enough whenever I get them because I don’t want too many and then have to toss some (sometimes I boil them, scramble, fry… whatever… Brunch is kind of a big deal).
  • Some frozen fruit for my morning shakes. (Strawbs, Bluebs, PineApps, Whatevs).
  • Carrot Juice for my morning shakes.
  • Gluten Free Bread or Sour Dough Bread… OR Gluten Free Sour Dough 😉 – depending on my current diet *wink*.
I usually (always) get a red and then either an orange or yellow. Green is my least favorite.

Some things I love about Bell Peppers:

  1. They have LOTS of vitamin C! (A RED Bell Pepper (200% of your daily C) has more vitamin C than an orange (130%) so that’s amazing).
  2. They have a lot of antioxidants!
  3. They are a good source of vitamin B6 (helps you turn all that yummy food into energy).

Moods on grocery shopping:

Two days before I need to go: So excited because I want fresh veggies and yummy food and POSSIBILITIES!
The day I go: Planning the attack route! Pump up music! Potentially a sugar buzz! Or a Xanax! Sometimes I go before work, sometimes I go after work, they both have their ups and downs.
At the store: Running around like a crazy man totally ignoring my list, bumping into people and not caring, just imagining new things that I could make and freaking out and trying to think of everything I needed. Yes I keep my sunglasses on at the store, it helps!
Getting home from the store and unpacking: Shoot! I totally ignored my list!? What the heck am I going to do with two bags of spinach, a sweet potato, 4 kinds of onions and brie cheese?!?!?
At the stove: Endless possibilities 🙂
Eating the food: Yum

So I want to hear from you! What are some of the most intimidating things about getting groceries for you? What are the things that help you the most? What are the things you buy EVERY single time you’re at the store? How many peanut butter cups have you eaten on the way home? Give me the dirty details!


P.S. Pro Tip – If you’re sitting on the fire escape six stories up enjoying some TJ’s Peanut Butter Cups and good music… don’t set the tub of them on the fire escape because your bff Meeka might kick them off… That’s just a hypothetical situation really but it COULD happen to you and then you would be the one leaning forward seeing the goods all over the sidewalk down below… don’t ask me how I know 😉 (PS I still love Meeka so it’s fine).

Actual Pro Tip – Toilet Paper at Trader Joe’s is super cheap and super great!

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