Groceries (Whats in Your Cart?)

Updated on April 08, 2011
S.S. asks from Portland, OR
14 answers

Just getting ideas of some groceries to buy. Tired of the same old stuff. Sometimes its fun to see what others like.

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answers from Richmond on

I understand, I had to push myself to 'break the mold' this week too :)

2 nights ago, we had bbq pizza. Super easy. Buy an 18 oz thing of beef bbq, one pizza crust, 2 cups shredded cheddar, and a small red onion, chopped.

Sprinkle 1/4 cheese on crust, spread the bbq, sprinkle the onion, dump the rest of the cheese on top... bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Yum. Not the healthiest, but no one complained :)

Last night I made veggie wraps... with chicken, gotta have that protein ;) Wheat tortillas, spread cream cheese, add chicken, spinach leaves, chopped red and yellow pepper, and monteray jack cheese. Roll that sucker up... it's more filling than you'd think!

I also make veggie pizza's with feta, artichoke hearts, olives, spinach, tomatos, oregano, olive oil, and... I'm forgetting something. Add whatever you like :)

Super easy, super cheap... 1 box of Uncle Bens long grain and wild fast cooking rice, and 1lb beef sausage (the giant link kind)... takes 10 minutes and $5... for my lazy days :) Just cut up the sausage and throw it in the rice; for a little extra, chop green pepper and throw that in there too.

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answers from Portland on

Our standard shopping list:
Green veggies (brocolli, asparagus, celery-- Kiddo loves them)
Carrots-- a must
Apples and pears
Strawberries and always a bag of frozen berries to put yogurt on
Red bell peppers
Cream-top yogurt (Kiddo will *die* without it!!!)
Smoked salmon (for dinner when nothing's ready)
Various goat's cheeses and some good parmesan and feta
Olives-- black and always a stash of kalamatas
Capers or Pickles (when we run out)
Whole-grain crackers
Good cereal
one avocado
Almonds and pistachios
Salad greens
Brown rice
Canned artichoke hearts
Beets (to be roasted and served with a lemon balsalmic vinaigrette and slivered kalamatas or watercress)
Tofurkey slices (you won't want them unless you are veg)
Lemon (for everything) Lime (for other things, esp. a nice G&T in the evening)
Couple bottles of decent wine
Veggie Sausages
Spelt breads
Morningstar Grilllers Prime (better than most gardenburgers)
Rapunzel broth cubes,which I swear by.

We shop for fish the day of; everything else we pick up on the weekend shopping trip. I do buy veggies for recipes, too, but we are often pretty busy and I don't do complicated meals on weeknights. Love to make a soup on the weekend though, and splurge (healthwise) on some good levain to go with it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Interesting post...I am always curious as to what others buy...
I feel like I buy everything, lol.
There are things that are a must for keeping in my pantry for "just in case" can be anything from a tight budget, to unexpected company coming, to being sick and not wanting to grocery shop....they are things like....
cornbread mix, pancake mix, canned fruits and vegetables, biscuit mix, instant rices, pastas, instant potatoes, sauces (spaghetti, BBQ, alfredo, dressings), stuffing, muffin mix, brownie/cake mixes, soups, broths, teas, coffees, canned frosting, crackers, breadcrumbs, shake n bake, panko bread crumbs, crutons, hamburger helper, mac & cheese, tuna, various beans, pudding, jello, jelly, jams...probably more I am not thinking off.
Cereals...I love special K and my bf loves quaker oatmeal squares, but I also buy granola, and quick oats.
Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tons of meats...italian spicy sausage, chicken sausage, pork chops, lean ground beef, ground turkey, fresh deli meat, boneless/skinless chicken breast, kilbasa, bacon, carne asada, hot dogs, sometimes steaks, ribs, tri-tip.
Yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, milk, coffee creamers, baby bell cheese, cream cheese, sliced cheese, block cheese, specialty cheese.
Various frozen products...fruits, pizzas, vegetables...and I LOVE trader Joe's orange chicken and garlic fries.
Depending on what I am making..dried fruits for granola bars, nuts, gnocchi, fresh pizza dough, tofu, fresh breads, baking stuff, infused oils (for drizzling), fresh herbs, tortillas, bagel chips, fresh garlic.
Ususally, and it just depends, I try to buy whole wheat, brown, or wild products. I buy organic, and processed...and I love buying things I have never tried!
Hope this helps.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I wanted to answer before reading the other questions, but thank you for this! I think we all get in ruts, and it's nice to "brainstorm" with others.

In my cart, you can often find the following:
apples, broccoli, cuties (clementines), grapes, champagne mangoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, bananas, bread, chicken breast, bread, cereal, rice, Thai curry paste, crackers, hummus, turkey lunchmeat, turkey bacon, eggs, salsa, tortilla chips, dates, pasta, pasta sauce, spices, cheese, etc.

We cook a lot, so we tend to get ingredients rather than boxes of food. Again, great question!

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answers from Madison on

We cook a lot, so we get lots of veggies, meat and basic staples.

Lots of veggies
Every week: tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, green onions, carrots, peppers (green and red), avocados, parsley, asparagus, snap peas
Alternating: zucchini, leeks, spinach, green beans, chard, peas (usually frozen), mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, eggplants, okra (usually frozen)

-potatoes, yams, onions, garlic
-lemons (I use freshly squeezed lemon and olive oil as salad dressing)

Lots of Fruit
-apples, pears, bananas, straw- or other berry, clementines, oranges, grapes, mangoes (whatever is in season!)

-beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans. We cook at least one big pot of legumes per week (starting from dry legumes, not precooked or canned). They are healthy and cheap!

For protein:
Meat -ground beef, chicken
Patties -usually veggie, fish to make hamburger
Nitrite-free turkey bacon and sausages, hot dogs
Veggie sausages
Fish and shrimp
Eggs (cage free/organic brown)
Yogurt (2 big tubs per week!)
Cheese (feta, havarti, mozarella)

Tomato paste
Olive oil, butter
Olives (black and green)
OJ and 100% juice (no added anything)
Peanut/almond butter
Maple syrup and multigrain pancake mix (+ chocolate chips -yummy!)

For carbs:
Dry pasta

We don't eat much cereal or pastries.

Lots of bread (usually whole wheat)
Tortillas, naan, bagels, wrap, buns

Frozen pizza, Trader Joe's frozen meals (usually a weekend meal when we don't feel like cooking)

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answers from Redding on

I joined a produce co-op in my area. Its $20 every 2 weeks and you pick up every other Saturday. We get 1 large basket of veggies and 1 large basket of fruit (such a great deal). Its all fresh produce. Taste like fresh from the garden. I love it because its different every time, you never know what you will get. I wait to get my produce then I build my shopping list around that. 2 months in and I am hooked on it.

Also, something to try, if you like shrimp. I made it for valentines Day and every time I shop the kids both ask for it. It is a bacon shrimp alfredo. I just saute some diced onion, garlic, and olive oil. Add crumbled bacon (I buy the already crumbled real bacon) saute a little more, then add the shrimp cook until the shrimp is ready, add the alfredo sauce, then mix in with penne pasta. Its a great variation from the chicken ala blah. :)

I also go to all the time for new recipes. I try to do something different each week.

Oh, another idea. Add grilled pineapple to your chicken quesadilla. SO TASTY!!!

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answers from Austin on

Fun question, I am pretty sure I overbuy, but here are some of the staples:

green leaf and artisan lettuce
red and yellow onion
gala apples
red and green bell pepper

Frozen waffles
chicken nuggets
bags of pre-grated cheeses which I freeze for later use
nitrate free family farm breakfast meats like turkey sausage and bacon
Pre-cooked, white meat chicken breast strips (great for quick meals)
ground turkey by the 1lb
2-4 fish and shellfish selections depending on what we want (salmon, trout, cod, scallops, shrimp)-I only buy wild seafood, no farmed!
Flash frozen broccoli and cauliflower and peas

Coffee beans
Silk Soy Creamer
Horizon 1% Milk
Silk Organic Soy Milk
organic, cage free, cruelty free large brown eggs
greek yogurt
Claussen Pickles
Peanut Butter
Walnut, Canola, and Olive Oil
Paul Newman Pasta Sauces

Geez, I could go on and on, but those are some of my staples....

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answers from Houston on

For me, its anything without carbs. :( sad, I know. Veggies, meats, fish. That is not to say that I dont give my daughter chicken nuggets, fish sticks...MUFFINS!!! (ug!!! she is obsessed with those things!!) I am not obese, just need to "tune" my eating cart can sometimes be REAL boring....
I tend to buy "toys" and what not, to make up for candy....come to think of it, maybe THAT is a GOOD thing!?!

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answers from Seattle on

I get tired of the same old stuff too sometimes. The other week we made a day trip out of going shopping at Uwajimaya Downtown and found all kinds of new and interesting things to try. Trying a new store sometimes can be fun and help break you out of the rut! We got yummy humbow and gyoza and specials sauces. Also it is fun for our girls to experience foods from other cultures- helps with the pickiness and you never know what they will like.

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answers from Chicago on

lol Mommyx3 - I do the same thing too with the 'cart organization'!

Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries
Cantaloupe, apples, pears
Spinach, salad mixes, green and red peppers, cucumbers
Chicken broth
Whole wheat tortillas
Bangkok Padang Thai peanut sauce
Newman's Own lighten up Balsalmic Vinaigrette dressing
Brown rice
Steel Cut Oats
Wheat germ
Goldfish crackers
Whole wheat or Ezekiel bread
Thomas light multigrain english muffins
Almonds, walnuts, or cashews
Frigo light string cheese
Chobani Yogurt

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answers from Eugene on

S. go to New Seasons and eat everything from there. Your family will be healthy and you will love the endless variety of excellent choices.
I fed my family on Organics and we seldom saw a doctor for any reason, nor did we have cavities.

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answers from New York on

I feel like I have a "stocked" pantry, but at this time of year all I want are fresh fruits and veggies! However, I make myself use one "pantry item" each night so that it doesn't go to waste.

In our cart (usually)
- various "salad toppings" b/c you can always throw that together
- chicken
- seltzer water (finally kicked the diet coke habit)
- eggs (hubs loves breakfast for dinner)
- Bertolli (lifesaver for later dinner nights)
- Sea Pak frozen clam strips and popcorn shrimp (fish fry style dinner during Lent) add a deli salad and soft rolls and you have dinner!

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answers from St. Louis on

Tons of fresh produce:
- bell peppers (eat raw or maked stuffed peppers - super easy recipe I can share)
-head of broccoli
- bulb of garlic
-organic spinach
- tomatoes
- yellow onions
- red potatoes ( slice and fry these in oil in skillet and add garlic salt - so good!)
- bananas
- lemons (for salmon/fish dishes and for lemon water - healthier!)
- pears
- avocados - for smoothies or sandwhiches
I also buy prepackaged fruits regularly as even though they are more expensive, they give us a variety of fruits in a hurry - no cutting time =)
I put the fresh veggies out with almost every meal - raw with or without dip. My family eats them up and we have a well-rounded healthy meal.

-ground turkey (I use this as a sub for almost every meal calling for ground beef - goes easier on our tummies)
-polish sausage (easy dinner with saurkraut and some mashed potatoes!)
-fresh deli sliced sandwhich meat for kids' lunches
-pork chops - easy dinner - throw these in skillet and about 6 min before done, sautee some green peppers and onions and throw them on top of chops, mashed potatoes and corn for a side!

Other Cold:
-Organic milk
-lots of juice - esp OJ
-cottage cheese (easy to throw with a meal as a side)
-yogurt - easy snack for kids
-eggs - I buy organic free range most times
- cookies or a sweet to make with the kids
- cinnamon rolls for sunday morning!
- turkey bacon with NO nitrates (this is hard to find - I have to go to my local healthy food store for some items like these)
- cornish hens - if you like chicken, these are DELICIOUS! And easy - just be aware they take about 1.5 hours in the oven - but they are worth the wait if you plan ahead.

-Spanish rice (make stuffed peppers - so easy and healthy)
-diced tomatoes (always useful, and add to stuffed peppers)
-granola bars, other snacks for hungry kids
-lots of pasta and sauce - I use basil pesto and fresh garlic and onion to -jazz up jarred sauce, or make my own if I have time
-mac n cheese - it is a must on lazy weekends!

- Frozen pizzas for nights you just cannot do it!
- Waffles
- crab cakes or shrimp scampi - makes an easy fast dinner
- wild caught salmon - they even have this now at WAL Mart! I throw this in foil with enough room to wrap the foil around it, pour olive oil and some seasoning on, add a few rosemary sprigs, wrap it up, thow in oven for 15 min at 425 (or til done) and you have healthy, yummy salmon! You can even leave the skin on as the fish just falls right away from it as you eat.

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answers from Columbus on

I always start in the produce area. I have to have things systematically put into my cart so that when I am at the register they scan and bag things the way I want it. A little controlling maybe, hehe, but I hate when they put cans with my veggies or bread.


I start in the produce which is always a variety of things so that way we don't get in the rut of the same ole same ole. I always buy a fresh onion and garlic clove each week b/c I don't think there is much we don't cook w/o both of them.

Then I go to the meat area and check it out. Mostly I do not buy anything b/c we have a half a cow and half a pig in our freezer at home but sometimes they have some fish that looks.

Then its the bread isle so that I can put that in the part where the kids are supposed to sit.

Next is the canned veggie isle so I can put on the bottom of the cart near the front. (this also include tuna fish and peanut butter isle)

Then I bee line over to the "lunchables" area that include hotdogs, bologna, and lunchables for the kids. Also there is bacon which again we have a half a pig so if something is on sale and super cheap I will pick up, if not I skip it.

Then it is cereal if we need it. Tho our rule in our house is you must finish a box of cereal before I will buy or open a new one.

Next is cheese, including string cheese, baby bells, sliced cheese, or circle cheese which is Colby cheese in this longer circular packaging vs rectangle shaped cheese.

Then on to yogurts which fills I swear a half of my cart, lol

Then my eggs go with the bread in the kiddie seat area and then on to sour cream (b.c most likely I bought potatoes or will be making homemade beef stroganoff), and my creamer for coffee and milk for the kids.

I sometimes go through the frozen section for some frozen veggies or occasionally some garlic bread but I mostly try to stay on the outsides of the store. I read that the healthier foods are there vs more processed items in the middle of the store. I rarely get things like Goldfish or Cheez its or juice for the kids. If I do get snacky foods its things like raisons or pretzels. My kids usually munch on cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes or grapes.

Not sure if this helps, but that is how I grocery shop. Also, if I have hubby go to the store I write my list based on how I told you above. I start with the veggies and fruits and work my way to dairy area. That way he doesn't get frustrated with going back and forth thru the store.

Good luck!

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