My Grocery Staples

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Lately, I have had a lot of people ask about our main grocery staples and also things we keep on hand.  If you are changing over to whole foods, I would suggest just buying one new thing a week.  Otherwise it can get pricey.  Please also note that all fermented soy items are organic and non GMO verified and are used sparingly.  So here you go.

Pantry (Dried Goods)

raw almonds
rolled oats
dried beans
rice (wild, brown and black)
quinoa pasta
quinoa
oat flour
bulgur
coconut sugar
spelt flour
dried fruit
medjool dates
mixed nuts
flax meal
chia seeds
hemp seeds
onions and garlic

Pantry (Oils and Vinegars)

olive oil
avocado oil
walnut oil
toasted sesame oil
coconut oil
rice vinegar
apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
white balsamic vinegar
mirin
red wine vinegar
pure maple syrup

Fridge

oat milk (for my daughter)
homemade almond milk
soy sauce
organic and non GMO tofu (on a rare occasion)
organic and non GMO tempeh (on a rare occasion)
kale
swiss chard
spinach
apples
lemons
carrots
peppers
broccoli
mushrooms
celery
cheese sticks (for my kids)
whole milk yogurt (for my kids)
unsweetened applesauce
tahini
oranges
avocados

Freezer

frozen fruits and vegetables
homemade soups, tomato sauce and chili
homemade granola bars, muffins and waffles
homemade vegetable broth

Counter Top

bananas
tomatoes

 

102 thoughts on “My Grocery Staples

  1. What whole milk yogurt do you use?

    And can I recommend grinding your own grain? It adds so much nutrition :) we make our own spelt bread. And a family favorite is spelt pumpkin muffins (recipe from 100 Days of real food)

    1. We buy Strauss Family Creamery Whole Milk Yogurt. Their cows are grass fed and they stand behind their ingredients and are for Prop 37. My daughter loves it. I have never thought about grinding my own grains! How do you go about doing that? I love baking with spelt. It doesn’t have that heavy quality that WW flour does.

      1. We’re gluten free for my Daughter and I also grind some of my own flours. I typically use our coffee grinder for grains (like brown rice and Quinoa) and our food processor for coconut flour. I also make my own flour mix so that I can used traditional recipes and just sub in the gluten free flours!

        1. I grind my own oat and almond flour in the vitamix. Haven’t tried quinoa or brown rice yet. Do you grind them up dried or do you cook them first?

          1. Yes I grind them dry. The brown rice I typically grind a couple of times to make sure it is ground very fine. Otherwise it messes with the texture!

          2. Hi Melissa, I am just finding your blog! Thank God! We have been encouraged to go gluten free/limited dairy by our pediatrician for our 3 daughters’ numerous food sensitivities, allergies, and skin problems. I have tried since April to do it and become so discouraged, to the point of almost giving up, because of the expense of all of the gf flours and such that the recipes call for. We are on a very tight, one income, budget and I have not been able to make it happen. You say get one new staple per grocery shop… would it be too much to ask for you to prioritize the order in which to do that? I know you are very busy but this is so hard and discouraging. The only people I know that are gf have grocery budgets 3x ours so their methods don’t really work.

          3. I think the priority would depend on your needs. Some major staples in my house are gluten free oat flour, nut butters and dates. Food savory recipes it’s wild rice and quinoa. I usually get whatever fruits and veggies are in season and on sale. I hope that helps!

    1. I buy it in the bulk section at Whole Foods. Bobs Mill makes a version of it too that may be located with all the other flours. I saw the Bobs spelt flour at Sprouts today. Bulk would most likely be less money though.

  2. I usually do a double batch of any baked good and freeze one batch. I use ziplock bags for freezing which I reuse so I never really have to buy more. I usually cook one soup on the crock pot and then one on the stove. That way, I can freeze some of each. I also freeze any vegetable odds and ends for stock and orange/lemon/lime peels for zesting. I wish I could tell you my freezer was organized, but it is small and often crowded. One more tip that works well is to freeze sauces and stocks in freezer trays so you only need to pull out what you need. Hope this helps. :)

    1. I only buy organic soy products and they are not eaten on a daily basis. My husband asks for the soy milk because he does not like the almond milk that I make. Out of that large list, there are not that many soy products. Fermented soy foods that are organic do have some benefits. The Asians have been eating them for years.

    2. Just wanted to add that they tofu and tempeh both have the NON GMO verified symbols on them. I would not buy them otherwise. :)

  3. Regarding soy – I read that Silk brand soy, even if not organic, guarantees to never use GMO soy. Just a tip for saving money or an alternative product if organic soy is not available.

    1. I buy West Soy Organic because they support GMO labeling where Silk does not. I make my own almond milk for drinking, it is my husband that likes the soy. I do try to look for the non-GMO certified label on any soy products.

    2. Silk was one of supposedly healthy companies, like Kashi and so on that opposed prop 37. I am thinking that they aren’t as honest as they seem to be.

      1. They are not. I do not buy their products at all. My husband likes the soymilk and we buy West Soy Organic. No chemicals and gmos in it.

  4. Have you heard of Amino Acids by Braggs? Its a great healthy alternative to “Soy Sauce”… Can usually find in health food stores, I know it’s sold at Whole Foods too :D

    1. I have seen it. I think some fermented soy products can be okay as long as you make sure they are non GMO certified and organic.

    2. Since all soy is off limits for my husband now, I found a product called coconut aminos that is a great tasting and perfect alternative to Braggs aminos.

  5. Have you looked into joining a CSA [Community Supported Agriculture] or co-op in your area? It’s a great way to get locally grown fresh food and support your local organic farmers.

    1. I actually do a co-op already. It is a great way to get a ton of organic fruits and veggies for very little money. We love it! I use Bountiful Baskets.

  6. Where can I find coconut flour? I am having a hard time finding it at local stores. Trader Joe’s doesn’t even carry it.

    1. You can find it at whole foods in the bulk section. If you can’t find that, then just grind up some shredded coconut. I have done that in the past.

  7. Thanks so much for this list and your blog. It’s inspired me to make my own whole foods list to get more organized and for when I go shopping to help avoid the the junk isles by sticking to the list. I’m looking forward to trying some of your great recipes!

    1. You are very welcome! I love when I hear others stories about eating more whole foods. That is exactly why I started this blog in the first place. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

  8. Hi!
    What a great website. We have slowly been changing over to whole foods since May- it has been a pretty easy transition overall. I still use canola oil to stir-fry, sautee, etc, though- what is your favorite go-to oil for that purpose? I never even thought about the GMO issue with canola. :(
    Thanks,
    Angie

    1. Glad you found me! :) For cooking, I like to use walnut, coconut or grapeseed oils. For cold dishes I like to use olive oil. I used to use a lot of canola oil myself before I realized it wasn’t that good. That’s why, in my older recipes, you see it on the ingredient list. For baking, I love coconut oil.

  9. Great info. I love it. Its been so helpful to me changing my eating habits and my families.
    A lot of your recipes use the pitted dates. I have never used dates before. Where do you usually buy them? Do you recommend an online place because I live overseas.? I have to get a lot of items shipped to me.
    Thank You.

    1. You can try amazon or vitacost. Most grocery stores carry dates. They actually come with their pits. I remove the pits when I use them.

  10. Do you have a particular brand of dried fruit you like to use? I am finding that so many of them are full of sugar! Also, where is your favorite place to get dried beans? Thank you!

    1. I usually buy the dried fruit out of the bulk bins at Whole Foods. I do the same with the dried beans. Whole Foods is the only place I have found here in Texas that sells organic beans in bulk. I think Trader Joes has some dried fruit that is low sugar.

  11. Hi I just came across yoour blog. Thanks for all the useful information and great recipes. I can’t wait to try them. My husband and I (vegetarians) recently started making major changes by going all organic and buying Non-GMO products. We recently moved to Dallas and Ive been on the lookout for good grocery stores. Do you know of any other than whole foods. Can I ask you where you buy your produces and pantry staples from?
    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks! I love Sprout’s and also Natural Grocers. Natural Grocers only sells organic produce and they also have a large health and beauty section. Sprouts also has a great selection of organic produce at good prices. Both those stores are at the intersection of Coit and Campbell. Dallas also has a large farmers market. Richardson has one as well on Campbell and Nantucket. I still go to Whole Foods for my organic bulk items because they have the best selection. Hope that helps. :)

  12. I am wondering where you buy your almonds and how you know they are not pasteurized using chemicals rather than heat/steaming? I’ve been searching for a good price on almonds to make it cheaper than buying ready-made almond milk, but any almonds I find that guarantee to be heat pasteurized are so expensive I don’t see it being cheaper to make my own milk. And to buy non-pasteurized almonds from outside the country is extremely expensive.

    1. I honestly didn’t even know about the pasteurized issue. I buy organic almonds. Does that mean they are okay? I get them out of the bulk bins at Sprout’s or Whole Foods and try to catch them on sale. Also, wouldn’t soaking them combat those issues?

    1. I think it is pretty good, but not organic. If you need an organic brand found most anywhere, you can get Stoneyfield.

    1. We buy pretty much everything organic. Some things that are on the “clean” list I buy conventional. But most everything else is organic. Buying in season, buying in bulk, belonging to a co-op and meal planning help keep the costs down.

      1. I just found out about carrageenan yesterday and made the instantaneous decision to make my own nut milks. I found your pot on Hazelnut milk and just finished making a quart!( I soaked them yesterday) While perusing your recipe files, I saw the Raspberry Nutella tarts(drool) and wondered if I could use the meal that was left in the strainer bag without drying it first? The meal was actually pretty dry,after “milking ” the bag for all it was worth! Perhaps using a bit less liquid than called for in your recipe?

  13. How do you keep coconut oil from clumping back to a solid form in recipes like waffles and muffins? We have used it in both the waffle and zucchini muffin recipe from 100days, and we can’t seem to keep the oil from solidifying once it hits the rest of the batter mix:-(

      1. I have only had that happen when it is really cold in the house or if I am trying to mix melted coconut oil into pancake mix that has a lot of cold milk in it. I just whisk it very rapidly as I am stirring the coconut oil in. Sometimes it will solidify a little but with the whisking the pieces are little and evenly distributed so they cook up excellent.

  14. My biggest problem with eating healthier/shopping is that we have a large family on one income (8 of us!)…I did plant tomatoes this year but I didn’t inherit my grandfather’s green thumb so we’ll see..Is there any particular list of things you find absolutely essential? (forgive me if it’s been asked before!) Is there a particular cookbook (or books) that you draw on for inspiration?

    1. Honestly, just pick one new thing every other week or so. I would get the fruits, veggies, beans and grains. Also a good jar of coconut oil. If you buy out of bulk bins, you only need to buy what you need for specific recipes. That may help cuts costs a bit. I think this cook book is great. Not all the meals are vegan. but the ones I have tried are great! http://www.eatgood4life.com/cookbooks

  15. No honey? I’m new to quinoa (and love it!!) but I have learned there are different types? Some for cooking, some for baking.. and you mentioned quinoa pasta? Typically I google everything and then try to weed through everything but I have learned a lot from your site so I figured I would ask you. :)

    1. Oh, I guess I forgot honey! Yes! We use local raw honey. Mostly helps with allergies. I love quinoa! I cook and bake with it. I use Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta. My daughter likes it far better than whole wheat pasta. It’s organic and non GMO.

  16. This is great! Thanks for posting, I am always stuck whenever we make Trader Joes runs, even though I think of a million things to buy before we get there. Will add this to my grocery list!

  17. Thanks for this post! I love seeing what other people eat on a regular basis! Do you garden any? I grow a lot of our veggies in the summer and that really helps with our grocery budget. I am currently in love with our little herb garden. It provides a lot of flavor and benefits in a small, affordable area.

    1. We do garden! This was our first year with an inground garden and it was not super successful. We do have lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, onions and leeks. Herbs too in pots.

  18. The other day, I found a link that you had posted somewhere on your Facebook site that had a list of brands of products that you trust. Can you direct me on where to find it? I was going to print it, but now I cannot find it anywhere. Thanks!

  19. I am really enjoying reading your blog. My husband and I are buying a house soon, and when I get to set up our kitchen from scratch, we’re planning to switch to Whole (Real) Foods only. This list will be very helpful as I think of how to stock up my new cupboards!

  20. I love your blog and have tried several successful recipes! I also share the same whole food, nonGMO, organic vegan food philosophy. Sounds like you also buy a lot of things in bulk. I’d like to know if you have a storage system. I put most bulk pantry items in mason jars, but I still have partial bulk bags that become forgotten, then I buy more or think I have a partial bag and I run out etc.

    1. Thanks Shelley! Yes I do have a storage system. I have a big built in pantry and I put pull out shelves in it. I store all my bulk items in glass jars and they have labels on top of them. I also have larger jars for my flours and grains as well. Once I get it completely organized, I will probably write a post about it.

  21. was VERY surprised to see yogurt and cheese sticks on your staples list right after reading that you are vegan. does not compute. buying these for your kids? vegan kids are healthy, too!

    1. I am vegan and so is my husband. My girls don’t eat meat often, but they do like cheese and yogurt. I never said that vegan kids are unhealthy. Both my girls have had HUGE struggles with eating. You can read all about that in the About section of this blog. So I happen to let them eat the few foods that they enjoy eating. When you have a child on a feeding tube, you tend to do things differently.

  22. Well done Melissa! I love your flexibility and being able to take things in context while staying with what feels right to you.

  23. so if you all are vegan, then why are you eating cheese sticks and whole milke yogurt? why not use whole milk yogurt in your recipes?

  24. Hi Melissa, love your blog! Quick question: the link for the medjool dates on Amazon says they are unavailable. Do you have another brand you order?

    Thanks!

  25. This is everything you buy? I’m new at eating clean. I started a while ago. Now I’m really interested in the seeds and nuts.

        1. I do buy many of my products off Amazon. It can be far cheaper, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member. You get free 2 day shipping on everything and you also get to subscribe and save on many items you purchase often.

  26. thank you so much for sharing this!! Can you tell me where you got the pull out shelves? Are they easy to install in most pantries?
    I’m also wondering which glass jars you’re using, are they just mason jars?
    And what do you use avocado oil for? I’ve had a huge bottle for quite awhile now and I have no idea what to do with it!

    1. I got the pull out shelves at Lowes. They are super easy to install. I think a couple of screws. They are pricey. About $75 a piece. I just bought one at a time. I got most of my jars from Sprouts, but I also use mason jars as well. I love avocado oil for roasting and also for making salad dressing.

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