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  • Writer's pictureNikki Bidun

Grocery Haul

Updated: Nov 7, 2022

Showing you the art of shopping. On just one two-bag grocery trip, we're making 15 meals and snacks for the week.



**Note: the links in these recipes will be added as they are posted this week. Stay tuned!!**


Links to Skip Ahead

 

How do I use this guide?

Basically, with all of the items on this list we are making meals for the week. Most of the ingredients serve more than one purpose and appear more than once while throughout the week, but there are NO BORING RECIPES. I'll take you through what we bought and why we bought it, and how it is going to be used this week.


 

So, what's on the list?


Here's the low-down:



- 1 spaghetti squash ($3.59)

- 1 bag baby spinach ($2.49)

- 3 bell peppers ($3.99)

- 4 carrots ($1.49)

- 1 bunch parsley ($2.00)

- 1 lb shrimp ($12.12)

- roasted pepper hummus ($2.49)

- frozen raspberries ($3.99)

- 2 cans chickpeas ($1.89)

- 1 can diced tomatoes ($1.89)

- oats ($6.29)

- plain greek yogurt ($5.39)

- boneless, skinless chicken thighs ($6.29)

- 1 dozen eggs ($3.19)

- 2 avocados ($4)

- 1 lemon ($0.49)

- 1 lime ($0.49)

- 1 loaf bread ($6.30)

- pita pockets ($3.99)

- soba noodles ($4.19)

Total: $76.65


 

...And What Meals are We Making From this?


- Spiced Chicken Pita Pockets

- Veggie Soba Noodle Salad

- Avocado and Chickpea Sandwich

- Hummus + Dippers

- Packed Yogurt Bowl

- Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

- Chickpea and Tomato Soup

- Avocado Toast


Each meal has enough leftovers to pack for lunch the next day, so your future self can thank you. This list is meant to cover a few dinners but loop in snacks and treats.


 

What's my Grocery-Shopping Strategy?

I usually go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings for the week. This shop is only 2 bags, but has enough ingredients for quite a few recipes.


You might notice that I didn't purchase a lot of fruit during this shop. I love fruit and eat it all the time, but my weekly grocery shop is not the time that I usually pick it up. Sunday (when I shop) is a busy time at grocery stores, and fruit prices are not usually favorable then. Around NYC there are also so many fruit carts that often have better, fresher looking fruit for a competitive price. This, of course, isn't the case everywhere but I usually make another trip to pick up some fruit.


Timing

Recognizing the freshness/shelf life of ingredients is important, and you don't need to sacrifice having balanced meals when you shop well.


Because of freshness, I usually use my proteins in the beginning of the week. I would eat the Simple Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash the night of my grocery shop. I usually make this for family dinner, so there are rarely leftovers, but if not, I take a portion in for lunch the next day. I also make sure to purchase some longer-lasting proteins like chickpeas and eggs. My breakfasts are the end of the week usually consist of Eggs on Toast and Post-Workout Smoothies, for a balance of vitamins from the smoothie and a good protein:carb ratio from eggs on toast. Avocados are an ingredient that I also purchase early, prepare late. I buy avocados while still hard, so their quality is higher. This means I eat them later in the week—which is nice, because I feel like I saved them for a good cause!


 

How are the Ingredients Re-Used?

Below is the overly complicated Venn diagram I made, but here is my summary.

- Yogurt is such a utility ingredient and I use it in savory and sweet applications. This week, I'm using it to marinate my chicken thighs for my Spiced Chicken Pita Pockets, a mixer in my Post-Workout Smoothies, a foundation for my breakfast Packed Yogurt Bowls, and a protein element to my Overnight Oats. Oh, I also add it to my Raspberry Yogurt Muffins as a tenderizer.

- Hummus is a popular ingredient for me because of it's high protein and great flavor. It goes in my Spiced Chicken Pita Pockets as a sauce, and part of my Hummus and Dippers Snack

- Bell Peppers and Carrots appear twice on this menu. They are great as the dippers in Hummus and Dippers and when peeled into laces, they go great in my Veggie Soba Noodle Salad.

- Avocados are an ingredient I cannot get away from (even if they are getting so expensive 😫). I always buy them hard so they don't have any bruise spots and eat them towards the end of the week. A simple Avocado Toast always hits the spot for breakfast, and later my Chickpea Avocado Sandwich is one that you didn't know you needed.

- Chickpeas are a pantry staple. They are a good source of protein that is super filling in a pinch. When my avocados ripen, I pack a Chickpea Avocado Sandwich for lunch, and with the leftovers, I make my warming Tomato Chickpea Soup.

- Baby Spinach is an ingredient that never goes bad in my fridge. After struggling with half a bag leftover after using it in one recipe, I have found so many uses for it. Baby Spinach goes in the dressing of my Veggie Soba Noodle Salad, in all of my Post-Workout Smoothies, and (in my opinion) a much better alternative to lettuce in my Chickpea Avocado Sandwich.


Finding utility ingredients, that can be incorporated into many recipes, is a time saving and sustainable way of shopping and cooking. Making meals with leftovers that don't feel tired is somewhat of a challenge, so I created this list to help out with that.


It's worth mentioning that most of these recipes account for meal prepping. For example, my Spiced Chicken Pita Pocket recipe makes 4 pitas. They warm up nicely (and are great cold) for a to-go lunch throughout the week, but if you want to make them for a family dinner, that's also a great option!


 

Sample Schedule

If you decide to cook every meal for the week, it's possible to stretch the list and go all-out leftovers, but this was my week (realistic) of eating after this shop. If everyone has a long day at work, my family and I will order takeout, and sometimes I go out with friends for dinner, so there is wiggle room.


That being said, I am a leftovers girl, so I love going back to my freezer for some quick meals when I need to.



Sunday (day of shop)

Meal Prep (1 hour): Veggie Soba Noodle Salad Dressing



Monday

Breakfast: Packed Yogurt Bowl

Lunch: Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash Leftovers

Dinner: Spiced Chicken Pita Pockets


Tuesday

Breakfast: Eggs on Toast

Lunch: Spiced Chicken Pita Pockets

Dinner: Veggie Soba Noodle Salad


Wednesday

Breakfast: Eggs on Toast

Lunch: Raspberry Muffin x2 and Hummus + Dippers

Snack: Smoothie

Dinner: We ordered in Chinese Food after the game (W 😁)



Thursday

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Lunch: Chickpea Avocado Sandwich

Dinner: Out with friends


Friday

Breakfast: Avocado Toast

Lunch: Leftover Chinese Food

Dinner: Tomato Chickpea Soup


Saturday

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and a Muffin

Lunch: Tomato Chickpea Soup (it was so cold!!)

Dinner: Split half a bagel after practice,

then reheated pumpkin pancakes at home 🤭







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