I got an e-mail a few weeks ago from a reader who asked about how I ‘whip up’ meals from items I already have on hand. To be completely honest, I’m not always so sure myself. However, it usually comes down to good grocery shopping and a little creativity. Of course, having a good block of cheese on hand makes things easier, too.

For me, grocery shopping is the most successful when I take time to shop at more than one store. Namely, Costco and Trader Joe’s. It not only saves money but provides variety. Of course, since I live on my own (and even when Joey and I get married) it’s important to think about how much you can realistically eat, as well as the shelf life of your purchases. Items like cereal, crackers and bread are sensible, since they store well and bread can be frozen. Same goes for fresh berries. Any that I don’t eat during the week I toss in a freezer bag for smoothies.

Here are the items that make sense for me to purchase at Costco…
   -Suzie’s Whole Grain Thin Cakes (similar to a rice cake, great for light snacking)
   -Kashi GoLean Crunch! (my go-to cereal of choice)
   -Broccoli
   -Green Beans

At Costco, I also got:
   -Thomas Light English Muffins (one package went in the freezer for later)
   -Blackberries
   -Two packages fresh raspberries (the prices for berries are unbeatable at Costco)

Can you believe I got out of Costco and only spent $36.00?!

 And at Trader Joe’s I rounded out my haul…
   -Two liters of Trader Joe’s Sparkling Spring Water
   -Trader Joe’s California Style Complete Protein Bread (5g protein per slice!)
   -3 Fresh Pears
   -Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala veggie burgers (these are new-to-me)
   -Block of Cheddar-Gruyere cheese
   -3 Cliff Bars
   -Container of Trader Joe’s White Bean and Basil Hummus (the absolute best)
   -Trader Joe’s Organic Baked Tofu (if you don’t like tofu, start with this)
   -2 cartons Fage Total 2% Greek yogurt
   -Trader Joe’s Organic Split Pea Soup 
Grand total: $28.00!
On weeks when I go to Costco, my grocery bill is a bit higher than normal. However, since I got crackers, cereal and english muffins that will last me over two weeks, along with an abundance of fresh berries, I think it was a great trip. 
So there you have it, folks. My grocery haul for the week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get to working eating all of that broccoli! I may have gotten in over my head. 
Happy Shopping!
Madison
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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12920807301570202779 Megan

    Thanks for sharing! We don't have Costco, but we have Sams and I buy a lot of our fresh fruit there. I SOOOO wish we had a trader joes!! So jealous.

    What flavor cliff bars would you recommend??

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06927034818037261987 Megan

    That's so funny you mentioned broccoli from Costco, I just wrote a post on that very subject! I wish we had a Trader Joes here but alas I have to cross the border to find one.

  • http://keepitsweetblog.com Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    You and I could share a kitchen and be very happy together:-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14194815440194123998 CupcakesOMG!

    that's it–i have GOT to start shopping at Costco

    http://www.cupcakesomg.blogspot.com

  • http://channelingcontessa.com/ Clara

    Those TJs veggie burgers are awesome! They're even good not grilled. I take them to work, pop them in the microwave, and top them with hummus. You'll love them!

  • http://www.dessertfortwo.com DessertForTwo

    I'm so nosey because I love it when people share what they bought at the grocery store!
    I'm afraid I buy too much if this is all you need for the week.

    P.S. Let's pretend like you didn't buy some peanut butter stuffed pretzels at TJ's or their gummy bears and hide them from the photo, ok? Good! ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17728289485178979972 Madison Mayberry

    Dessert For Two – Ha! I bought peanut butter pretzels last week and have been munching on them ever since! :) But I have yet to eat their gummy bears. I might just have to make a special trip to get some!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17987795624398203941 Jesse

    How is that protein bread from tjs? i've been curious about it but i worry about texture.

  • Elizabeth

    I love your blog and this post is great! I always enjoy seeing what other people buy at the grocery store. Every time I get inspired to try something new. Thanks :)

  • http://www.jordanandnatasha.blogspot.com/ Natasha Red

    LOVE seeing other people’s groceries. I think this is a fabulous idea. When I lived in New Jersey I was minutes away from a Trader Joe’s and at the time didn’t know what I had. Now we live in Texas and there isn’t one in sight. I miss it every time I see a post like this! We’ve got Natural Grocers though….does that count? ;)