The Only Grocery Shopping List You’ll Ever Need

  • Story and Copy: Juley Le
  • Model: Julia Hohne
  • Linens provided by: Loomed Nola

Ever find yourself dragging your feet in the grocery aisles and staring blankly at the vast selection of goodies? What about tossing leftover ingredients because all you needed was just a handful of ___________ for one recipe or because you’re only cooking for one? Here at The Everygirl, we’re learning to shop smarter so we actually eat everything we buy, make healthy meals, and save money for more important splurges like that much-needed happy-hour cocktail. 

While most people march into grocery stores equipped with a list to make one recipe, we like to start each week with a grocery basket that is both flexible and inspiring. This style of shopping is based off the South’s idea of  ‘makin’ groceries’ (simply means the process of buying groceries) to help you shop smarter by providing a variety of options. We use the following framework and a budget of $65 to guide our decisions:

  1. 2 proteins: Select one cooked or prepared protein and a raw protein. Pre-marinated or prepared meats, such as a rotisserie chicken, help reduce cooking time while bringing home a few fillets of fresh fish challenges you to be creative.
  2. 2 veggies: Choose seasonal, fresh produce that can be easily roasted or steamed to serve as a side.
  3. 2 fruits: We often purchase too many fruits, and then they spoil. Pick just two that you’d want to eat with yogurt or to grab for on-the-go mornings.
  4. Herb-du-jour: All you need is a handful of herbs to add a dab of freshness to your morning eggs or to spruce up your choice of protein. 
  5. A dozen eggs: Eggs (preferably the pretty brown ones!) are a weekly essential that can be used any meal or snack throughout the day. 
  6. Greek yogurt: Aside from being a quick and healthy breakfast choice, we like to use Greek yogurt in creative ways–in place of mayonnaise in chicken salads and instead of sour cream for tacos.
  7. Choice of cheese: Always a fun part of shopping! Pick one cheese that you can add to omelets, mix into a salad, or eat on its own.
  8. Choice of grain: Unless you’re on a carb-free diet, we think it’s always a good idea to experiment with grains, such as Basmati rice or quinoa, to round off a meal and make you feel full.
  9. Granola: Whether homemade or storebought, we love topping our morning yogurt or vanilla ice cream with a little crunch.
  10. Smart snack: Nuts and dried fruit are always a great choice, but we never rule out dark chocolate or popcorn!

With this formula in mind, we peruse the aisles and pick up items that can be easily mix and matched for different meals throughout the week. We might, for instance, roast all vegetables one day to heat and serve alongside our week’s protein or toss all of our veggies into a big pot of soup for the week. The options are endless!

On this particular trip we picked up: 
• 2 PROTEINS: a rotisserie chicken and two 4 oz. fillets of fresh salmon
• 2 VEGETABLES: asparagus and carrots
• 2 FRUITS: a handful of bananas and two avocados
• GREEK YOGURT
• EGGS
• GRAIN: quinoa
• CRUNCHY VANILLA GRANOLA
• CHEESE: feta cheese 

Below are a few simple and easy dishes we made! Keep in mind our list is ideal for someone cooking or shopping for one, but you can easily adjust the quantity of each group to feed more people.

THE RECIPES

Greek Yogurt with Bananas & Granola

Ingredients:
1 c. greek yogurt
1 banana
1/2 c. granola

Directions: Top greek yogurt with sliced bananas and granola

Rotisserie Chicken with Quinoa & Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:
Storebought rotisserie chicken, sliced
1/2 c. quinoa
1 c. water
Handful of carrots, peeled & sliced
Curly parsley
Salt & pepper

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare quinoa by adding quinoa and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan on a medium-high heat until it comes to a rolling boil.  Let simmer, covered on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, place peeled carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 8-10 minutes until tender. To assemble, top quinoa with your favorite part of the rotisserie chicken and serve carrots on the side.  

Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:
3 eggs, scrambled
4-5 stems of asparagus, ends cut off
Salt & Pepper
Curly parsley

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, then season with season salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. To assemble, top the roasted asparagus with scrambled eggs and curly parsley.

How do you shop each week and would you use this formula on your next grocery shopping trip? 

 

You’ll also like:

READ: 15 Light Lunch Recipes for a Healthier Week

 

READ: 10 Recipes in 20 Minutes: Healthy Lunch Bowls

 

READ: 15 Dinner Recipes for a Date Night at Home

  • Thank you for this post. Honestly, one of the best I’ve read in a long time in the blogsphere. You guys are always so practical though 🙂

    • Thank you for reading. We really hope this is helpful for your shopping trips!

    • Lulu

      I second Supal’s comment. This is a fantastic post! You took the chore out of grocery shopping with this simple method.

  • Mimi

    It’s so cool to see you on The Everygirl! I’ve been following you for a very long time and I love your blog. We even have a mutual friend so I wonder if our paths will ever cross!

    • Ah thank you! Feels so great to be a part of this amazing company. I hope and hope our paths cross!

  • Kaylee

    Smart, Simple, + Affordable! I love this!

  • Cassie

    The only real tweak I’d make is picking up more vegetables. It would be pretty much impossible to get 5-10 servings of produce a day with this list. Other than that, I love it 🙂

    • Morgan

      How much are you eating that you get 5-10 servings of anything??? lol 10 servings of produce a day.

      • Cassie

        If you look at what actually constitutes a single serving, it’s actually not that hard to fit in 5-10 servings of produce a day. A smoothie at breakfast, a salad with lunch, grapes/apple/carrots to snack on during the day and some veggies at dinner and you’re pretty much there. I’d be willing to bet that site Editor Danielle Moss is hitting 5-10 a day easily on her paleo diet. It takes some planning, but it’s quite doable.

      • Christi H

        5 servings of produce is really a minimum that we should be eating, so it’s not really all that unrealistic or hard to get 5-10 servings of produce 🙂

    • The idea is to get two kinds of veggies to reduce waste, but we certainly encourage tweaking the quantities to best fit your lifestyle!

  • Bree Smith

    love this

  • I love this idea!! I think we might just try it out for a month.

    • Let us know how it works out for you!

  • musical capricorn

    I find this interesting. I’m looking for my first apartment and a way to budget my expenses. So, I’m willing to give this a try. It will also help me stay organized and focused in the grocery store instead of buying a lot of the unnecessary or buying snacks before important items.

    • Good luck and let us know how it works! Remember to adapt or tweak to your lifestyle.

  • I would definitely use this next time I go shopping, just have to adapt it for two people.

  • This is so similar to how I grocery shop, too! Love this!

  • This is brilliant! I always fall into the trap of buying too many fresh groceries and running out of time to eat them before they spoil.

  • Rachel

    Former biology student here can’t stand to not point out that avocados ARE technically a fruit (contains a seed). Loved the idea of this article regardless!

    • Christi H

      I may have missed the point you had, but they were listed under fruits appropriately 🙂

  • Ashley

    I like this a lot but would also need to expand it for two people. It would be awesome if you guys did a part 2 for that !

    • Glad you like it and we’re definitely taking your feedback into consideration! xo

  • lookseelove

    great idea and easily duplicatable!

  • JV

    I second (third? fourth?) the idea of expanding this list to shopping/cooking for 2 please!

  • So practical, especially for us singles! Did you day your grocery is for a week? Or a few days?

  • Ashley

    Oh to be single!! I usually am pretty close to your list in terms of items, but I feed a family of four. Spending $260 a week on food would send me into the poor house quick. It’s smart shopping but not quite on a budget as some have commented. ( =

    • Certainly doable but yes, on a different budget! My boyfriend’s mom cooks all of her meals for her family of 3 on Sundays for roughly $200 a week. Is this more realistic?

  • absolutely love this!!

    http://pomegranateandcoffee.blogspot.co.uk

  • i love this! i am going to remember this next time i go grocery shopping!

  • julie

    I use Deals to Meals for grocery shopping on a budget, it works great 🙂

  • Sara

    Such a great list! Will definitely be using this the next time I go shopping

  • They So Loved

    This post is so helpful!

  • Thu Le Cao

    Love this!!!! New go to guide!

  • Love this post so much!!! I always struggle with grocery shopping for one and end up falling into the “buying ingredients for one recipe and then never using them again before they spoil” trap! :-/

    • So glad this is helpful! Let us know how your next shopping trip goes 🙂

  • Stacy

    Thank you thank you thank you for thinking of us single ladies. Such a practical guide for a healthy meal plan! I love this.

  • Hannah

    Thank you so much for this post. My boyfriend and I are on a tight budget and as such were eating crap to keep costs down. We tried this idea this week and we are already seeing changes in ourselves and the meals we are creating are fabulous! Stuff we wouldn’t do normally but are so yummy. AND more importantly it kept within our budget! Thanks so much.

    • So so soooo happy to hear how this worked out for you!!!

  • Heather

    Almond Milk, Items to pack for Lunches, Toiletries, and this list! Perfect =D

  • Chloe

    I’m a big fan of the blog and I enjoyed the post. I don’t mean to be a negative nancy, but I strongly disagree with the phrase: “Eggs: (preferably the pretty brown ones!)”. Brown and white eggs provide the same nutritional value. However, brown eggs are significantly more expensive. Perhaps a recommendation like free range or organic would be more appropriate.

  • Jen

    Such a great idea! Will be featuring this link on my blog later this week as my favorite links from the week!

    xx,
    Jen

    http://www.comfortably-chic.com

    • Thank you! Looking forward to your post. xx

  • Anna

    Many thanks for finally de-coding grocery shopping!! 🙂 I always felt like it is just a necessary bad what needs to be done but takes away time from more important activities! Now it is easy, quick and fun and makes sense! Most posts like this please! Hugs from Innsbruck!

  • Love this. I think my sister and I need to use this the next time we make groceries to keep us on track–so that we’ll avoid the junk isles. I’m a list-list person and she likes to wing it, so this seems like a compromise. I usually make my own granola and imo it’s cheaper than buying premade since you can make a lot of it with few ingredients (oats, honey, nuts, maybe some vanilla, maple or cinnamon) and it keeps for weeks! <3 <3 Love from another Louisiana girl!

  • Ross

    Love this. Added several of these to my online grocery list @ grocerylister.com

  • nice blog and easy recipes to try out….please visit here
    http://www.isupermarket.in/ .. to check out Fresh Fruits & Vegetables, Grocery and Staples, Beverages, Confectionery & Dairy products, Fresh Meats, Personal Care and Household products.Shop online and save your money and time.

  • mememememe

    I buy groceries for a family of 3 and this is pretty close to the system that I use only in larger quantities and with a few more vegetable options because we go through more food and considerably more yogurt variety- my husband and toddler eat a ton of it. I have tried so many other methods involving meal planning with recipes and regular old fashioned grocery shopping works the best for me. I do buy whatever is on sale and stock up some if it’s an awesome sale, but for the most part what’s in my cart resembles this formula.

  • Debbie

    I am a 62 yr old widow n have been searching for 5 yrs how to shop for one I love this formula. Thank you

  • It’s really a nice post !

  • Kktm

    Love this. I always try to buy too much and then end up running out of time to make everything before it goes bad. Thanks!

  • Jon Kotila

    Well, I’m a 62 year-old man. Since my divorce 6 years ago, I have had a problem with shopping for groceries and cooking for one. This is a great help. Thanks!