Grocery Haul List
Sunday, October 21, 2018
By Alexandra Marie
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Over the last month or two, I have gotten quite a few messages from people inquiring about what specific groceries I buy or the groceries I buy from each specific store. I was talking to my husband one night, and I mentioned that it seemed I was getting this same question quite frequently. It was during this conversation that the idea of filming a grocery haul video came to mind. I was thinking of sharing the video as a reference for those who were interested. So, after sharing that video, I got some follow up requests to share a list of what we buy at the grocery store and exactly where we buy our items. A lot of you felt a list would be more helpful! Below, you will find just that! I put together a list of the items typically included in our grocery haul. The list shown below is a master list of all the food we typically have in our house. However, we don't purchase every one of these items each week. A good amount of these items (such as the packaged foods) last us more than a week. We usually buy the produce, meat, and dairy products fresh each week. The picture included in this post was from my grocery haul this past week, and some of our staple items weren’t needed to be purchased during this trip. Below, I group the lists by store. You will see my Trader Joe's list first, followed by my Whole Foods list. Just because I purchase these items at these stores does not mean a similar item or the same item cannot be purchased at another grocery store. This is just where I choose to buy them! You will notice that a lot of our produce is organic. Organic produce is something I’m really passionate about (more to come on that later. I’m working on a post about why organic produce is important, the harmful effects of pesticides on the human body, and how to buy on a budget). Yes, organic food is more expensive. But, one of the many things I love about Trader Joe's (as mentioned below), is that you can purchase these organic products at a great price! I also want to mention that our groceries are by no means perfect. Yes, we still eat sugar, and yes, we still eat some packaged snacks. I care so much more about the ingredient label than I do the nutrition label. If the ingredient label doesn't contain chemicals, fillers, flavor enhancers, fake colors, etc., then I'm 100% ok with my family eating it.  We strive for the 80/20 rule (80% clean, 20% real life). But as you'll see in this list, we love our snacks! And any time we can swap white sugar with a healthier option, we do!

 

Trader Joe's

 

We love Trader Joe's for many reasons. First of all, they have a wide variety of organic foods (including both fresh produce and packaged food) for a reasonable price. Secondly, TJ's does not use any artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, or GMO ingredients in any products with the Trader Joe's label. And lastly, they have really fun and interesting foods. TJ's has so many seasonal products, and it's really fun to try new pumpkin spreads and breads in the Fall or peppermint barks and cookies in the Winter!

 

Produce (I want to note that we buy a variety of fruits and vegetables. The vegetables change a little week to week depending on what recipes I am making that week for dinners. Below are our most commonly bought produce items. You can almost always find the below items at our house):

 

  • Organic fresh berries (strawberries and raspberries)
  • Organic honeycrisp apples- I can occasionally find these at TJ's. If I can't find them at TJ's, I can always find them at Whole Foods.
  • Organic frozen wild blueberries- These are great for smoothies. Did you know wild blueberries have 10X the antioxidant power than regular blueberries?
  • Bananas
  • Organic bell peppers 
  • Avocados- TJ's also makes Teeny Tiny avocados which are mini avocados. They are they perfect size for one person!
  • Onion
  • Limes
  • Organic carrots
  • Organic cucumbers
  • Organic grape tomatoes
  • Clementines
  • Organic zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Organic baby potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Medjool dates- These are a good sweetener for smoothies if you do not prefer banana. They can also be eaten just as a snack or used in baking.

 

Meat, dairy, and refrigerated items:

 

  • Organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Ground chicken-We use this for tacos.
  • Chicken sausage- We buy a variety of flavors.
  • Uncured, dry rubbed bacon or turkey bacon
  • Organic, free range eggs
  • Organic whole milk
  • Organic shredded mozzarella
  • Yogurt cheese- These are cheese slices without the lactose. Phil uses these in his lunch wraps.
  • Fruit and cream yogurt cups- Madden LOVES these!
  • Fruit crushers- These are applesause pouches mixed with other fruits or vegetables. Madden likes the apple/strawberry, apple/banana, and apple/carrot flavors.

 

Packaged Foods (these are all purchased every few trips as needed):

 

  • Rolled oats- These oats are gluten free (they are not quick cook oats), and we use them to make granola bars and oatmeal.
  • Organic brown rice and quinoa pasta- We use this in place of regular white pasta.
  • Organic basmati rice
  • Organic quick cook brown basmati rice
  • Just almond meal- This is great to use for baking if you do not have any homemade almond meal.
  • Organic coconut sugar- Great for baking in place of white sugar. This sugar is low on the glycemic index, meaning it won't spike your blood sugar like white refined sugar.
  • Honey-This is a great sweetener for baking. I also use this in our homemade granola bars.
  • Organic coconut aminos-We use this in place of soy sauce.
  • Salsa verde
  • Organic yellow corn taco shells
  • Taco seasoning- I love this taco seasoning because it does not have any artificial flavors or chemicals.
  • Pure maple syrup- Also great as a sweetener when baking. This is what we use on waffles and pancakes (ever look at the ingredient label on the popular syrup brand bottles?!) Pure maple syrup is high in sugar, but it contains antioxidants and minerals that refined white sugar does not contain. 
  • Organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar- Phil takes a shot of this every morning mixed in a cup of water.  It is great for gut health! Once I got pregnant with Maxi, I couldn't stomach it anymore and haven't started back up again. This unfiltered ACV still has the mother intact which means it is unrefined, unpasteurized, and unfiltered. It still contains beneficial bacteria. This is what gives it it's murky appearance.
  • Organic coconut milk
  • Nuts- TJ's has a great variety of raw and dry roasted/salted nuts. They also add flavors- Phil loves the coconut cashews and honey sesame cashews to eat for a snack.
  • Organic flaxseed meal- Great to add to smoothies and has so many health benefits. It's a good source of fiber and contains heart healthy fats.
  • Organic chia seeds- Great to add to smoothies and also known for their omega-3 fatty acids (among much more!).
  • Organic Thompson seedless raisins- We love these for trail mix, and Madden enjoys them as a snack, in yogurt, and on top of oatmeal.
  • Avocado oil- I like the brand Chosen Foods. I've just recently started using more avocado oil when cooking at high temperatures. It has a smoke point of 500 degrees (stated on the bottle), meaning the fat remains stable up to 500 degrees. This is a pretty high smoke point when compared to other cooking oils. Once an oil is heated past its smoke point, the fat starts to smoke and produce free radicals (eek!).
  • Organic virgin cold-pressed and unrefined coconut oil- I use this for cooking, baking, and granola bars. It's great to put on a griddle in place of butter when making pancakes. It does have a coconut taste to it. If you are interested in the health benefits of coconut oil but don't want the coconut taste, TJ's also sells an organic triple-filtered coconut oil that has less of a coconut taste. We buy this as well.
  • Organic creamy salted peanut butter- I love the nut butters at TJ's because they have minimal ingredients. This pb only contains peanuts and salt. Because this is an organic pb and doesn't have any hydrogenated oils or additives, there is a layer of oil that rises to the top of the jar before you first open it. If you store the jar upside down, it will be easier to stir the peanut butter during the initial open. Once it's all stirred up, it stays mixed together.
  • Creamy salted almond butter
  • Handmade whole wheat flour tortillas- Phil packs one of these wraps in his lunch for school every day.
  • Balsamic vinegar- I love TJ's small balsamic vinegar bottle called Gold Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I use it on wraps and salads.
  • Organic unsweetened coconut flakes- These are great for baking and granola bars.
  • Organic tricolor quinoa

 

Snacks

 

  • Cinnamon apple snack sticks- Madden and Phil both love these.
  • Salsa Autentica- Traditional salsa that's great for dipping tortilla chips and has clean ingredients.
  • Sweet apple rings- These are unsulfured and unsweetened dried apple rings. TJ's has a great variety of dried fruit. Madden also enjoys the dried pineapple.
  • Chomps- These are a grass-fed beef stick.  It is a much cleaner version of a Slim Jim. They also have turkey chomps. 
  • Organic fruit wraps-Madden loves these. They are similar in texture to a fruit roll-up.

 

Miscellaneous

 

  • Everything but the bagel seasoning- This is awesome on eggs, salads, or avocado toast.
  • Garlic salt grinder- I put this on almost everything!
  • Stevia packets- Sweetener I use in teas and coffees. Madden likes it on her strawberries!
  • Organic ketchup and mustard

 

 

Whole Foods

 

I love Whole Foods! They have a wide variety of specialty health foods and organic products. Because I have a baby with some food allergies and have to eat foods free from certain ingredients, Whole Foods has been so helpful. They have a large selection of dairy, soy, and gluten free products. I also love that they have clean vitamins and supplements available.  The downfall to Whole Foods is that I personally feel they are more expensive than a typical grocery store. So, I only purchase a few specialty items here that I cannot find at another grocery store.

 

Produce

 

  • Organic baby spinach- I like the brand Organic Girl. We add this to smoothies. TJ's does carry organic greens, but I prefer Organic Girl because it's stored in a resealable plastic container, and the packaging clearly states that it has been washed 3x. In my opinion, the greens stay fresh longer. TJ's greens are in a bag that does not seal, and they don't seem to last as long.
  • Organic baby spring mix- I also use the brand Organic Girl.
  • Organic cauliflower rice- I like the frozen bags.

 

Dairy-free

 

  • Nut milk- If I don't make the nut milk homemade that week, we buy some at the store. A few brands I like are Califa Farms, MALK, and Forager.
  • Coconut milk yogurt- I enjoy these yogurts with some gluten free granola. I like the brand So Delicious.
  • Califa Farms dairy free creamer-I love these coffee creamers because they are dairy/soy/carrageenan free.

 

Packaged Foods

 

  • Siete cassava flour tortillas- These are great for wraps or tacos. They do contain xantham gum which I don't love, but they are the cleanest grain free tortillas I've found.
  • Enjoy Life's chocolate chips- These are dairy and soy free chocolate chips. We use these for baking, trail mixes, granola bars, on top of apples and peanut butter (apple nachos), and in yogurts.
  • Dave's organic killer powerseed bread

 

Snacks

 

  • Popcorners popcorn chips- I love the sweet and salty kettle corn flavor.  Phil loves the jalapeno cheddar.
  • Zevia- This is a carbonated drink sweetened with Stevia. Great if you need a soda fix but don't want to drink all that junk! I like the caffeine free cola.
  • Siete grain free tortilla chips- Our favorite flavor is nacho, but we enjoy all flavors of these chips. They are great to dip in the Trader Joe's Salsa Autentica.
  • Purely Elizabeth granola- This is a gluten free granola made with all clean ingredients. I love all the flavors but original is my favorite with coconut milk yogurt.
  • Skinny Pop mini popcorn chips- I like the cinnamon and sugar flavor.
  • Bulletproof collagen protein bars- We love all the flavors!

 

Extra item not purchased at either store-

 

  • DEMI extra virgin greek olive oil- This is the brand of olive oil I use. My parents discovered this olive oil at a market in New York City. It is made by a family in New Jersey, and my family loves the flavor. I use it for salad dressings and dipping bread. It can be purchased online.

 

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