grocery store cheat sheet

Say I’ve had the week from hell, and I haven’t had the chance to do any meal planning and have no idea what’s going on in my fridge or freezer, but I’ve made it to the store, and I don’t want to be back for several days. What should I buy? Assuming you don’t have any diet restrictions, you can use my cheat sheet:

  • Produce
    • Two different vegetables to use for side dishes – broccoli and green beans are family favorites here
    • Bananas and apples, or two other kinds of fruit, for breakfast and snacks
    • Carrots, which can be used in many dishes but also as a side dish or raw as a snack
    • Onions and garlic
  • Dairy
    • Milk
    • Butter
    • Two dozen eggs
    • Shredded cheddar
  • The middle of the store
    • Rice
    • Canned black beans
    • Large can of whole tomatoes
    • Jarred salsa
    • Grated parmesan
    • A loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly
  • Frozen aisle
    • Peas
    • Corn
    • Ice cream (obviously I’m under a load of stress in this situation)
  • Meat
    • Ground beef or ground turkey
    • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • Bacon
    • A pound of salmon

No matter what’s going on, I’ve always got a minimum of olive oil, soy sauce, my spice cabinet, and salt and pepper.

And coffee. There’s never not coffee.

Here are some ideas of what I could cook after this shopping trip:

  • Pasta with a quick bolognese and roasted broccoli
  • Broiled salmon in an Asian-inspired soy marinade with white rice and green beans
  • A quick burrito bowl dinner of rice, black beans, frozen corn, salsa, and shredded cheddar
  • Pan-fried chicken cutlets, steamed carrots and peas, and pasta in a quick cheddar cheese sauce
  • A few breakfasts of scrambled eggs and bacon with toast
  • A few breakfasts of oatmeal with sliced fruit
  • Lunches of leftovers, or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Snacks of fruit, carrot sticks, and of course… plenty of ice cream.

That’s four full days of meals!

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