As a practicing chef (and someone who tries to hit the right macros), grocery shopping is actually exciting for me! I know a lot of people dread it, and there are definitely times that I’d rather not go, but there’s always something sort of cleansing and ritualistic about it. It helps me feel like I’m off to a fresh start, motivates me to feel good about my choices for the week, and gives me an opportunity to try new things!
My taste buds have definitely changed over time, and while it’s still not easy for me to choke down broccoli, I have a newfound love for vegetables, and getting creative with them helps make them easier to eat. I also used to gag at vinegar, but now I love kombucha and apple cider vinegar shots! Some things I’m still acquiring a taste for (I cannot do olives, pickles, mayonnaise, or certain cheese – blue or Gorgonzola are hard passes, although I’m warming up to brie), but I’m always up for trying new things.
Living in the Chicagoland area, I unfortunately don’t have access to stores like Kroger, Harris Teeter, or Sprouts, but there are Mariano’s and Whole Foods (although they’re pretty expensive!). Luckily, a brand-new Aldi just opened up blocks from my house, and they have some amazing deals. I try my best not to have to go to more than one store, but the Aldi I went to yesterday evening was completely out of eggs and didn’t have all the produce I wanted, so I ran to a Jewel.
My grocery haul for the week includes:
- Yellow Squash
- Salad mix (kale, cabbage, romaine, sunflower seeds, and quinoa)
- Perfect Bar/Kind Bar
- Kombucha/Bai Antioxidant
- Tuna packets
- Salad dressing (oil/vinegar mix)
I got all of this for under $30, which is why I love Aldi! I really love Trader Joe’s, too, but it’s way too easy to get a little out of control there, so I try to limit my trips to once every couple months. These items are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, filled with fiber, and will provide me with natural energy and strengthen my immune system!
This week, I’m planning on making an eggplant ragout over black bean spaghetti, baked zucchini and yellow squash, a broccoli, cherry tomato, and mushroom medley, various salads, grilled cauliflower, and maybe some Flatout pizzas. I already have some proteins, like chicken and shrimp, and while I prefer to go the fresh route, I have some Birds Eye steamer bags and a Real Good pizza in my freezer.
I love to get creative with my meals, and sometimes that just involves throwing a medley of items in a pan and hoping for the best. It doesn’t always work out (I will never use mustard in the Crock Pot again!), but it’s generally pretty delicious and healthy, and my husband eats every last bite, so I must be doing something right!
Which stores are your favorite to go to, and what’s always included in your haul?