Stock Up Guide
Here you will learn:
- what we use often in ER weekly plans (and some fun treats that I enjoy on the side)
- where I buy it (to get the best bang for my buck)
- why we use it
Basically, I have done the label reading & price comparing so you don’t have to!! It’s organized by store and includes a shopping list at the bottom for your convenience.
Trader Joe’s- Hit it up 1 x every 2 months:
- Seeds, Nuts and Dried Fruits- This is your go-to for “fancy” nuts and seeds… Things like hazelnuts, pepitas, almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts. Also, cranberry oil fortified dried cranberries and the mixed dried berry blend are great to have on your shelf – Their version of dried fruits don’t contain the preservatives/additives that you will most def find at other grocery stores. Also, while you are in this section, grab ya some coconut flakes, banana chips and nut butters, priced super reasonably and they don’t include hidden nonsense!
- Oils/Vinegars- Olive oil- (I buy the one with the pourable spout because its lighter weight and super convenient) Coconut oil- (again, I love the size of the jar at a reasonable price point). Sesame oil- (to help create our asian wonders) and avocado oil (a good alternative to use interchangeably with olive oil, with a higher heating point). And for the vinegars, grab ya some balsamic, apple cider (raw), rice wine and rice wine vinegar. I also love their Balsamic Glaze– its like a balsamic reduction in a bottle, ready to become the world’s quickest dressing when paired with olive oil or you can drizzle it right over roasted veggies, chicken, pork, steak, etc! Also, TJ’s just started carrying coconut aminos (my choice for a GF soy sauce alternative). Grab a bottle or two of this as well, or the regular soy sauce if you aren’t GF.
- Coconut Milk- Sooo PSA: the coconut milk cans (I recommend full-fat) have an easy open lid now, yeaaah!! I use this in smoothies, soups, creamy chicken meals, etc. Stock up here on their additive free cans!
- Gluten Free Pastas- I’m a fan of the organic quinoa/brown rice blends, but the regular brown rice pastas work too! I usually grab 3-4 bags of spaghetti and fusilli.
- Gluten Free Flours- Almond meal is where it’s at- we use this in place of breadcrumbs to coat meats, in our meatloaves, to thicken casseroles, etc. Also, I would grab a bag of GF flour blend and GF waffle/pancake mix while you’re at it!
- Chocolate- Ummm… have you tried their Bittersweet Pound Plus with Almonds? Break it up into squares, store it in a plastic ziplock bag and you can thank me later. Or… their Dark Chocolate PB Cups, which must stay hidden from all who say these taste like Reese’s! I believe that treating yourself should not be lost just because you are a real eater. There are many “real ingredient” treats, just be sure to read the labels! (P.S. you won’t need this in your meal plans, but I’m sure you’ll need some chocolate for other, personal reasons 🙂
- Wine- Couple bottles of organic reds under $10 will top off the trip for me! Occasionally, we cook with a little red or white wine, and on other occasions, wine can be your cooking companion.
- Seasonings – So inexpensive here!! I have most of what they offer on my spice rack (curry powder, thyme, garlic powder, seasoning salt, dill, etc) and always grab 2 jars of their Everything But the Bagel Seasoning because it’s the jam! We eat it on the daily on our fried/scrambled eggs and/or avocado slices? As far as garlic and ginger go, I favor the ginger paste (sold in a tube next to seasonings) and the frozen crushed garlic cubes.
- Chicken sausage- There’s is my favorite…The freshly made stuff that is with the other raw meats, not precooked. Comes in sun-dried tomato and garden veggie and this sausage is super vesatile- it can be easily squeezed from the casing or roasted, browned in a skillet. My second favorite are the Amy’s and Aidell’s varieties at Costco.
- Coconut sugar- I use this in my coffee and as an alternative to brown and refined sugar. It is less sweet than those but does the job while being 100% pure.
From Costco- Hit it up 1 x every 2-3 months:
- Avocado mayo – Chosen Foods Avo Mayo is found here in a large jar. This stuff tastes better than regular mayo, in my opinion, and is much healthier for ya!
- Organic Meats- I usually purchase these in bulk when local grocery stores run a good sale, but otherwise if I am running low, I grab some grass fed beef and organic chicken breast and thighs here. I separate the packs, which are already pre-portioned in 2-4 servings and freeze*.
- Wild Caught Fresh Fish/Shrimp (if they have it)- Not a fan of the farmed stuff, so whenever I see wild salmon/white fish, I buy one big filet and cut it in 1 serving portions, then lay them out flat in a large resealable plastic freezer bag, roll it up and pop it in! Then, I can rest easy that I always have some good quality fish on hand.
- Brown rice ramen squares– Need I say more? The gluten free life is now lacking nothing 🙂
- Organic spinach, kale pieces, and/or spring mix– The best bang for your buck is here!
- Other organic fruits and veggies in bulk- For me, this means avocados, apples, bananas, brocolli, green beans, etc.
- Chicken bouillon tub– Okay, this stuff saves me $10 a month, Im sure. You simply mix 1 tsp with warm water and a quick (and cheap) cup of chicken broth will magically appear before your eyes. I love using only what I need, then being able to store the rest for multiple weeks in the fridge.
- Organic brown rice and quinoa– These big ‘ol bags of these here so you can feel just fine about cooking these often and not running out of stock!
- Seasonings I use a lot of- I grab their garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
- Breads- OK, so the DL on gluten free bread is this… I really haven’t found one that I love that is readily available- but I do find Udi’s whole grain bread to be pretty tasty when toasted and topped with something awesome, or when made into a panini. So, I grab a loaf of Udi’s and freeze half right when I get home. Because the rest of my fam isn’t GF, I grab a 2 pack of Dave’s killer bread for them.
- Late July or Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips – I really enjoy the texture and taste of these two varieties. As a side note, veggie straws and/or other gluten free and non-GMO snacks in bulk are great to grab here if you have lots of eaters in your home!
- Organic unsweetened almond milk cartons– Their version is carneegan and preservative free so I stock up here, throw one in the fridge and just pop in another box when that one goes out, that way I don’t have to worry about running out of my milk substitute.
- Organic eggs- best bang for your buck here! I normally grab 2 cartons of 24 eggs.
- Frozen Fruit for smoothies- Their organic mixed berry blend is my normal go-to, but there are other varieties as well. We won’t use these often in our meal plans buuuut real eaters usually have smoothies as a way to load up on fruits and veggies. On that note, GF superfood mix is another thing I grab at Costco to add some more good stuff and protein to my smoothie game.
- Healthy sugars- maple syrup and honey are best priced here! Grab one of each as we use these often instead of refined sugar. Pure/clean sugars in their natural form are the way to go.
From the Local Grocery- Hit it up at the start of every week, or have your order delivered:
- Sale Produce– I grab some produce we will eat with breakfast, lunch, and what ever I will need and don’t have for my weekly meal plan. As far as organic/non-organic, I prefer and recommend buying organic for the dirty dozen at least.
- Organic Meats/Seafood– If I don’t already have it frozen and it’s needed for the week’s plan. Note: If there is a good sale on good quality stuff going on, buy extra and freeze* some!
- Any other groceries from the weekly plan that I don’t already have!
*Steps to freeze meats/seafood:
- Open package and transfer meat to a freezable resealable plastic bag in one layer, leaving space between the pieces.
- Roll to exclude as much air as possible, then seal tightly.
- Label the front with what it is and how much (because it will all start to look the same AND you will forget) and freeze (laying flat if you can, so its easier to defrost when you need it).
Trader Joe’s (1 x every 2 months):
- hazelnuts, pepitas, almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts
- cranberry oil fortified dried cranberries /mixed dried berry blend
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- banana chips
- nut butters
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- sesame oil
- avocado oil
- balsamic vinegar
- apple cider vinegar
- rice wine vinegar
- balsamic glaze
- coconut aminos or soy sauce
- cans of coconut milk (4-6 of them)
- organic quinoa/brown rice fusilli and spaghetti (a couple of each)
- almond meal
- GF flour blend
- GF waffle/pancake mix
- bittersweet Pound Plus with Almonds and/or Dark Chocolate PB Cups
- organic red or white wine, your preference
- curry powder, thyme, garlic powder, seasoning salt, dill, Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, garlic paste and crushed garlic frozen cubes
- coconut sugar
- sun-dried tomato/garden veggie freshly made chicken sausage (with the uncooked meats)
Costco (1 x every 2-3 months):
- Chosen Foods avocado mayo
- grass fed beef and organic chicken breast and thighs
- wild salmon/white fish
- brown rice ramen squares
- organic spinach, kale pieces, and/or spring mix
- other organic fruits and veggies in bulk (avocados, apples, bananas, brocolli, green beans, etc.)
- chicken bouillon tub
- organic brown rice and quinoa
- garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.
- Udi’s whole grain bread and Dave’s killer bread
- organic unsweetened almond milk cartons
- organic eggs
- organic mixed berry blend & GF superfood mix (for smoothies)
- Late July or Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips, other veggie straws and/or other gluten free and non-GMO snacks
- maple syrup and honey
Your Favorite Local Grocery (delivered or shop yourself at the start of each week):
- produce you need for the weekly plan
- organic meats/seafood needed for this week if you don’t have them
- any other groceries from the weekly plan