How much did you spend on your last grocery store run?I try to spend less than $150 during my monthly trip to the grocery store. I don’t always hit my budgeting goals though!
How far away from your home is the nearest grocery store? How do you get to/from the store?
I don’t have a car, so I have to walk to and from the grocery store or rely on friends for a ride. About once a month, a friend will drive with me to the Union Square for some major grocery shopping. We’ll get staples, like rice and beans, oil and seasonings, aluminum foil and paper towels, etc. This trip is the foundation of my pantry. In-between these trips, I’ll grab produce, protein, and other perishables as needed from local markets or on my way home from work.
What influences your grocery purchases? (coupons/sales, culture/heritage, things you ate growing up, etc.)
Personal preference towards “healthy” items as well as “deals”. Growing up, my mom had to balance cooking for a big family with a variety of dietary restrictions, so we tended to eat bland, inoffensive food (sorry, Mom!). Nowadays, I try to expand my exposure to and knowledge of diverse cuisines.
How often do you cook at home versus eat out/take out?
I’d say it’s 70/30 cooking/eating out. I like to cook, so I try to stay away from ordering out. If I’m not cooking, I’m probably eating out with friends.
Do you prep your meals for the week in advance? Or, do you cook for each meal?
I love a good meal prep, especially if it involves a slow cooker. When I’m on my game, I’ll meal prep all my lunches for the week. If I do, I’ll split cooking and eating dinner out through the week. If I’m cooking dinner, I’ll grab some key items on my way home from work to make something with the staples I have at home.
What are you cooking this week?
I didn’t meal prep this week, so I have to cook big dinners and save leftovers for lunch. Thankfully, I ordered from a meal kit service this week, which helped me supplement my depleted pantry.
Whole wheat pasta, grape tomatoes, arugula, Parmesan cheese, bacon almonds
Ingredients from recent grocery trip
Brown rice, fried egg, arugula, carrot fries, Asian marinated salmon
What is your favorite dish to cook?
Spicy chicken thighs, Spanish rice, black beans. Super easy, super tasty, and great for leftovers!
Having a well-stocked pantry and meal prepping are two of my best tips for making sure you can have a low-effort dinner every night of the week. Dan’s method of buying a bunch of staple items when he most easily can is great! Some of my favorite staples are canned beans, brown rice, lentils, and frozen fruits and vegetables.