It’s the tail-end of the winter fruit….soon those clementines and grapefruit will be replaced by stone fruits, and you can see the beginnings of summer with the first squash from my garden along side some tomatoes. Oh, and that mess is what I lovingly called the “kitchen pile”. You have one of those, right?
Yes, I menu plan, and yes, I grocery shop most weeks based on the plans I’ve made. However, my weekly shopping trips start in my kitchen. After years of experience cooking for my family, I’ve learned what items I should have in my kitchen consistently, and the majority of recipes I add to my menu plans can be made from these kitchen staples.
Consistently having these items also makes it easier for me to venture off-plan when necessary, due to schedule changes, how many mouths I’m feeding on a given night, or frankly, if I just change my mind about what I feel like making.
Having a consistent inventory also helps me save money, by allowing me to stock up on often-used items when they’re on sale, and by preventing last minute grocery store runs for that one thing I need (because we know we never leave the grocery store with just that one thing!).
Here are the the things you will always find in my kitchen:
- Ground Beef
- Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Thighs
- Pork Roasts (tenderloins and shoulders, usually)
- Flank Steak
- Veggies: broccoli, green beans, corn, hash browns
- Fruit: strawberries, berry mixes, tropical mixes (for smoothies)
- Sandwich Bread
- Deli meats and sliced cheese
- Seasonal fruit
- Seasonal veggies
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Condiments: mayo, salad dressing, ketchup, deli mustard, natural/sugar-free peanut butter
- Eggs and butter
- Salad mixes/Spinach/Greens from my garden
- Chopped onion
- Snacks: tortilla chips, pretzels, nuts and seeds
- Oils: Olive, coconut, sesame
- Vinegars: balsamic, red/white wine, rice
- Spice mixes: taco seasoning, sausage seasoning
On the Counter:
- Onions and garlic (never near the fruit….onions can cause fruit to ripen too quickly)
- Potatoes (sweet and white)
- Seasonal fruits and veggies (did you know you shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge? Neither did I, until a few years ago)
- Flours (all-purpose, coconut, almond)
- Sugars/Sweeteners (cane, honey)
- Baking Soda and Powder
- Miscellaneous ingredients (one of my girls does all the baking, so she adds things as she needs them: chocolate chips, cocoa powder, etc)