Lorien’s Top 20 Grocery Staples

So…For those of you who have not been in on the conversation, Joe and I decided to each create a grocery list of 20 items we couldn’t live without (as of right now). Part of the reason for this is that we feel it’s important to represent those who don’t have the money to buy the 5 spices (I personally have over 50 spices right now) needed for a tofu scramble or who don’t have the room (or the money) to buy everything in 50 pound increments in order to ensure the best deal. The fact of the matter is, when we say we only have $20-40 a week that includes necessities like salt, pepper, olive oil, etc. I’m also hoping for a little simplicity in my life, cooking-wise. I love having the freedom to choose from by bajillion spices, but part of me wants to go back to the basics in an attempt to live, and cook, more simply. If we’re going to give this thing a real go I think we need to build from the ground up and start with a completely blank slate. Part of what that means is that my much-loved spice rack will have to be ignored as I re-learn what it means to cook with only salt and pepper in the kitchen (I would be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified).

So what would it take to get a kitchen up and running? Not including pots, pans, knives, etc., this is my list (in no particular order):

1. Tofu (did you read the title of this blog?!)
2. Kale
3. Canned Tomatoes
4. GF pasta (wheat gives me stomachaches)
5. GF bread (I hate you wheat!)
6. Quinoa
7. Bananas
8. Flax Oil (Omegas are delicious and nutritious!)
9. Olive Oil (I WISH I could use flax oil to cook! It would make things so much easier…)
10. Brown Rice
11. Miso
12. Potatoes (I’m including sweet, white, red, russet…I love potatoes!)
13. Spike Seasoning (I have to admit, at first I was trying to find a blend so I didn’t lose 2 slots to salt AND pepper, but then I remembered this beautiful staple! It’s not really cheating if I love it, right? Right?)
14. Garlic
15. Onions (red is my fave but I’ll do white or yellow if the price is right)
16. Peanut Butter
17. Fruit other than bananas (sorry to be generic but this is pretty flexible. I do whatever is in season or, in a pinch, dried or frozen fruit)
18. Nuts or Seeds (I usually just pick one at random, depending on sales and my mood. Almonds are definitely my favorite, though)
19. Carrots
20. Chickpeas (I rotate a different bean for each week but chickpeas are a winner, regardless!)

I being, who I am, had to re-write my list several times in an attempt to decide which is more important: salt or beans, coffee or brown rice, etc. I will say this- you learn a lot about yourself when you try and limit yourself to only 20 items. Now onto stage 2…pricing said list. I have a feeling a couple of those items are going to murder my budget! Wish me luck!

3 Replies to “Lorien’s Top 20 Grocery Staples”

  1. Thank you for the encouragement! My list still feels awfully unbalanced to me. I hate losing 2 slots to oil and my have to re-think that! Still, one slot to oil this week means another for vegetables next week! Yay for carrying items over!!!

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