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I grocery shop once a week, and generally spend about 30 minutes in the store. My whole process of shopping and cooking for the week (which is primarily done on Sundays) has become pretty streamlined over the last year, and it’s made food preparation fairly low stress. Part of that is because I tend to buy many of the same products each week (or stock up when they are on sale!), so I don’t have to think about what to get. Doing this ensures that I have all sorts of meal options and tasty snacks throughout the week! I thought it might be beneficial to give you all a peek into the items that I regularly have on hand. (disclaimer: I’m not putting on condiments, spices, or baking items like sugar, flour, etc… Obviously I have those things on hand at all times)

Foods on hand Collage


  • Canned or frozen corn
  • Spinach (fresh)
  • Red onion
  • 1-2 Peppers (usually red)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Baby Carrots


  • Bananas
  • Apples (almost always have a bag of them on hand)
  • Grapefruit (in the winter)
  • Clementines (in the winter)
  • Frozen blueberries


  • Pinto Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Black Beans


  • Penne Pasta
  • Rotini Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Dry Oatmeal
  • Bread


  • Vanilla Almond Milk (or other type of milk)
  • Calcium Fortified OJ
  • coffee grounds
  • various tea bags
  • Bottled water (in case of emergency, not for day to day drinking)


  • Turkey burger patties (in the freezer)
  • Lunch meat (usually chicken or ham)
  • frozen pieces of chicken (usually pre-sliced for easy cooking)

Other Items

  • Greek Yogurt 
  • Almond Slices
  • Salsa
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Cheese (Kraft or Cabot, which have 0g of lactose!)
  • Hummus
  • Eggs
  • A few cans of soup (In case I get sick, I have something on hand so I don’t have to go to the store. Better to be prepared!)
  • Luna Bars
  • Pasta Sauce

I think that’s most of it! Of course there are unique items put on the list each week based on other specific meals that I might make. However, these foods provide all sorts of potential food options that set me up well for food preparation!

Now it’s your turn to share! What are you food “must haves” that you keep on hand most of the time?