The most important thing in determining what I’m going to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is what’s in my fridge. Shopping and keeping a stocked pantry is very important to making tasty quick meals. This doesn’t mean that you have to do one big, very expensive, grocery shopping trip.
I’ve stocked my fridge and pantry over time. Each week, I probably go to the grocery store twice. Once a week I do a fairly large shopping trip, for a family of four I spend about $125 on that ‘big’ trip. It includes all the basics: milk, eggs, bread, meat, stuff for sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, lots of salad stuff, drinks, cereal, crackers, and other things I might have run out of in the pantry. Of course that also include toilet paper, shampoo, cat food, kitty litter, and a myriad of other things we don’t need to talk about here.
For the other shopping trip during the week, it’s usually for fresh meat (I tend to buy what’s on sale to work my dinners around), maybe cheese and deli meats, some more fruits and veg. That trip is usually in the $20-40 range depending on what I buy.
To stock my pantry, I buy a few things each time I shop. It could be a spice mix, maybe a new oil (the latest is truffle oil), or a balsamic vinegar. It could be anchovy paste, or wasabi, or kimchi. Maybe it’s a great tin of Italian tomatoes, or a special pasta. I usually find something cool at the store, and add it to my groceries, and it adds a fantastic variety to what we cook and eat!
Here’s a picture of what’s in my fridge today. And the sheer ‘un-organized-ness’ of it inspires me to clean and re-organize it. What’s in your fridge?