Monday, October 21, 2013

The Essentials: Kitchen Edition

This is probably strange, but I love grocery shopping. I think it's that I feel so accomplished after I do know, because without it, I'd starve. Well I was grocery shopping the other day and I realized that:
A) it is much different to grocery shop for an apartment than for a dorm (much less Easy Mac)
B) there are a few essentials that I always have at my disposal. 

Fruit and Veggies
Everyone thinks fresh produce is expensive but it really isn't. If you buy it, eat it and you won't have to spend money on more unhealthy snacks. Bell peppers are a personal favorite because you can chop them up and throw them in a salad, bring them as a snack, or sauté them to accompany your main course. I also love bananas, apples, berries, spinach, and carrots. 

Keurig. Duh.

It's cheap and it freezes well. I get the value packs and then just cook up one or two for the week and reheat them. I would absolutely fail as a vegetarian so this is a must for me.

Kroger brand whole wheat pasta is $0.99. You can't beat that and a box is good for a couple of meals. Just grab some olive oil and seasonings or red sauce and you have a quick and easy meal. I also get the bulk pack of frozen meatballs to heat up and toss in with the pasta...perfect and cheap!

Sandwich Supplies
I love sandwich thins because they're perfect for a regular sandwich or a breakfast sandwich. I get the vacuum-sealed deli meat at Harris Teeter because it's a great selection at a great cost.

Ice Cream
How do I avoid exhibit self-control with ice cream? I buy the individual serving cups when they're on sale. I love the Skinny Cow Carmel Cone ice cream (which apparently Kroger doesn't have...). These are sometimes put on sale for 10/$10 so stay on the lookout. And don't worry, the cashier's judgmental face when you buy 7 single servings doesn't seem to matter when you get all that goodness ;P

Snack Foods
If I am running out the door to a meeting or classes, I often don't have time to prep something. I usually grab a trail mix and an apple for lunch and that easily gets me through to dinner. My friend at tech had a great idea to prep snack baggies ahead of time for the week so it's cheaper and just as healthy!

Instant Meals
Sometimes it is just a easy mac kinda night. There's no shame in being too tired to cook. I have easy mac, soup, and tuna at my disposal for nights when cooking just isn't happening.

It was really hard for me to pare down this list, and honestly there are quite a few other things I rely on, but what are your kitchen essentials?

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