Last week when I shared a list of our typical pantry and fridge staples, I mentioned that there are a lot of items that we simply don’t stock. Today you get a look at what you likely won’t see when you open our pantry or fridge! We stopped buying many of these items simply because we learned about ingredients in food and decided that these things don’t contain the nourishment we want for our bodies.
Because we buy grass-fed hamburger and milk, nitrate-free bacon, and other expensive items, we also needed a way to free up grocery budget space. Leaving these items off the list saves us big bucks in the long run, so we can spend more on foods that we feel should be higher quality (for us, that means animal products!). Not buying these items is my best tip for saving time and money in the grocery store!
It’s not that we don’t like Oreo Cookies and Coke. We do! And if someone offers them to us, we might still eat them! But we’ve realised that we have more to gain by not eating them than we have to lose by giving them up.
What have we given up by not buying these items in the grocery store? Two main things:
What have we gained?
- Better cooking skills
- More room in the food budget
- Deeper appreciation for a range of flavours and textures
- Better health and energy
I think you, too, have a lot to gain by eliminating at least a few of the items listed below! Don’t feel guilty about what you do eat. Instead, research these items in more depth, figure out what ingredients are used to make them, and decide if you really want to be spending your hard-earned cash on these foods!
Dry goods that I don’t buy in the grocery store:
1. Baking mixes
Use instead: Homemade chicken stock.
3. Canned fruit
Use instead: Fresh fruit in season, or frozen from seasonal picking. Here’s why we try to avoid canned goods.
4. Canned soup
5. Canned vegetables (except tomatoes)
Use instead: Fresh vegetables, with a few frozen additions.
Use instead: Something else for breakfast, or my mom’s delicious granola recipe.
Use instead: Something from scratch, like these chocolate chip cookie bars.
8. Cooking spray
Use instead: Butter!
9. Pasta sauce
Use instead: A simple white sauce or a blend of tomatoes, herbs, and olive oil.
10. Salad dressing
11. Sauce mixes/packets
Use instead: Sauces and seasonings from scratch, sans MSG!
Cold foods that I don’t buy in the grocery store:
12. Frozen pizza
Use instead: Eric makes a meeeean homemade pizza and crust!
13. Ice cream and ice cream toppings
Use instead: Homemade ice cream–it’s NOT hard! My homemade custard ice cream is incredible. And if I want fresh inspiration, I turn to one of these 60+ from-scratch options. I’m shocked at the amount of unnecessary ingredients in storebought ice cream!
Use instead: Water. Coffee, tea, kombucha or homemade drinks to mix things up. (Check out my Recipe Index for ideas.)
15. Margarine and butter spreads
Use instead: Butter, duh!
Use instead: A good homemade version, so you can skip the soybean oil!
17. Pie crusts
Use instead: Homemade. It’s so simple! And no hydrogenated oils.
18. Pre-made breakfast food (poptarts, sandwiches, toaster pastries)
Use instead: Homemade breakfast sandwiches, burritos, or just something else for breakfast!
19. Pre-made desserts (pies, cakes, etc.)
20. Processed chicken products (nuggets, sandwiches, etc)
Use instead: Hand-breaded and fried chicken made from real chicken breast meat. Here’s one recipe I’ve been wanting to try.
Use instead: Solid coconut oil, butter, or lard, depending on the recipe.
22. Sliced cheese
Use instead: Cheese sliced off a block! Tastes fresher and saves a little money.
23. Soft drinks
Use instead: Kombucha or other homemade drinks. I’ve been wanting to try water kefir, too!
24. T.V. dinners, stir-fry in a bag, Hamburger Helper, or other convenience suppers
Use instead: Homemade yogurt in the crock pot.
Your turn: What items have you stopped buying in the grocery store?
My cookbook is all about making real food from scratch! It includes 75+ recipes that are simple to make and use wholesome, familiar ingredients, and has 8 chapters on topics like food substitutions, kitchen tools, and freezer cooking. Pick up a copy HERE.