Monday, April 27, 2020

How We're Grocery Shopping for Two Weeks at a Time

Helloooooo pandemic! How are you holding up?

One of our strategies for staying home, staying safe, and doing our part in keeping other people healthy is limiting our in-store shopping. I haven't been to a store besides the grocery store (not even Target!) since the beginning of March, and I've only been going to the grocery store every two weeks.  I'm the only one who goes to the store, partially to limit exposure, and partially because I know better what substitutions can be made if things are out of stock.

I know, it might sound impossible to only grocery shop every two weeks, but I swear if I can do it, you can do it! You just have to be a little strategic and really plan ahead. I've actually done grocery shopping like this before for the long-term. When I first moved to Chicago, my roommate and I used to have to walk over a mile to the grocery store, so we'd only go every 2-3 weeks! I am shopping for a lot more food now than 23 year old single Kristina was, between Jeff and the human garbage disposal in our home more commonly known as Mia. (I swear, I think she eats more calories than me in a day now, for breakfast yesterday she ate a whole banana, two strawberries, yogurt, and cereal!) Everything I buy can fit in one cart at the store, and into our small city kitchen - no pantries or extra fridges/freezers!

Heading to the store three weeks ago! I now use a fabric mask and skip the gloves. 

Using Grocery Delivery Services during the Pandemic

Just a note, that you may think grocery delivery services or pickup services are the answer here. I personally am avoiding those as much as possible to leave spots open for people who really need them, like the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised. Just a personal choice here, they may be something that feels right for your circumstances.

While I'm not using grocery delivery services, I am ordering certain things online. Diapers, wipes, household supplies, and my chai latte mix are all flying my way right now. That way I can save room in my cart for food!

Our Sample Menu 

When I went to the store last week, I was shopping for general staples as well as for a few specific meals, a fancy cocktail, and a snack:

- Ham & Bean Soup (to use some of our leftover ham from Easter)
- Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches (but with not homemade biscuits)
- Lemony Cacio e Pepe (added to use the leftover arugula from the breakfast sandwiches!)
- Fried Burrata
- BBQ Chicken (no recipe here, just grill chicken, add bbq sauce!) with Smashed Potatoes
- Soy Glazed Pork Chops with Buttery Zucchini
- Rosé Watermelon Margaritas

In addition to these meals, we do a lot of eggs, sandwiches, and plan to order in or pick up 2-3 dinners. Mia eats three meals a day plus a snack, but Jeff and I are sort of doing intermittent fasting so we typically only eat lunch and dinner.

Our Grocery List

Jeff and I track this using the AnyList app, but I've been writing it on paper lately before I go so I don't have to touch my phone at the store. I only get what can fit in one cart. Just a note, I changed a few things after I made the list which is why they don't match exactly!


We strategically keep some of these things in the fridge for the first week so they don't ripen too fast, like a whole cantaloupe and avocados. Other things last in the fridge really well, like broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, apples, oranges, clementines, etc. I actually didn't need oranges this trip because we still had some from the last time! 

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts 
  • Baby arugula 
  • Bagged salad mixes (our grocery store does an Asian one that's SO FREAKING GOOD!)
  • Jalapeno 
  • Zucchini
  • Apples
  • Bell Pepper
  • Carrots 
  • Avocado 
  • Garlic 
  • Shallot
  • Tomato (for sandwiches) 
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Watermelon juice
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Lemons
  • Limes 
  • Carrot, onion, celery pre-chopped mix 
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Baby potatoes 
  • Yellow onions
  • Red onion 
  • Strawberries


  • Rosé wine
  • White wine 


  • French bread


  • Pork chops 
  • Bone-in chicken thighs 
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (I poach these for Mia) 
  • Bacon 
  • (I usually get lunch meat, but skipped it this time since we still have leftover ham) 


(I'm not sure what to call this section - it's fancy meats & cheeses plus dips, which is why hummus goes under Italian 😅) 

  • Burrata 
  • Fresh mozzarella 
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • Pancetta 
  • Hummus 

Dry Goods 

  • BBQ sauce
  • Peanut butter 
  • Cannelli beans 
  • Canned tuna
  • Tortillas
  • Saffron Goya packets
  • Spaghetti
  • Ditallini (we give this to Mia so it's one less thing to cut!) 
  • Wild rice 
  • Annie's mac and cheese 
  • Olive oil 
  • White wine vinegar 
  • Chicken stock 
  • Cheerios 
  • Lemon juice 
  • Fruit cups (another way we stretch our produce into a second week) 
  • Ritz crackers 
  • Oreos 

Household Supplies 

  • Aluminum foil 
  • Shower cleaner
  • Paper towels (our store weirdly was out of paper towels but had toilet paper this week?!) 

Dairy & Refridgerated

  • 2 gallons whole milk (for Mia!)
  • 1/2 gallon skim milk (for me! This runs out around day 9 and then I steal from Mia)
  • Eggs
  • Biscuits 
  • Shredded cheese
  • Block of cheddar cheese 
  • Fresh marinara sauce
  • Plain yogurt


  • Frozen pizza 
  • Frozen fruit (for smoothies and to mix in with yogurt)
  • Frozen peas, green beans, mixed vegetables (extends our produce in week 2!)
  • Ice cream 


  • Yogurt Bites 
  • Puffs 
  • Food pouches 
  • Teething biscuits


  • Tortilla chips 
  • Salsa


  • Bubly water
  • Soda (Jeff allows himself one at lunch - weirdly sold out this week!)

How we're handling groceries once we get home

I know a lot of people are washing produce and wiping down boxes right now. I personally do not have time for that, I usually am rushing to get groceries put away to get to my desk and work. Instead, I just wipe down anything we need that day. I put everything else away and try not to touch it until the next day to give any germs time to die. I'll then wash my hands and use Lysol spray on any surfaces the food touched while I was putting it away, as well as cabinet and fridge door handles. 

Oh hey, are you still there? Congrats on making it to the end!! What have you been doing to adapt to grocery shopping right now? I'd love to hear! 

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