My 15 Grocery Store “Must Haves”


What does this diabetic RD have on the shopping list each week? Variety is important, but we all have our “staples” that always find their way into our shopping carts. These are the 15 items that we can’t go without in our house.

1) 2 lb bag of whole carrots: low-calorie, high fiber snack
2) 1 celery bundle: low-calorie, high fiber snack
3) 1 bag of apples: with peanut butter for breakfast or part of lunch
4) 8 small bananas (green and yellow!): breakfast or part of lunch
5) 1 lb low sodium turkey meat from the deli (thinly sliced): sandwiches for lunch or quick dinners
6) 1/2 lb low sodium yellow american cheese from the deli: sandwiches for lunch or quick dinners
7) 1 loaf of whole wheat bread: sandwiches and breakfast on the weekends
8) 1 or 2 boxes of whole grain cereal: breakfast or high fiber snack
9) 1 gallon of skim milk: for cereal, post-workout protein, and treating low blood sugar
10) a dozen eggs: weekend breakfasts and hardboiled for high-protein, no-carbohydrate snacks
11) low-fat string cheese: high-protein, no-carbohydrate snack or part of lunch
12) low-fat cottage cheese: with fruit for breakfast or a high-protein snack
13) whole fat sharp cheddar cheese: with whole wheat crackers for a high-protein, high-fiber snack
14) tortilla chips: salty-snack fix
15) sugar-free popsicle: for quieting the sweet tooth without all the sugar and carbs

The rest of the list changes each week depending on: the menu, what we are running out of, what’s on sale, and (let’s be honest) what looks good on the shelves or catches our eyes that week. Food is personal. We all like different things, which is why there is no “perfect diet”! Your list probably isn’t the same as mine; but, if your list has you spending most of your time around the perimeter of the grocery store where we find the freshest foods (produce, deli, butcher, bakery, dairy), you are doing something right! What’s in your cart each week?


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