The Food Lovers Blog

Grocery Shopping For Beginners

Grocery Shopping for Beginners | A guide to living out of home

Grocery shopping for beginners – yes, you read the title correctly. I’m sure some of you rolled your eyes, “Why would anyone a grocery shopping for beginners guide?” Well here’s the thing, this is the stuff that they forgot to teach us at school, and then one day, you’re 17, on to your first week living out of home and you end up buying chips and salted caramel popcorn with your small grocery budget. The rest is saved for other essentials such as wine in a bag and you know all the other ‘essentials’ one needs when they first move out of home. Seeing as this stuff was never taught, we’ve decided to put together some useful information which will not only make you seem like you got your life together, it will also save you money in the long run. Plus you’ll have actual, nutritious food that’s more than Pringles for supper. 

Grocery Shopping for Beginners | The Pantry

Always, and I mean always, have the following in your pantry. Yes, for some items, it can be quite costly to start off with, but most of these have a long shelf life and they can be used in a range of dishes. Here’s what we would recommend:

  • Bread – cos let’s be honest, making a sando is pretty simple and it tastes great. And no, you won’t need expensive artisan bread, a regular loaf will do. If you have leftover bread, you can also make it into bread and butter pudding

  • Brown sugar – a must have even if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

  • Canned beans – they might not turn into your everyday meal, but they sure are handy for days when you’re too tired to make food. Serve them on some toast and you’re all good to go.

  • Cereal – I would actually suggest having packet oats. They won’t take up too much space in the pantry and they’ll keep you full when you need it most.

  • Chicken, beef, or vegetable brothThe Broth Sisters have some great options for this. However, if you’re rolling on a budget, some stock cubes might be worth shopping for.

  • White vinegar – and not only is vinegar great for cooking with, it can also be used when you run out of laundry detergent. 

  • Coffee and/or tea – If you haven’t already thought of this, my question to you is – How are you still surviving? If you’re looking for natural teas, Mad Mountain has some great options.

  • Condiments you’ll need to have on hand (very important): ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and soy sauce. 

  • Cornstarch in case you need to make a sauce. 

  • Dried herbs: Basil, bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and parsley

  • Flour

  • Spices – cos food should taste nice. And if you’re going to buy spices may as well go for the full bazaar experience and check out the range at Exotic Bazzar. Hint: keep spices in the fridge so they stay better for longer.

  • Jam – PBJ after 11pm is an actual vibe, plus you can use jams to sweeten yoghurt and other dishes. 

  • Pasta

  • Peanut butter – the good stuff

  • Rice

  • Salt

  • Tomato sauce, paste, and canned tomatoes

  • Vanilla extract

  • Vegetable oil

Grocery Shopping for Beginners | The Fridge

  • Butter – it makes everything taste butter. A regular home brand version will work just as well if you’re trying to save extra.

  • Cheese (hard and soft)

  • Eggs

  • Fresh fruit – we’d highly recommend shopping at a local market. The produce will be fresh and you’ll save money too. If you have extra, juice them.

  • Fresh vegetables, including leafy greens. Again, shop at a local market. 

  • Meat, fish, poultry, or tofu. To last longer, freeze your meats and buy enough to be used in a couple of dishes.

  • Milk

  • Yogurt and/or sour cream

We hope this Grocery Shopping for Beginners guide helps out all the newbies who are in their first few weeks living out of home. Especially those who are in their first few weeks of uni. 

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