Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Grocery List --Jan 25 - Feb 13th


  • 4 sweet onions
  • 6 garlic bulbs
  • Small bag potatoes
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Leeks
  • 2 lb green beans
  • dry porcini mushrooms
  • 1 LB portabella mushrooms
  • Fresh Sage
  • Fresh Thyme


  • Honey
  • Tomatoes, a couple large cans
  • Artichokes
  • Capers
  • Black Olives
  • Chicken Broth
  • Beef Broth


  • Flour
  • 1 LB Rigatoni


  • Butter, sticks, unsalted
  • Eggs, doz. cage free
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Block of Cheddar Cheese

  • 4 Links Italian Sausage -- 2 sweet/2 spicy
  • 1/2 LB Pancetta

Total Cost: $90


Each week I start out knowing that I'm going to cook a certain style (this week Italian), for a couple reasons. (1) It keeps costs down. If I pick out an Italian recipe and a Thai recipe and a Japanese recipe for the week, guess what? A lot more specialty ingredients are needed. If I stick to one cuisine, I'll need a lot less of those specialty (i.e. expensive) ingredients. (2) I can pick out one or two recipes ahead of time that I just crave, and leave the rest to chance. I'll have everything I need on hand (or if I don't, it can wait, because I have plenty of other options), including the best produce. I always start out with a nebulous produce list based on the cuisine and make changes when I get to the supermarket based on what looks, and feels, and smells the freshest.

Of course, there are the staples, too! Cheddar cheese doesn't really go with Italian, but it is cold outside, so toasted cheese sandwiches should always be an option. I also like to keep a couple of broths in the house just in case, and right now I don't have any from scratch in the freezer.

If you are really lucky (I come from a small town originally, so I know all about low expectations at the super market) your super market will not only have pancetta, but they will have it fresh in the deli and your server can cut off the amount you want in the thickness you want. This week my husband noticed after we picked up a 1/4 LB package of thinly sliced pancetta for $4.99, that it was available in the deli. For that same $4.99 we got 1/2 LB and the option of having it sliced in the 1/2 inch thickness that is more appropriate for Pasta Carbonara.


The grocery list each week should cover most of the ingredients in the recipes I post--however, a certain amount of the ingredients are already in the house. Example: the lemon juice for the Ricotta and the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.


Additional Note: This grocery list ended up extending into 3 weeks with an additional shopping trip to Sam's in the middle (the trip to Sam‘s overlapped two grocery shopping trips, as I am still using those items in the Feb. 13-27th period). Also, my husband was sent on occasional errands to get more milk, butter, eggs, and flour.


  1. you are so organized in your cooking and your grocery list - I guess I never know what I want to cook until it is almost time to cook it!

  2. I've found that if I just stick to a cuisine that sounds good, I don't have to worry too much about what I'm going to cook. After cooking several cuisines regularly for several years, I pretty much know what the staples are and can usually find plenty (too much) to tempt me.