Grocery List: Foods to Always Have on Hand

Last year I shared a post that contained my go-to grocery list for foods that I always have on-hand to avoid fast food situations when I’m too lazy to make anything new. Yesterday was one of those days… I felt such a lack of motivation all day. Even though I had plenty of time to cook, it was the last thing I wanted to do after work. I’m not going to sit here and say that I avoided Chipotle because I wanted to save money or eat a home cooked meal… I just didn’t feel like leaving my house. Yeah… one of those days.

It made me think about that year-old post, and inspired me to share an updated version. A lot can happen in a year. New job, new residence, new friends, better blogging skills, new grocery list.

Grocery List of foods to always have on-hand. Click through to read more!

Ground turkey
Chicken breasts *In college, I bought bags of frozen chicken breasts. Good for cooking for one.
Black beans
Cannelinni beans
Turkey bacon
Deli meat *Boarshead lemon pepper chicken or Genoa salami.
Canned tuna

Yogurt *I like Siggi’s or Chobani Greek yogurt.
Skim milk
Almond milk *I know it’s not dairy. But for the sake of organization, today it is.
Feta cheese
Buffalo mozzarella

Whole grain bread
Sweet potatoes
Quick cooking oats

Green peas *Frozen is cheaper and easier.
Bell peppers
Onion *Red or vidalia.
Carrot sticks
Tomatoes *Grape or vine ripe.
Sun-dried tomatoes

Peanut butter
Bars *Quest Bars or recently, LARA Bars.

Mojo *My go-to for marination on busy days.
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cilantro
Fresh basil


[Tweet “This grocery list is perfect for quick meals on lazy days!”]

This list is a good baseline for a large haul. I don’t buy this much every time I go to the grocery store, because certain items obviously last longer than others. I find it so important to have a stocked refrigerator and pantry to avoid unhealthy habits. There are so many meals you can make with the foods listed here. I even shared a post last year about different meals you can make with eggs. Never underestimate the possibilities with eggs for dinner.

As a food blogger, I like to share photos of the pretty meals I create and consume. However, as a human being, there are many times when those meals aren’t so extravagant. There were times in college where I would just have instant oatmeal for dinner. Nowadays, I’ve upgraded to pasta and jarred sauce, or scrambled eggs and avocado toast.


I’m definitely not perfect, and as I experienced yesterday, I have days where I simply have no desire to put forth any effort toward anything, especially cooking.

Thankfully, that lack of motivation prevents me from driving to McDonald’s (actually, that would never happen, anyway), but I’m aware that many people use their exhaustion or laziness as an excuse to indulge in unhealthy food habits. I am all about balance, but I just cannot support the food provided by most fast food chains in this country. So, having these foods stocked in your kitchen will help avoid that greasy mystery meat hamburger from entering your digestive tract.

Join the conversation:
What are some foods that you always have in your kitchen?
What meals do you reach for when you’re too lazy to try a new recipe?


  1. says

    I definitely lean on bowls of veggies with either eggs or tuna for protein when I’m feeling lazy.
    I love having sweet potatoes, salad greens, tuna, avocado and squash on hand.

  2. says

    I am going food shopping tomorrow after work and need a lot of these staples. Most of them are always in my fridge and cabinet. Lately I’ve been loving all the mozzarella. It goes on everything…HAHA!

  3. says

    I resort to some sort of burger when I’m feeling lazy: plain ol’ beef burgers, or turkey, or black bean. Your grocery list looks similar to mine :) but mine has ice cream on it lots of times…oops

  4. says

    Ditto to your list, but of course some Eat Fresco meals :) Perfect solution for exhausting days- easy but healthy! Love your blog, keep up the great work!

  5. says

    I have a bunch of the same staples! Sadly, I can’t keep quite so many fresh veggies and fruits on hand because of my tiny mini fridge in my dorm room, but I agree that being as stocked up as possible definitely makes it easier to choose healthy things.

    And your insta made me laugh– that’s my kind of smoothie bowl! <3

  6. says

    Our grocery list is pretty much the same! I don’t really have dairy except for maybe some greek yogurt to make egg salads and such, but other than that we are on the same page! On the days that I don’t really feel like cooking I almost always have a smoothie bowl for dinner. OR zucchini noodles with some kind of sauce :)

  7. says

    It is so important to keep lots of healthy foods on hand to stay fueled! I always like to have sweet potatoes, oats, frozen fruit and veg, and almond milk. When I am feeling super lazy I usually just pop a sweet potato in the oven for about an hour and then eat some frozen veggies or a salad with it. I could live off sweet potatoes. Yum.

  8. says

    I like your idea as I am a working woman. And it’s always good to have groceries on hand or stored to make dinner because going out isn’t always possible. It saves our time also. Thanks for sharing.

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