Grocery Shopping

Getting the right ingredients at the right places is easily the hardest part of being able to cook consistently, and well.

Safeway: Even though stores like Safeway are extremely convenient, it isn’t a great place to shop. It does have its merit’s though. For things like celery, lettuce, or few immediately used ingredients it is very nice to have so close.

Sprouts: This is where I get most of my produce. They constantly have deals on fruit like peaches, apples, or whatever is in season at the moment. Their veggies are almost always in good condition and are cheap for how much you can get. Their meat is also good and relatively cheap, but as I talk about later Asian markets are my go-to for all meats.

International Markets: There are a ton of Asian and Mexican/Hispanic markets nearby that it seems like very few college students have ever been to or heard about. In the Denver area, Pacific Ocean Marketplace is pretty close, and has most if not everything you’d ever need for the majority of anything you cook, but H-Mart is the mecca of international markets. H-Mart is a chain so there may be other franchises around the country, but it is, without a doubt, the best place for meat, any kind of vegetable you could want, sauces, pre-made meals, or other pantry essentials. I got to Mexican markets not often, but from time to time, making a quesadilla or other Mexican food is made that much better by fresh tortillas or other locally produced goods…plus those Mexican breads and cookies are, to quote my roommate, “fire”.

Costco: I can’t shop at Costco very much, mostly because I’m not a family of four, but also they are limited in their selection of really usable ingredients–where would I even put a 50 pound bag of flour or a five-pound bag of limes? What they are good for is a large quantity (obviously) of things that would last you a long time. Their 10 pound bag of yellow potatoes for five dollars or the monstrous bag of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for $20 is one of the reasons I make the trek.

Trader Joes: I hardly ever go to Trader Joes, mostly cause I can get everything they sell there for cheaper somewhere else. But, they do have a good selection of good cheese like cambozola or gorgonzola in small quantities, so they don’t go bad, for really cheap (like two or three dollars for enough for two or three people). I also really like their Two Buck Chuck, which is really more like three or four dollars, but they have a good selection of six to 10 dollar wines.