Welcome our brand new series Into The Kitchen! Stay tuned as founder Ellen Bennett dishes out some sensational tips, tricks, and hacks any home chef needs to feel confident and prepared for any cooking adventure.
Ah, grocery shopping, everyone’s favorite errand. Even if you love to cook, learning how to grocery shop on a budget while getting everything you need to create culinary masterpieces can be a challenge!
Fortunately H&B’s founder and culinary superstar Ellen Bennet is here to help, with her guide to how to grocery shop for a month, making sure you’re stocking up on all the pantry essentials. Here’s a little breakdown of her recommended ingredients—plus the aprons you need to protect you from all those tasty treats you’re about to whip up.
How to Grocery Shop Healthy: Buy Your Vegetables
This is the choose your own adventure part of learning how to grocery shop for the week. Everyone has their own veggie preferences, so feel free to switch it up depending on what you’re cooking, but here’s how Ellen stocked her cart:
As a new mom, Ellen’s in the process of learning how to grocery shop with a baby. By stocking up on a variety of fruits and veggies, she’s teaching her little one to eat the rainbow, while making sure the grownups also stay healthy, nourished, and fed.
Take it to the Fridge: Shopping the Dairy Case
If you’re vegan and learning how to shop soy and egg free at grocery store, feel free to skip this section. Here are Ellen’s dairy essentials for the rest of us:
Go Nuts (for Nuts and Dried Fruit)
Part of learning how to grocery shop efficiently is seeking out multi tasking ingredients, like nuts to add crunch and richness, or dried fruit, which is commonly used in Middle Eastern and European cuisines to add sweetness and intrigue.
Ellen loves nuts and dried fruit for adding complexity to everyday recipes. Like veggies, choosing your favorite nuts and dried fruits is a matter of following your heart, but here are her favorites:
All of Oils:
Like Ellen says in her video, standing in front of your grocery store’s great wall of oils can be overwhelming, especially if you’re learning how to grocery shop for one. Fortunately you really only need to have a few on hand to keep a well stocked pantry, here’s what she recommends:
A touch of acid is the finishing touch that will take your dishes from basic to pro level, so you know Ellen has essentials to recommend. Even if you’re learning how to grocery shop with roommates, vinegars are some of the most affordable pantry staples. Besides, a little acid goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to buy enough to share.
A pantry must have, stocking up on a variety of staple grains will ensure you’re prepared for whatever culinary challenge life throws at you. Even if you’re discovering how to grocery shop for two, don’t be afraid to stock up—grains keep forever in a cool, dark pantry, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy them. Here are Ellen’s top grain picks:
Known as the sixth taste, umami is that super savory delicious flavor that keeps you coming back for more. It can be built from many sources, from beef broth to miso paste, but here are Ellen’s favorite ways to add a dose of umami to your recipes:
Last but not least, the flavor builders. These are the pantry essentials that Ellen stocks up on to add a final touch of deliciousness to her favorite recipes. This list may vary depending on your own personal flavor building preferences, but here’s Ellen’s list of flavor building superstars to stock up on:
So there you have it—Ellen Bennett’s essential guide for how to grocery shop! Take it along with you on your next trip to the store for an easy map to culinary success, and watch as your pantry becomes your happy place.