How to Grocery Shop for One Person

Add these items to your next grocery list and hopefully this time you won't end up throwing anything out! Read more tips from @gabimoskowitz here: http://wapo.st/1QBD8S7
  1. Greens you can eat cooked or raw
    Baby spinach or kale (go for dark green lacinato/dinosaur kale as opposed to the lighter green curly variety) are my picks. Use to make salads or saute in a bit of olive oil.
  2. Baby carrots, mini Persian cucumbers, mini bell peppers, or any other crunchy, easy to eat raw vegetable
    Great for healthy snacking, but can also be used in cooking.
  3. 1 or 2 medium onions
    Look for what's on sale. Yellow usually has the most flavor!
  4. 1 head of garlic
    You’ll use it in just about everything. The pre-peeled kind is okay, if you know you’ll be using it quickly (otherwise it oxidizes and becomes rancid). Do not buy the chopped, jarred variety; it doesn’t taste as good, and it’s more expensive than fresh.
  5. Fresh herbs
    Using fresh herbs is the quickest way to take your cooking from average to great with very little effort. My weekly buys are cilantro for Asian/Latin dishes and flat-leaf parsley for Italian/Mediterranean. Mint and basil are semi-regulars. Buy the full bunch as opposed to those small plastic containers with single servings of herbs — it’s cheaper and there’s less waste.
  6. 1 or 2 lemons
    Good for flavoring water and squeezing over cooked vegetables or salads.
  7. Apples, oranges, bananas, or another in-season, easy to eat fruit
    If it’s easy to eat and requires little to no prep beyond washing, you are more likely to eat it. Which is the idea.
  8. 1 or 2 avocados
    If you think you’ll eat two in a week, buy one that is ripe and one that is still a little hard (it’ll be ripe by the time you’re ready to use it).
  9. Grapes
    Rinse and put them in the freezer so you have a healthy dessert option around when late-night cravings for sweets hit.
  10. 1 dozen eggs
    Great for breakfast on a toasted English muffin, but also just an excellent source of high-quality protein. You can do so much with one carton of eggs. Hard or soft boil a few and keep them around as a nutritious snack, or chop them up and put them over salad greens.
  11. Half-and-half
    Half-and-half is for more than just coffee. You can use it to thicken creamy soups, sauces and curries, but it also can be diluted with water — use equal parts half-and-half and water — to make milk.
  12. Cheese
    Choose something with mild flavor that can be used for a variety of things, including snacking on. Low-moisture mozzarella, mild or medium cheddar, or jack are all good options. Use it in sandwiches, shredded over scrambled eggs, cubed in salad or stirred into pasta.
  13. Meat/Fish/Tofu
    Alternate between sausages (which are usually cheapest if you get them at the deli counter as opposed to pre-packaged; simply pan-fry or grill for a quick dinner), chicken thighs, tilapia (sustainable and easy to cook) and sprouted extra-firm tofu.
  14. Canned tomatoes (chopped or crushed)
    Make the best quick tomato sauce ever by sautéing half a can of tomatoes with a couple of cloves of garlic and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil.
  15. Canned beans
    Pinto, black, or cannellini (Italian white) beans. Rinse them before using. Use pinto and black beans in tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Toss the white beans with cooked pasta, olive oil, garlic and parsley. They’re a great source of protein and fiber.
  16. Nut butter
    Eat it with apples or spread it on an English muffin. Mix it with soy sauce, honey, and chopped garlic to make a quick sauce to toss noodles in.
  17. Pantry basics
    Keep these stocked in the pantry: Extra-virgin olive oil, at least one vinegar, salt, and pepper.