I have this strange obsession with seeing other people’s well-stocked fridges. There’s something about it that makes me want to go grocery shopping, ha!
If you’ve been following my IG stories, you’ll know that last week our fridge broke. Out of the blue, RIGHT after we went grocery shopping! And also, it was one of the hottest weekends this summer so far. Fun times.
It was really nice to re-stock a fresh new fridge though, and since it’s looking so hawt and spicy and CLEAN – I thought I’d share the food I like to keep in my fridge.
I’ll share all my fridge staples to give you a little glimpse into what I generally stock our fridge with, as we can only go grocery shopping once per week.
I’d much prefer to just buy what I feel like every day, believe you me. But this is what it’s like right now and I like to kind of be prepared to a) keep the kids fed and b) have enough food on hand to keep myself nourished and satisfied.
Why I’m sharing this…
I’m hoping this will help you out if you feel a little lost with grocery shopping. I definitely had issues with this when I first got over the initial stages of intuitive eating (where I definitely didn’t want to cook and all I wanted to eat was frozen pizza, chocolate flavored pudding and chocolate granola – and I let myself until I got sick of it!).
Eating intuitively is all kinds of wonderful, but I feel like it also needs some real-world solutions. I also believe not everything about the practical side can be 100% intuitive, things like grocery shopping and having enough food at home for a certain period of time were definitely a HUGE challenge for me (what do I need to keep in the kitchen to make food I’ll enjoy? How will I know what I want to eat all of next week? How do average people handle this?? HELP?!)
I kept swinging back and forth between hoarding food (out of fear of being hungry) and not having enough food (out of fear of wasting food and money) so I’m hoping this glimpse into my fridge will help you to find a starting point.
Keep in mind, bodies and appetites and, well, just PEOPLE in general, we’re all different. So what’s working for me might not be working for you, and that’s fine.
I just want to share to help you if you’re feeling kind of clueless about what average people keep in their fridge, and to maybe give you a few ideas for new things to try.
What’s in my fridge:
First and foremost, a lot of glass boxes and reusable produce bags (FYI, I make a commission for purchases made through this link)!
I like storing food in glass containers, because then I can see what I have right away and things don’t rot in the back of the produce drawer (been there, done that… so many times). I have glass boxes from IKEA and these from Amazon (FYI, I make a commission for purchases made through this link).
I also love my reusable produce bags, because they keep things like pre-cut zucchini nice and fresh for a few days.
I try my best not to overcrowd my fridge, again so that things don’t get lost or forgotten. We’ve been very successful at reducing our food waste with this strategy.
But now on to the actual staple foods I like to keep on hand!
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables probably take up the most space in my fridge. I like to stick to seasonal, local and organic or biodynamic produce as much as I can and our budget allows.
To me, buying organic and from smaller businesses is less about the health aspects, it’s about the environment and the agricultural practices of mass-production. Not cool with me. But moving on…
I rarely let a vegetable or fruit hit my fridge without at least a little prep. A few exceptions are things that slice up quickly (like extra cucumbers or veggies I’m going to juice). I will still wash them so they’re ready to go (and don’t leave a trail of dirt all over my fridge).
Snack fruit and veggies
I usually put together a few snack boxes of seasonal veggies we can eat raw.
Berries I carefully wash, dry, pick out any bad ones and then re-pack into paper towel lined glass containers.
Things like cut up pineapple and melon also keep very well in a glass container for 2-3 days.
Some of my fave snack-y type fruit and veggies:
- heirloom tomatoes
- fresh peas (the best!)
- beets (yes, you can eat them raw, yes they’re a mess, but woman are they delicious!)
- berries of all kind (be adventurous and go beyond the blueberries and raspberries sometimes!)
- grapes (I prefer the small, dark varieties that still have seeds)
Prepped vegetables for cooking
Since I love meals centered around pasta and tomato sauce, I like to keep some finely chopped celery and carrots on hand.
And I just recently discovered that spiralized zucchini (uncooked) keeps perfectly fresh for 3-4 days in a produce bag! My kids are all about veggie noodles (we eat them together with regular spaghetti or just as a side, NOT generally as a carb sub, but they get all excited and it’s so cute).
If I buy things like green beans at the farmers’ market, I always wash and trim them so all I’ll have to do once I want to cook them is throw them into whatever cooking vessel I’m going to use.
Greens like Swiss chard or kale also keep perfectly fresh fully washed and prepped in a produce bag. If it’s really fresh produce, I’ve kept it without any quality loss for almost a week before. Softer greens like baby spinach won’t keep for that long, but it easily lasts for 4 days if it’s carefully packaged without any heavy stuff squashing it.
Some of my favorite veggies to cook with:
- sweet potatoes
- greens of all kind
- sugar snap peas
- winter squashes and pumpkin
- Jerusalem artichokes
Often I’ll roast a large tray of assorted veggies for quick sides and to throw into grain bowls and sandwiches. I add plenty of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar once they’re in their glass container to help them stay fresh a little longer. I don’t keep them for more than 3 days though.
Some of my favorite vegetables to roast are peppers (so much better than from a jar!), asparagus and zucchini.
Where to buy great veggies for cheap:
We love ordering online from a small local CSA or we go to the farmer’s market.
An awesome resources for affordable organic and non-organic produce:
Grains and Legumes
I have started keeping a tub or two of cooked grains in the fridge, and it’s a GAME CHANGER!
One of my favorites is quinoa, because it doesn’t get mushy at all. I never keep cooked grains for more than 3 days, so be mindful when it comes to the amount you’re pre-cooking.
I love having cooked quinoa on hand, because it turns my new favorite breakfast obsession (Berry Quinoa Breakfast Bowls!) into a meal I can throw together in 5 minutes. Definitely a win when my mornings are usually spent making sure my kids are dressed, fed and happy.
Some of my favorites:
- black rice
I rarely buy canned food. Canned food is evil and I want it to die die die! No, seriously though. I try to avoid cans because they’re really not great for the environment.
Mostly though, it’s a lot cheaper to just cook your own. I’m sure you have a fanc-ay electric pressure cooker, right? You don’t even need to soak beans to cook them in there.
I usually make a large batch, keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest for another week. That way I always have some on hand, even if things get crazy and I don’t have time to prepare anything.
Some of my favorites:
- black beans
- kidney beans
- cannellini beans
- beluga lentils
Eggs and Dairy
We do eat quite a few eggs, we all love them. I buy local organic eggs from pasture-raised hens. They have a rooster and happily roam in a giant space. I can almost see them from my front yard – the best!
If you thought I wasn’t eating dairy, you were wrong. I can’t always digest it well (I think it depends a lot on the amount, the source and the time of the month; it’s a little tricky at times).
I don’t drink cow’s milk right now, unless it’s organic raw because I can tolerate that and it makes me happy because I love it. I also buy some non-dairy milk like oat milk. I try not to overdo the almond milk, because usually almonds need a lot of water, and bee farming practices are not always awesome when it comes to almond orchards. Can you tell I’m married to a beekeeper? 🤷🏻♀️🙈
I don’t have any issues digesting cheese or cultured dairy. I prefer goat or sheep milk over cow (just a personal preference when it comes to taste, I think it’s the slightly higher fat content?) and always buy full fat, organic, pasture-raised products.
Some of my favorite dairy products:
- full fat yogurt
- pecorino and manchego cheese
- Feta cheese
- sometimes I treat myself to a non-dairy yogurt like Harvest Moon coconut yogurt just because I get bored easily and need to switch things up sometimes
- oat milk and (raw) whole milk
- full fat Greek yogurt (from sheep’s milk)
Meat and Fish
We usually keep all our fresh meat and fish in the freezer.
What I keep in the fridge is a few packets of deli meat, such as ham and chorizo. I also keep some jerky-type deli meat. We usually buy organic pasture-raised for the humanity aspect, but we don’t freak out if we end up buying something else at times.
Sometimes we treat ourselves to wild hand-caught smoked salmon. But it’s more of a luxury item than an everyday thing 🤷🏻♀️
Condiments and stuff
I don’t have a lot of condiments or bottled sauces in the fridge, because we just don’t eat them fast enough before they go bad.
I do have some essentials I can’t be without though:
- soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- dijon mustard
- maple syrup
- tomato paste
- a selection of nut butters and tahini
- organic all-fruit jam (we only buy Rigoni di Asiagio because they’re the absolute best)
- blocks of coconut cream (SO much easier than canned, because we rarely use a full can! make sure it’s pure coconut without sugar and flavoring or your curry will taste weird, haha!)
- sometimes we have ketchup or BBQ sauce, especially during summer
A note on salad dressings:
I don’t ever buy salad dressings, but always make my own. It’s way too expensive to buy them in the amount we go through, ha!
My husband likes to drench salad in dressing and then drink it. I never claimed we behave normal in any shape, form or way… 🙈
They’re easy to prep ahead and store in the fridge for a few days, though.
Some of my favorite recipes:
- Greek Salad Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
- Lemon Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
- White Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Homemade Ranch Salad Dressing
Other things I like to prep and store in the fridge
Some other random things I don’t always-always keep in the fridge, but love to have on rotation:
I like to prepare a few breakfast items every week. It’s not always the same stuff, because that gets boring, but I do have some favorites I make on a regular basis.
- overnight oats (almond blueberry and raspberry coconut are the best – they also work with frozen berries. When strawberries are in season, we do love vanilla strawberry overnight oats!)
- baked oatmeal (blueberry baked oatmeal or banana walnut are our faves!)
- breakfast muffins (sometimes I go crazy and make 6 batches for the freezer) – some of my faves are carrot muffins and pumpkin muffins
In case I’m having to point out the obvious, I’m not a meal prepper. I don’t assemble full-on lunch boxes and meals in advance, because SERIOUSLY. I don’t know on Sunday afternoon what I want to eat the following Friday? It seems insane and just another term to mask the word “diet”.
But I do like making double batches sometimes so I have quick meals on hand
Some of my favorites:
- zucchini fritters
- black bean burgers
- lunch salads like pasta salads or grain and veggie salads that keep well for a few days (yes to greek pasta salad!)
I just want to put this out there right away: I’m not very creative when it comes to snacks. It’s usually brown rice cakes with nut butter and fruit.
Or dates stuffed with nuts. Or, ahem, dark chocolate dipped in peanut butter, anyone?
P.S: Chocolate is another must-have healthy fridge staple in my house. Very healthy for my soul, indeed.
But whenever I put more effort into a little snack prep, I do notice how much easier life gets (and how much more energy I have throughout the day, because I have nourishing stuff on hand – nobody can eat rice cakes every day, even though I really love them).
Some of my favorites:
- energy bites! some of my faves are the brownie bites and the cinnamon energy bites. But my cranberry gingerbread ones are the BEST during the holiday season!
- hummus for dipping
And this concludes my fridge tour.
I just want to stress again, this is what works for us, but it’s not a must-do instruction.
I like having a simple fridge stocked with basic ingredients that whip up into a quick and healthy meal. Kind of like a capsule wardrobe for your fridge, ha!
Since I don’t meal plan anymore (it was just too restrictive and not intuitive enough for me, even though it definitely helped with budgeting), it’s good to have at least a rough idea of what I need to fill up the fridge for the week.
Obviously this is not all we eat, we also have a fully stocked pantry and a freezer. And a dessert cabinet. Because happiness.
Questions for you:
- What’s your must-have fridge staple you can’t live without?
- Do you meal prep?
- Any tips for easy snacks to make ahead? 🙈
Let me know in the comments below!