Grocery Shopping, Pioneer Style: Plan, Purchase, Be Prepared

Grateful-Table-Groceries-Supplies-OnlineSome folks live in the boonies. Relatively speaking. So my friend up in Snohomish, Washington thought I should let folks know where to get the foods that aren’t available at every grocery store.

After all, not everyone has their choice of which natural food stores to go to. I thought it was rough when the closest Trader Joe’s was 15 minutes away (gasp). Now we have one down the street, about 5 minutes away. There are at least a hundred Trader Joe’s in California; by comparison, Washington has eight. Total. Many states have even less, or none at all. We’re pretty spoiled in the Bay Area…

Whole Foods Market has 270 stores (in the U.S. and the U.K.). That’s still not enough to make it accessible for everyone. Small mom and pop style health food stores fill in some of the gaps, but aren’t an option for everyone.

What does the savvy shopper do? I’ll give you a run-down of what I get at what stores- maybe that’ll give you some ideas. I don’t shop all that often, but can usually pull a good meal together with what’s on hand. Every night of the week!


Grocery Store (or a farmer’s market for the produce)

  • Fruits & Veggies that keep well (onions, yams, potatoes, carrots, winter squash, cabbage, broccoli, apples) plus more perishable ones (lettuce, tomato, avocado, cucumber, summer squash, strawberries, etc.)
  • Fresh herbs (most of which I process right away, chopping and freezing the extra with oil in ice cube trays)
  • Pasta (we haven’t had much pasta on our latest paleo-kick, but it can be handy to have some on hand. Buckwheat Soba noodles are my fave, when I do splurge on pasta…)
  • Meats & Poultry, grass-fed or free-range, ideally (extra is stocked in freezer for later dates)
  • Fish: Frozen is good if freshness is questionable (again, extra’s kept in freezer)
  • Eggs & Dairy (many cheeses, plus kefir and yogurt, keep longer than milk, which is rarely even stocked in our fridge)

Health Food Store , Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. (or see links at bottom of page, to purchase on Amazon)

  • Bulk grains (last a long time, and are good for bread-making too, if you’ve got something like a Vita-Mix to grind the flour in)
  • Bulk beans (lots of protein, and they store well)
  • Bulk herbs (saves $$ buying in bulk)
  • 100% Virgin Olive Oil: it’s non-GMO, and more stable than other PUFA (polyunsaturated) oils
  • Coconut oil (good for cooking with, and very healthy)
  • Coconut manna (a pureed blend of the whole coconut- great for soups, sauces, smoothies and such)
  • Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits (some of these can be found at the grocery store, but stuff like raw sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and macadamias are best found at the specialty places)

If you just happen to live in the boonies, try Amazon

Here are a few links to a few products, competitively priced, that you can find (very conveniently) on Amazon:




2 Responses to “Grocery Shopping, Pioneer Style: Plan, Purchase, Be Prepared”

  1. Reply sf

    I’m gonna keep this in reference for when I go back home and there’s no Trader Joe’s over there yonder. Thanks for providing this grocery list and links for those of us from Boonie Land!

    • Reply Jennifer Cote

      Even in our fairly cosmopolitan surroundings, I like to pretend I’m in the boonies. Sometimes, it seems we can take the luxury of the 24-hour, 7-days-a-week grocery store for granted. I love stocking up and avoiding the shopping trip whenever possible! (It helps to have stuff popping up in the garden 😀 )
      You’re so very welcome, sf!

Leave a Comment