What’s in Your 20?

I was flipping through an old issue of ShopSmart Magazine today and spotted a new-to-me frugal shopping tip:

“Make a top-20 list. Go through receipts, kitchen cabinets, and the fridge to come up with a list of the 20 products you buy most often. Then write down the regular price of each one (find it online or take notes when you sho9p). That way, you’ll easily be able to spot a good sale. Focus your efforts on those 20 things and you can save a lot without a lot of effort.”

That seems simple enough and well worth trying. Since my shopping lists are in my little daily calendar/journal, it was easy enough to page through and identify the items that appear most often. Or so I thought. Here’s what I came up with:

1. bananas
2. apples
3. other seasonal and on sale fruit (cantaloupe, watermelon, berries, etc.)
4. lettuce
5. tomatoes
6. cucumbers
7. chicken
8. turkey
9. bread
10. yogurt
11. cheese
12. eggs
13. salsa
14. tuna
15. almonds (or some other kind of nut)bread
16. tortillas (corn for DIY chips and flour for Mexican chicken burritos)
17. green chiles
18. black olives
19. pickles (dill and sugar-free bread & butter and sugar-free sweet pickle relish)
20. cereal or granola for yogurt topping

While these aren’t the only foods I buy, they comprise probably 85% or more of my grocery purchases. Items 1 – 13 appear regularly on my lists, some of them almost every grocery store run. The others are more shelf/fridge stable and so I only buy them every few months. Everything else I buy is a once or twice a year purchase, either because I buy it in bulk (oatmeal) or don’t use much of it (salad dressings).

I think I might be in a dietary rut. :) But I’m happy here, so I’m not going to mess with it. Not too much, anyway. I picked up a package of tofu a few weeks ago, and I’ll be trying Tofu Parmigiana later this week. Who knows, maybe tofu will displace something on my ’20 list’! :)

What’s in your top 20?

13 thoughts on “What’s in Your 20?

  1. Hmmm. Are you not a veggie lover? That’s interesting.

    Bananas would never make my top 20. The only reason I buy them is to mash and freeze. I love it when they have a big bag of over-ripe ones on sale.

    Fruits and veggies would be on the top of my list. Cottage cheese, milk to make yogurt, walnuts, oatmeal, eggs and egg white stuff, chicken and fish. That’s not 20 but I’m falling asleep. (don’t take it personally LOL, I’m just extra tired tonight!)

  2. honestly this is why I adore you and your site.
    there’s nothing wrong with a (perceived rut) if youre happy and you are healthy and its working for you!

  3. Twenty items? This time of the year…

    1. Bananas (lots of bananas)
    2. Leafy Greens like spinach, chard, etc
    3. Strawberries
    4. Passion fruit
    5. Apples
    6. Carrots
    7. Beets
    8. Tomatoes
    9. Basil
    10. Butternut squash
    11. Sun-dried tomatoes
    12. Lentils
    13. Chick Peas
    14. Corn on the cob
    15. Brown rice
    16. Tangerines
    17. Spring onions
    18. Avocado pears
    19. Olives
    20. Papayas

  4. I am with Miz, Cammy! Love this! I never thought to do this & now I will!

    I am pretty much a same ole eater like you BUT I do add in things here & there like new protein bar/muffin recipe & things like that. More recently my homemade lazy guac & protein muffins & PB/choc protein cookies.

    Let’s see, nut butters, almonds, extra lean ground turkey, chicken breasts, 0% greek yogurt, frozen berries, sweet potatoes, protein powder, oat bran, oatmeal, salsa, avocados, liquid egg whites, coffee, frozen veggies, apples bananas… OK, I could go on!

  5. Oh… this takes too much brainpower for this hour of the day. I know that apples would be on there and frozen green beans. String cheese and fat free cheese slices. Beans.

    I used to have a great memory and could walk into a store and compare prices to what I pay elsewhere. Can’t do that anymore:(

  6. Oooh – great post. My list varies by what is in season for fruit, but currently here is what is usually in my basket: strawberries, watermelon, grapes, asparagus, Fage yogurt, turkey, chicken, eggs, almonds, cottage cheese, blue cheese (Maytag if I can find it), frozen veggies, veggies for salads, coffee beans, cream for my coffee!

  7. I’m with Karen… no brain for actual list making. However, I can summon the strength to comment on yours… Cool.
    And unsolicitied advice (it’s my day for it, I guess) Make sure you get only organic and NOT genetically modified tofu. Not good for you otherwise. Believe me, I’ve been down the tofu road and I know some things.

  8. I am absolutely terrible at making lists. I rarely do. I just stick to the outsides of the grocery store (and walk through frozen foods) and I’m done. Greek yogurt, fruit, lavash bread and almond milk are always on my mental list, though.

  9. What a neat idea! I am sure that fruits, veggies, FF Greek yogurt, eggs , almond milk , whole wheat bread and coffee are in the top 20! I need to think about this more… thanks for sharing.

  10. Hello from Rutville here as well!

    My list? Strawberries, pears, frozen broccoli, laughing cow, bananas, cucumbers, cottage cheese, eggs, egg whites, almond milk, nut butter (any kind), oats, frozen blueberries, 2% milk, seltzer water, dates, nuts (any kind), meat, seasonal fruits.

  11. Hi Cammy. The way I see it, if you’re happy, there is no rut! Hmm..some of my top 20? Greek yogurt, almond milk, apple juice and skim milk (for my husband), hummus, seasonal and sale fruit, carrots, peppers, coffee & tea, meat, almond butter, bananas, whole wheat bread, cereal (to go with my husband’s skim milk), fresh mint and basil….. Have a great day.

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