When Grocery Shopping Doesn’t Go As Planned

Since writing this post on Monday, it has gone through significant revisions. My initial draft focused on healthy grocery shopping to prepare for social distancing, which now seems both insensitive and silly as grocery store shelves are depleted of typical kitchen staples.

Food availability has changed drastically. We no longer have the luxury of abundant food choices, so many of us are accustomed to. Yesterday there wasn’t a single loaf of bread or bag of rice left in the store. Vegetables were scarce, and only a few expensive items remained. Even flour was gone. The man next to me said it best, while on the phone with his wife he yelled, “THE WHOLE GRAIN PASTA IS NOT AN OPTION!! YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH WHAT IS HERE!” What’s unfortunate is this is the reality those living in food deserts across America, face daily.

Times like these can be especially trying for individuals with limited income or those struggling with mental disorders, such as anxiety or eating disorders. When diet culture associates “clean eating” with moral virtue, it can be challenging to feel self-accepting and “good” when all we have available to eat is processed foods. I want to remind you that canned and frozen foods can be part of a healthy diet. It’s also okay to add desserts to your food storage. Do what is best for your situation and buy what is available.

To give you some ideas on things you can and reduce some anxiety, I compiled my latest grocery receipt:


  • Canned green beans, corn, lima beans, tomatoes, and peppers
  • Frozen squash, peas, and broccoli 
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes


  • Canned Fruit (peach, pears, pineapple)
  • Bananas


  • Protein Powder
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Chicken 
  • Nuts
  • Peanut Butter
  • Frozen Meat – I bought a turkey breast because it was the cheapest and all that was left besides hamburgers.
  • Cheese
  • Boxed Milk and Rice Milk
  • Eggs
  • Canned Beans
  • Yogurt


  • Oats
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Tortillas and Masa
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Stuffing Mix


  • Butter or Other Fat
  • Drink Mix
  • Gum
  • Honey
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Enchilada Sauce
  • Pancake Mix
  • Ice Cream 
  • Pudding

If it is available in your store I recommend buying flour and bread as well.

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