Sometimes I log into blogger (yes, i'm still using blogger) and just stare at the post page, drawing a blank on something to share here. These past couple years have been a whirlwind of routines, most of which take place at home and are hardly worth sharing. I'm at the point where unless there's a birth of a child, a tasty food outing, or a vacation, I'm not really doing anything worth documenting around these parts. 

There's lots of laundry, cleaning, changing diapers, potty training, and grocery shopping. 

It's boring, but it's real life. So, in an attempt to just keep documenting my life, no matter how boring it may be, I'm sharing my latest grocery shop outing, because this is the stage of life I'm in right now.

A few things before I begin:

1. I very rarely grocery shop with the littles in tow. Kids are distracting, and my grocery list is a top priority since I prefer cooking at home instead of regularly eating out.

2. It's also rare for me to get everything I need from one place. I'm usually running around to 2-3 different spots to grab all my groceries. 

3. I never, ever, ever, under any circumstance, go grocery shopping while hungry. That is dangerous.

Okay, let's go. 

First stop: Trader Joes. 

I go here first because it gets the busiest later in the day, so I like getting there when they open.

I don't get much from TJ's. It's not the place I go to stock our kitchen; I treat it like a specialty store and pick up the random items I really can't get anywhere else. They have my favorite frozen meals for those nights when I really can't be bothered to chop and prep fresh ingredients. They came in clutch during maternity leave.

After I left TJ's, I stopped at Walmart for a few frozen pizzas, because that's what my boys usually eat for lunch throughout the week when Dad's on food duty for lunch.

Next up is Aldi, my favorite. 

My mom used to shop at Aldi occasionally when I was a kid, and my oh my, look how far it's come. The stores have seriously upgraded since the 90s, but the prices are still the best in town. When we were newlyweds on a shoestring budget, Aldi was a Godsend for me. I did pretty much all our shopping there, and I don't think I'll ever stop. Some of their store-brand stuff isn't worth the cost savings, but lots of what they offer taste just as good as - if not better than - the name brand alternatives.

This is where I get the bulk of our staple ingredients: fresh product, toddler snacks, dairy, condiments, etc.

Last up was Costco:

This was probably the smallest Costco haul I've had in a while, but I was really trying to get in and out. Their "take and bake" meals are also some of my favorites for quick(ish) options after a long day (they still usually take about an hour in the oven, but no prep required!).

Other essentials from Costco that aren't pictured: Kirkland Signature grain-free dog food, organic eggs, more toddler snacks, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher liquid, street taco kit, breakfast waffles, and this is always where I fill my gas tank.

I also stopped by Target for a drive-up order of baby food, which I guess is technically a grocery item? Christian is still mostly having purees, but we're beefing up the texture so I'm sure he'll be getting in on some of these toddler snacks soon.

I'll end this post with a few other Aldi favorites that I didn't buy this time around for various reasons.

These always hit the spot, but I knew I'd be getting chips in the snack pack from Costco so I skipped over them this time.

Again, we didn't need any more fried potatoes, but these crinkle fries or tots? In the air fryer? With some seasoned salt on top? Perfection.

I bought ice cream sandwiches from TJ's, so I didn't need anymore sweets this round, but if I hadn't and if I did, I'd've bought these. I usually buy a big tub of mixed nuts and dump the chocolates in there for a makeshift trailmix-style snack.

Again, I didn't more sweets, but these peanut butter cups are better than Reese's, and they're dangerous because I could eat half a pack while putting the groceries away in the kitchen.

Some items I've never had but may try another time:

^^ I wasn't sure what I'd pair this with and couldn't muster the brainpower to figure it out in the store so I left them.

Some meat-alternatives that looked... interesting.

Reminds me of the frozen meal options at TJ's, but I didn't need any more (our freezer is only so big) and we've had lots of chicken lately so I'm choosing other meats instead this week.

Last, let me end this post by saying if you enjoy wine and there's an Aldi near you, go try the Winking Owl Cabernet or Pinot Grigio. It's less than $3 and delicious. It's not some top shelf vino, but it's better than some $20+ bottles I've tried. Sadly, they didn't have any wine in stock during this trip, but I'd normally walk out the store with a few bottles.