Millennial Grocery Guide

Post-Grad Pasta Recipe

Pasta and Meatballs

How this guide works: Ingredients are broken down into approximate location in the grocery store, by order that you'd usually purchase them (start in deli, then head over to dry goods, and then frozen section). There is also a cost of ingredients scale ranging from $ (very cheap) to $$$$ (extremely expensive - I'm not sure any of my recipes even have an ingredient like this yet). 

About Millennial Staples: These are items you should always keep stocked in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. It will make throwing together a quick dinner easy and simplify grocery shopping. It allows you to purchase food on sale, and all these items are extremely unlikely to go bad before you use them!


  • Parmesan cheese $$ Millennial Fridge Staple I thing it's worth splurging on a real parmigiano reggiano cheese, found at the cheese display often near the deli counter. You can really tatse the difference, and when you're doing a simple pasta and sauce meal, every ingredient counts. With my FoodSaver, or even just wrapped well in the fridge, it is not hard to use this before it goes bad since it lasts a long time and goes on so many dishes. I always have a block in my fridge. Substitute: any cheese you like, or a less expensive option like Kraft in the shaker container or pre-shredded cheese.

Dry Goods

  • 1 box whole wheat spaghetti $ Millennial Pantry Staple I switched to whole wheat products and I swear you can taste the difference in other shapes of pasta - but not spaghetti. I use what I need for one serving/meal and tape the box back up for next time - one box will last me a month or more! Substitute: Any other type or shape of pasta, including gluten-free varieties.
  • 1 jar Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce $$$ Millennial Pantry Staple Again, every ingredient counts in a dish with four ingredients. I had Rao's once and was floored by the difference in taste - and now I'm a loyal customer. I don't buy any other red sauce, and always keep an eye out for when Rao's goes on sale (and it does!) and buy a few. There's always an unopened jar in my pantry just in case I need it. Substitute: any red sauce. There are also other varieties of Rao's that are great, like regular Marinara or Arrabiata.

Frozen Foods

  • 1 bag Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs (you'll use 3-4) $$ Millennial Freezer Staple Another thing I always keep in my freezer. They're small and bite sized, so quick to defrost. They taste delicious, too! Substitute: Another brand of frozen meatballs, vegetarian meatballs, chicken, tofu, etc.