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This Home Cook Starts Every Grocery Shopping Trip in an Unexpected Department

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Credit: Jenny Haevischer

Name: Jenny Haevischer
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 47
Number of people in household: 5
Occupation: Sales
Where you shopped: Randalls®

Grocery hauls aren’t just what you fill your cart with: They’re also the possibilities that spring from a single trip to the store. Inside all those shopping bags are potlucks with friends, family game nights, comfort meals when we need them most, and nutritious starts to the school day. So we don’t only want to know what ingredients folks are buying — we also want to know what moments they’re making with them.

For home cook Jenny Haevischer, those moments include making family dinners, potluck sides, and surprise treats for her coworkers. And they all begin at Randalls®. That’s where Jenny knows she can find high-quality ingredients for all the meals her family loves without breaking her budget. “I like that Randalls® is close to my work. That way I can stop on my way home. It’s such a convenient location for me,” she says. “I also like that they have sales quite often and always have what I’m looking for.” Speaking of, we’re very taken with her grocery shopping strategy. Here’s how she does it.

Credit: Jenny Haevischer

What’s your grocery strategy?

Jenny organizes her grocery list by section. Her first stop? The butcher counter. “I like to grab meat first. That way, if they are out of what I need, I can strategize a new plan,” she says. Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! “I recently had the butcher department help me decide what kind of meat I should use for a dish that I wasn’t sure about, and they were a great help!”

How do you meal plan?

Sometimes, Jenny has a clear idea of what’s on her grocery list before stepping into the store. “When I plan meals ahead of time, I’ll usually save recipes and have 3–6 meals I plan on making for the week. I like to get a few ideas from the family as well,” she says. “That helps me decide which meals I make. I often keep my list in the Randalls® app.”

Other weeks, she improvises: “I enjoy grocery shopping and like to see what’s new in the store and see what’s on sale,” she says. “Sometimes I even find something I had forgotten to put on my grocery list and find great little snacks to take home with me. When I do this, I’m winging it for meals and deciding what to eat for the next couple of days while I’m at the store.”

Roasted Carrots with Garlic and Lime: Tapas-Style Dinner Side

Jenny isn’t a vegetarian, but some nights, she likes to serve a veggie-forward tapas-style dinner instead of one big main. “I tend to make this when I don’t want to incorporate meat or I’m not terribly hungry,” she says.

Credit: Jenny Haevischer

Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry: Beloved Family Dinner

Jenny has three adult children, and they all used to claim that they didn’t like curry. She was determined to change their minds. “I slowly started incorporating curry flavors into their dishes, and now they love it,” she says. “I like to introduce people to new foods and flavors.” Jenny’s Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry is now a family favorite that she prepares with love when her kids are home.

Credit: Jenny Haevischer

Rosemary Focaccia Bread with Tomatoes: Surprise Treat for Coworkers

Word about Jenny’s culinary skills has gotten around, and now, her coworkers make requests. But she doesn’t mind. On the contrary, she enjoys sharing her baking endeavors with as many people as possible. “I like to make people tell me what they think of my food,” she jokes. This Rosemary Focaccia Bread with Tomatoes is a hit when she wants to brighten her coworkers’ days.

Credit: Jenny Haevischer

Spicy Eggplant with Ground Lamb: Weekend Dinner Project

When Jenny has more time, she doesn’t shy away from advanced recipes that take longer to cook or call for more unique ingredients, like ground lamb. Her family gently ribs her for always wanting to serve eggplant, so this dinner project is a moment of mixing things up and making everyone happy.

Credit: Jenny Haevischer

Tomato Orzo Salad with Tahini Dressing: Potluck Dish to Share

Jenny puts tomato on everything — and her tomato dishes have a following. One of her favorite ways to enjoy the vegetable is in pasta salad. This Tomato Orzo Salad with Tahini Dressing is a much-requested dish at potlucks and holidays, and she gladly makes a big batch to share.