Grocery Shop Like Sporked Editor-in-Chief Justine Sterling

Before Justine Sterling moved to Los Angeles and became Sporked’s editor-in-chief, she spent the previous decade or so writing about food and drink in New York City. While she does have an appreciation for fine food (after all, that is part of her job and New York will do that to you), she’s no food snob. In fact, she eats just like everyone else and loves to cook at home. So, when Justine heads on over to the grocery store, what does she pick up? Here’s a look at her usual grocery haul.

Trader Joe’s Crumpets

Trader Joe’s Crumpets are one of Justine’s current obsessions because “when you toast them, they get wonderfully chewy and stretchy inside and they have this great tangy taste.” Take a cue from Justine and eat them with a thin layer of salted butter.

Whole Milk

Justine buys whole milk. (For you 2 percenters out there freaking out, chill. Whole milk doesn’t have as much fat as you’d expect.) “My 3-year-old drinks some of the milk. And some of it goes into his smoothies. Most of it gets used for cereal. And I also drink the occasional glass as a treat. Yes, milk is a treat.” Well said, Justine.


You probably wouldn’t expect it considering all the crazy food we eat in the office, but Justine prefers a bland, healthy cereal. Her go-tos are Grape Nuts and Corn Flakes, but right now she’s going through a Kix phase. Oh, and she puts ice cubes in her cereal. If you think that’s strange, read up on why she does it. Frankly, after reading that, I’m pretty convinced.

Related: Best Healthy Cereal: 6 Best Healthy Cereals for a Good-for-You Morning 

Fruits & Vegetables

Justine buys seasonal fruits and vegetables, so her choices at the grocery store are always changing in that regard.

Dried Fruit

Dried mango and Whole Foods’ dried pineapple rings are popular in Justine’s house, mostly because her kids are always searching for a sweet treat.


Apparently, eggs are the secret to keeping kids happy. She’s got a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, and between the two of them, they go through at least three eggs a day. So, you’ll always find a dozen eggs in her cart. Safe to say, Justine’s scrambled eggs skills are “off the charts.”


Justine likes “uncut salami logs.” I’m quoting her on this because, like her, I have no idea if that’s what they’re actually called. But you know what we’re talking about here—whole salami instead of sliced salami. She typically opts for Columbus because she gets “more bang for [her] buck.”

Related: The 10 Best Salamis will Cure Your Hunger 


Justine’s always got a decent selection of cheese in her grocery cart. At the moment, she says she regularly picks up “shredded cheese for quesadillas, smoked gouda for snacking, and cheddar sticks—also for snacking.”

Related: Best Cheeses: 11 Best Cheeses from Our Taste Tests 

Chicken Sausage

“I love Aidells chicken sausage and try to have a pack on hand for quick sheet pan meals or pasta dishes,” Justine says. Her personal favorites are their Artichoke & Garlic sausages.

Related: Grill Daddies, Rise Up: It’s the 6 Best Stuffed Sausages

Trader Joe’s Multiseed Crackers with Tamari

Sorry, fam. This one’s just for Justine. “I could eat a whole bag of these by myself and, lucky for me, no one else in my household seems to be a fan,” she says. “So I do eat a whole bag.”


Justine’s husband doesn’t like angel hair pasta, but she’d stock the pantry with it if she could. But even with her favorite off the table, when it’s pasta time, Justine likes to have a little fun and experiment with different shapes. For instance, she recently picked up Trader Joe’s trofie pasta.

Related: What Is Trofie Pasta and What’s the Best Sauce for This Cool, Trendy Noodle?

Rao’s Marinara

Pasta, pizza—you name it and she douses it in Rao’s Homemade Marinara. “It’s the best sauce and it’s worth the splurge,” Justine says.

Related: Best Marinara Sauce: Our Updated Ranking of the Best Jarred Marinara Sauce

Canned Cocktails

Justine is an accomplished home bartender, but on days when she doesn’t have the energy to get crafty, she opts for canned cocktails. Her favorites include Finnish Long Drink, Salt Point Gin Highball, and Cazadores Paloma

Related: 10 Best Canned Cocktails to Keep in Your Fridge at All Times

Bubbly Water

Although this item may be referred to as “seltzer” on your shopping list, Justine’s always says “bubbly water.” And when she’s out on the prowl for a bubbly water, it’s always Spindrift. She especially likes Pineapple and Half Tea & Half Lemon.

Related: Best Seltzer: 6 Best Seltzers and Sparkling Waters

Martini Olives

When she’s in bartender mode, Justine makes a mean Martini. And she’s got a bit of a household competition going with her husband, so they burn through Martini olives pretty quickly. Even her toddler is in on it—he’s been snacking on Martini olives in preparation for the day he’s old enough to join the family Martini-off. The whole fam agrees that Mezzetta is the best brand.

Related: Best Olives for Martini Drinkers: Shake (or Stir) It Up with the 8 Best Martini Olives 


Living in L.A. means salsa is a household staple. While Justine admits the selection of grocery store salsas is incredible—her favorite is Casa Sanchez—she tends to buy one of the fresh salsas made at her local grocery store.

Related: Best Store Bought Salsa: The 7 Best Salsa Brands to Spice Up Your Life


“As most parents will tell you, quesadillas are a lifesaver,” Justine says. Makes sense. They’re extremely versatile, especially when you have hungry kids who always want a snack. She usually buys Guerrero flour tortillas.

Related: That’s a Wrap: These Are the 5 Best Flour Tortillas


“We are true, stereotypical SoCal folks,” Justine admits. “We eat a lot of avocado toast. So we need bread.” While Justine loves 21 Grain Dave’s Killer Bread, she often buys Artesano wheat bread because her 1-year-old finds it easier to eat.

Related: The 7 Best Whole Wheat Breads Are Wholly Delicious

Ice Cream

A pint of ice cream always finds its way into Justine’s shopping cart. “My husband, like senior staff writer Jordan Myrick, is a mix-in freak,” she says. Most often, she opts for Ben & Jerry’s, but lately they’ve gotten into the spring-special Van Leeuwen Carrot Cake.

Related: Best Store Bought Ice Cream: Best Ice Cream from Our Taste Tests

About the Author

Navya Hari

Navya Hari is a writer, baker, and utter nuisance who would gladly take the salt out of every recipe and replace it with ten cloves of garlic. When she’s not whipping up some medieval pie, trying to create food from a video game, or covered in flour, you can probably find her asleep in bed dreaming about Indian mangoes.

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