By Celeste Parler
Web Content Contributor
No store does more than my H-E-B. The San Antonio-based grocery chain offers affordable quality products to Texans throughout the state, including San Marcos. Moving to San Marcos reminded me that not everyone was lucky enough to grow up with an H-E-B and that my friends and roommates had no idea of the hidden gems the store has to offer.
I’m grateful to have always lived near an H-E-B, and the regional chain has been my and my family’s grocery store of choice since I could remember. H-E-B’s store brands carry fantastic products from produce to toiletries that sometimes out-perform the more expensive name brand items. With that said, I have compiled a list of my favorite groceries from H-E-B that I am obsessed with and could not live without.
Honorable Mentions: Bagel Not Included Spice Blend, Sea Salt Tortilla Chips, Select Ingredients Lemonade, Frozen Macaroni & Cheese, Select Ingredients Fruit Bars
Creamy Creations Ice Cream
You knew before you clicked on this post that H-E-B’s original ice cream brand Creamy Creations was going to be on the list. Did you know that the world’s largest ice cream dessert was made with Creamy Creation’s “Texans Tackle Crackle” ice cream? (One of my favorite flavors that is, sadly, no longer sold.) Creamy Creations stocks several specialty flavors and nails classic flavors like homemade vanilla. Not only is Creamy Creations a cost-effective alternative to Blue Bell half gallons, but many Texans consider the store brand to be even better.
Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Looking for a new salty snack with the perfect crunch? Look no further than H-E-B’s kettle-cooked potato chips. These chips are full of flavor but admittingly have little nutritional value. However, most chip flavors feature the green checkmark of select ingredients, and a few flavors are even vegan friendly. In my opinion, H-E-B’s salt and vinegar kettle chips are the best on the market. But I enjoy every flavor, from salt and pepper to jalapeño to lightly salted.
Meal Simple Deli Sandwiches
Of H-E-B’s Ready Meals & Snacks, my personal favorite is the pre-made deli sandwiches. These make great meals to pack for picnics and work lunches (paired with some kettle-cooked potato chips). I like to go between the black forest ham and Swiss and the chicken salad croissant sandwiches. Since they are made fresh every day, they won’t last long in the fridge. So eat them soon after buying!
As a Tex-Mex snob, the H-E-B brand queso gets my stamp of approval. In fact, I believe the grocery store’s queso is better than several others I’ve had at various chain restaurants. My favorite has to be the Queso Blanco because of its mild spice level with green chili roasted jalapeño peppers. This queso’s flavor pairs well with the sea salt tortilla chips found in the bakery section. Just put the container in the microwave for a minute and you are ready to go.
Chopped Salad Kits
Salad enthusiasts and those looking to eat more greens alike need to try H-E-B’s variety of pre-made chopped salads. The ingredients come separately packaged, making combining and omitting min-ins a breeze. My family loves the cracked pepper Caesar salad as a side dish for Italian entrees. I prefer the sesame sweet Asian salad as a light and easy lunch. These chopped salads pair great with H-E-B’s Texas Toast frozen garlic bread.
H-E-B Original Sodas
Generic sodas tend to get a bad rep, but these store-brand drinks are anything but generic. Sure, I prefer the taste of some name-brand sodas, but you can’t beat the price of H-E-B cans and 16 oz bottles. And drinks like the Twist lemon-lime soda and the Orange Burst soda taste pretty close to the real thing. Try H-E-B’s line of sodas sweetened with pure cane sugar with no high fructose corn syrup.