Nutrition tips for how to grocery shop efficiently, budget frugal, what foods to buy where, and what you should always have in your kitchen!
Buying and eating healthy can be overwhelming when you don’t even know where to start when you get to the grocery store. You want to eat healthy but it’s expensive and you don’t even know what to buy to make your dollars last.
I’m here to help!
I know that these tips may not be for everyone that scrolls through my blog and that’s okay. I’m offering some advice and suggestions that I know have helped me fuel my training while poorly adulting for the first year and a half on my own.
I’m a smart shopper and I know some tricks that can help you save a lot of money while you build your pantry and maintain healthy living.
It all starts with making a list. Staying organized and knowing what you need before you hit the store will save time and money.
So I’ve compiled a few lists broken down into simple categories for you(and no it’s not an exact list of everything I go buy at the store each week!). And no you don’t need to go out and buy everything on these lists.
This is just a guideline for some of the types of foods you should have in your healthy/fit kitchen!
Fruits and Veggies
- Sweet potato
Dairy/Non Dairy alternatives
- Almond milk, coconut or soy milk
- Skim milk
- Greek yogurt or lowfat/nonfat yogurt
- Low fat cream cheese
- Butter or vegan butter spread
- Orange juice
- Tart cherry juice (or make your own with chia)
- Apple juice
- Black beans
- Pento beans
- Green beans
- White beans
- Quinoa(it’s really a high protein veggie but I’m sticking it here bc you’ll see it on this isle or with the rice)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Spreads & sauces
- Peanut butter
- Coconut oil peanut spread
- Almond butter
- Tomato sauce
- Pasta sauces
- Low fat dressings for salad
- Low sodium soy sauce
- Hot sauce
Nuts, grains & breads & pasta
- Brazil nuts,almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds,
- Chia seeds & flax
- Brown rice
- Basmati & jasmine rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain bagels
- Any deli/lunch meats
- Green tea bags
- Matcha powder(raw green tea powder! It’s amazing and what I got hooked on this year in my smoothies and lattes at Starbucks!)
- Instant coffee powder
- Brown sugar
- Protein bars
- Cereal bars
- Organic Jelly or jams
- Crackers/healthy salty snacks
WATER!!!!!!! I don’t like tap water..fluoride*cough*cough*
You can buy 24 pack or a gallon of purified drinking water for under a dollar at most stores.
- Anything with high fructose corn syrup(I do not purchase anything with this in it)
- Trans fat
- Sugary juices
- Candy or fattening snacks w/ low nutrition
- Processed foods
- Canned foods
- Red meat(I know some of you eat that and it’s okay! I just don’t eat beef or pork so I don’t buy it)
- White bread
- Cottage cheese or high fat butters/spreads
- Sweets!!! A little desert every now and then is okay but loading up on candy and ice cream isn’t!
I typically go grocery shopping once every week-week and a half. Normally I only need to restock each week or so on my meats,produce and any short-term perishables like fruits,fresh veggies or milk and cheeses.
Most of your grains, pastas, breads, oats, snacks & dried foods will last two or more weeks depending on what you buy and expiration dates.
I like to buy my meats FRESH and cook them the day I eat them(I’m mainly talking about fish/chicken/frozen meats for dinner).
Now, I know that many people that food prep LOVE to make all of their meals on Sunday and have them all lined up and ready to roll in the fridge for the week.
I’m the same way EXCEPT– for my dinner meats, I make those the day of or have left over meat the next day for dinner at most.
I normally do my food prep on Sunday’s too- my breakfast smoothie bags, morning meals, snacks, fruit baggies, lunch bowls, sandwiches, pastas, salads, & cut veggies and fruits all put in their containers and sealed up(on a normal, good week!)
BUT-something about stale,dry chicken and broccoli for dinner each night just rubes me the wrong way..I like variety and switching it up every now and then makes me happy.
That may work for some or that may not. Take it or leave it folks. Do what you will eat so you don’t get bored or waste food.
My grocery store hit list-what’s best to buy where?
Gold mine for the following:
Sweet potato chips
Black bean/blue corn chips
Nuts(they have this amazing can of mixed nuts you can buy for less than $3 filled with Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts ect. Basically all the good ones & good for you)
Apple sauce & fruit snacks
Pastas,quinoa, pasta sauces
Frozen fruit for smoothies
Basically any little fueling/healthy snacks or dried foods.
Wouldn’t recommend meats,dairy or produce here.
Where shopping truly is a pleasure.
I buy all of my deli meats here and cheeses. It’s the best quality and you can get lucky with specials in pricing each week. Publix is great for frozen or fresh meats too you can make the day of or stick in the freezer. Also, if you go to the seafood counter- you can get a piece of fish steamed right there for you, buy it, go home and just prepare your sides and have the protein part ready to go! It’s awesome.
BOGO. Need I say more..? Look out for cereals & certain dairy, snacks and other items on your list that could be buy one get one free at publix each week.
Cartwheel. Download the app now and you’ll be penny pinching your way down your list in no time. As if we needed to spend more time in Target getting distracted by all its goodies.
I love buying my veggies and some fruits here. Prices are normally good and it’s on the way home for me most days. I also buy my water, Gatorade and a few snacks here. You can also find some sales here on certain items each week.
Best place for FRESH FRUITS & VEGGIES hands down.
Trader JoesBest place to buy cheapest wine/craft beers
Sushi, salads,cold lunch items, breads, snacks
Frozen meals and veggies, pastas are affordably priced and good quality
Organic snacks and sweets
I mainly hate going in this place for obvious reasons- too many humans & only like two registers out of 25 open at a time.
It is pretty great to bulk buy some of the non perishable items and really save money on a budget though. If you can muster up enough patience, this is the best bang for your buck overall. I don’t buy deli meat or produce here.
Alrighty, that wasn’t so bad huh?!
Shopping for healthy and affordable foods takes a little practice, knowing what sales are happening and what to look for when you go shopping, having a plan and committing to it.
Yes, food prepping does take a little time out of your Sunday-fun day..
BUT it will save you money and time and health in the long run the following weeks when you’re in a hurry, tired and hungry during the day. You’ll be prepared, satisfied and your body will adapt to not craving unhealthy, empty foods that just add calories.
Have fun with it. Eating is supposed to be enjoyed. Play with recipes and find out what you like and switch it up every now and then. Don’t be boringggg and force yourself to eat the.same.meal.every.day.blahhhhh.
You know your body best. And your body will respond well when you fuel it right. Take care of your temple!! You only have one, treat it with respect and care. 🙂