Do you end up going home with too much food you don’t even need? This post shares healthy grocery shopping tips to help you stop overspending. It also includes a master grocery list to make your clean lifestyle easier!
As you can imagine, we go through a lot of food in our house.
From the YouTube recipe videos to the food blog, testing new recipes… Just being a family of six (who eats a lot) — we allocate a good amount of our time and money on groceries.
Over the past years, Dustin and I have learned a lot of healthy grocery shopping tips and tricks for how to save time and money at the grocery store.
My guess is nobody really enjoys grocery shopping all THAT much. But it doesn’t have to feel like a total chore!
As long as you head to the store with intention and preparation, grocery shopping can actually be fun.
How Can I Eat Healthy Every Day?
The key to eating clean every day is to keep things fun, delicious, and simple. Learning to enjoy your food (and the process), is the best way to make your healthy diet sustainable.
Here are a few basic tips that can do wonders for your healthy lifestyle:
- Make most of your meals at home and learn to properly meal prep
- Have a weekly meal plan (Check out my $75 Whole Foods Meal Plan Challenge)
- Choose whole, nutrient-dense ingredients
- Avoid highly processed and sugary foods and drinks
- Make your own healthy sauces, dips, and snacks
What Should Be On A Basic Grocery List?
I talk about going for whole, nutrient-dense foods and avoiding highly processed stuff in my clean eating post. Sticking to these can help keep your clean diet sustainable and even budget-friendly!
Here’s a general list of food you can stock up on for your healthy diet.
Feel free to add items if they’re not here:
- Legumes and grains
- Dairy products, eggs, and fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, etc.)
- Meat, fish, and vegan proteins
For the freezer:
- Frozen fruits and veggies
- Bread and flour
For the pantry:
- Healthy fats and healthy oils
- Nut butter and nuts
- Healthy canned goods
- Drinks (tea, protein powders, coffee, etc.)
- Healthy snacks
You might also have additional miscellaneous items such as baking soda and powder, chicken broth, etc.
What Is A Master Grocery List?
A master grocery list is your complete, reusable shopping list with all the food and household items you usually buy.
You can refer to this every time you head to the store, add or remove items depending on the season or your needs. (Feel free to use my grocery list outline above.)
How Do You Grocery Shop For Healthy Food On A Budget?
Shopping healthy on a budget is very possible (and fun) when you’re prepared.
I’ve divided my tips into two parts: before your trip and during your trip to the grocery.
Before your trip to the store:
- Take an inventory of what’s in your pantry and refrigerator. Go through your fridge and pantry to see which items you’re low on and avoid buying stuff you don’t need.
- Keep an ongoing list of items you are low on. This helps you avoid forgetting important things when it’s time to head to the store. I keep a list on my phone but feel free to write it down if you prefer.
- Organize your grocery list by section. Once your items are listed, take the time to divide them into the appropriate sections that match your grocery store.
- Plan your meals ahead of time. Plan for enough meals to get you through your next trip. Make sure you’ll be able to fully prepare 4-5 meals with what you’re buying. For help with meal planning, click here.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Eat before heading to the store to avoid spending extra. You tend to buy items you don’t need when you’re hungry. (Trust me on this!)
- Reuse similar ingredients. Think about what groceries you’re buying and how left-overs can be re-used in something else to avoid wasting food and money.
During your trip to theStore:
- Always bring a list. Showing up unprepared will result in you aimlessly walking around every aisle, buying food you don’t need, and spending more money than you planned.
- Buy meats on sale and store them in the freezer. Only if there’s a sale AND it’s something you’ll need soon.
- Make extra portions for lunches. One way to make your money, time, and groceries stretch farther are to make extra portions of your meals to use as lunches.
- Buy produce in season. Pay attention to what’s in season in your area and buy produce accordingly as it’s significantly cheaper.
- Stick to a budget. This helps force you into making decisions for what you really need versus what you just kind of want and helps save money in the process.
- Watch every item get scanned. When checking out, watch the cash register as your items are scanned. You’d be surprised at how often something gets scanned incorrectly and you get charged the wrong amount.
This also helps you get a feel for what it is you’re spending your money on.
- Pay attention to your time. Set a limit for how long you’ll be at the store. Typically, 45 minutes to an hour to buy a week’s worth of meals should be enough. The longer you’re in there, the more money you’ll spend.
- Follow a pattern. Get to know your grocery store, the layout, peak hours, and sales. Follow the same pattern every time you go to stay efficient with your time and money.
What Groceries Should I Buy On A Tight Budget?
When you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to prioritize the basics. These are relatively cheap and can make a ton of different meals if needed.
Here are healthy foods you can buy on a tight budget:
Grains and legumes:
- Frozen berries
Meat, fish, eggs:
- Canned tuna
- Ground beef
- Chicken breast
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
How Do You Shop Healthy At The Grocery Store?
The best way to shop healthy is to be prepared and have a plan.
Deciding on what you need, knowing where to shop, and familiarizing yourself with the store can do loads of help!
Here are 3 simple ways to shop healthy:
- Stick to your list. This is a big one. Before arriving at the store, decide to buy only what you need. Meal planning makes this easier.
*Except if there are special sales on meat etc. that can give you extra savings.
- Avoid the center aisles. They’re usually filled with junk food and highly processed stuff.
- Choose whole, nutrient-dense, and real food. Avoid buying sugary snacks store-bought seasoning, items with ingredients you can’t pronounce, etc.
More Helpful Posts For Eating Healthy And Saving Money
Taking your healthy lifestyle or budget to the next level? Here are some posts to keep clean eating sustainable:
- How To Eat Healthy At Restaurants
- Make Your Own Cold Brew Coffee At Home
- 23 Helpful Ways to Eat Healthy on A Budget
- The Top 18 WORST Fake Healthy Foods
- The Ultimate Guide To Meal Planning For Families
- How to Meal Prep + Easy and Delicious Meal Prep Ideas
This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend