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14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | Live Better And Save Money

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!  

Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

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.

Whether it’s for your healthy smoothie recipes, meal prep ideas, or an antioxidant-rich diet, I hope you find these tips as useful as we have the next time you go shopping.

Let’s go!

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:

  1. Make most of your meals at home and learn to properly meal prep
  2. Have a weekly meal plan (Check out my $75 Whole Foods Meal Plan Challenge)
  3. Choose whole, nutrient-dense ingredients
  4. Avoid highly processed and sugary foods and drinks
  5. Make your own healthy sauces, dips, and snacks
Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

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:   

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Legumes and grains
  • Pasta
  • Dairy products, eggs, and fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, etc.)
  • Meat, fish, and vegan proteins

For the freezer:

  • Frozen fruits and veggies
  • Proteins
  • Bread and flour

For the pantry:

  • Healthy fats and healthy oils
  • Nut butter and nuts
  • Condiments
  • Spices
  • 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.

14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | To Live Better And Save Money

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
Easy and Healthy Sheet Pan Dinners
  1. 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.
  1. 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!)
  1. 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:

  1. 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.
  1. Buy meats on sale and store them in the freezer. Only if there’s a sale AND it’s something you’ll need soon. 
  1. 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.
Healthy Tzatziki Sauce | With Fresh, Clean Ingredients
  1. Buy produce in season. Pay attention to what’s in season in your area and buy produce accordingly as it’s significantly cheaper.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | To Live Better And Save 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:

Fruits:

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Frozen berries
  • Kiwi
  • Apples

Veggies:

Meat, fish, eggs:

Dairy:

14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | To Live Better And Save Money

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:

  1. 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.

  1. Avoid the center aisles. They’re usually filled with junk food and highly processed stuff.
  1. Choose whole, nutrient-dense, and real food. Avoid buying sugary snacks store-bought seasoning, items with ingredients you can’t pronounce, etc. 

For example, I make my own taco seasoning, fajita seasoning, and even BBQ sauce! It’s healthier and cheaper that way.

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:

This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

10 thoughts on “14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | Live Better And Save Money

  1. Thank you so much for the Grocery Shopping Tips that will really make the right decisions. This blog is extremely useful. Keep sharing informational posts. We care about the satisfaction of our consumers. To know more about grocerybabu. visit us at https://www.grocerybabu.com/

  2. I like the tip that you gave to eat before you go shopping. My wife and I have been talking about shopping more for different collectors quilts as a hobby of ours, and it would be important for us to know that we can do so comfortably. If we choose to go shopping more, I will be sure to always eat before we go out.

  3. I appreciate you mentioning creating a budget and sticking to it so that I have something to help me when making tough decisions. I will not just have a budget, I will make sure to take only the exact amount with me when I go out shopping. This is because I really want to save money for the holidays, but I cannot ignore my urge to shop. This is the best way to play safe.

  4. scrive:actually? they both weren’t Klebold asked Valeen Schnurr after she began to cry out, “Oh, God help me!” Klebold approached her and asked her if she believed in God. Schnurr floundered in her answer; first replying “no” and then “yes” switching back and forth (Valeen is still alive btw) . Cassie and her killer didn’t exchange words at all.

  5. Thanks for continuing to show us what’s possible Ray. If Garmin could add the necessary firmware to allow myself and my wife to transfer files ANT+ transfer files from our Edge 500 and 800:-)Increasingly we are trying to get buy with just an iPad on trips so being able to upload via an iPad/iPhone would be very helpful. I was thinking about a Garmin 210, but seeing this new way to upload my data I’ll need to seriously consider a 610 instead.

  6. Where do you get things like chick pea flour? I live on the Mississippi Gulf coast and have not seen anything like that in the stores here. We are typically limited to Rouses, Walmart, and Winn Dixie.

    1. Hmm..do you ever see a selection of flours from like Bob’s Red Mill? It is also called garbanzo bean flour. While it’s easy to find in more health-type stores, like Whole Foods, I have also seen it at larger, non health stores as well. You could also order it on amazon at a discount, too 🙂

  7. Thank you for these grocery shopping tips. I am 62 years old and have been organizing my grocery list by ‘departments’ for ages. A huge help! I hate when I forget my list- like scanning the beach for sea glass, when you turn around to come back you always see ”more’! When I backtrack in the grocery store I always see things that I wasn’t aware of before!! Great for beach glass – not so much in the grocery store!
    Wish I still had your energy! You are doing a wonderful job for the rest of us. Thank you!

    1. You’re so welcome, Carolyn. I’m glad these tips are helpful for you. I totally agree – we’ve learned that if we don’t have a list, we don’t even walk into the store – it’s just a bad idea haha.

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