nutrition

The Ultimate Budget-friendly Grocery Store List

Hey Angels and Alphas,

If eating healthy food and cooking at home are some of your goals for this year, learning how to navigate your grocery store list should be one of your first orders of business. 

There’s a misconception in the weight loss and fitness world that eating healthy is more expensive than eating bad food. This, quite frankly, is not the case.

Sometimes, you might need to go to several stores or pick out one of a variety of brands in order to get the best price. 

But over time, the savings really add up. Knowing which items you’re OK with spending more on (such as pastured, free-range eggs, or organic products) will motivate you to find a deal somewhere else that balances is out. 

But the point is this – you can eat healthy and on a budget. And with this grocery store list, this task will become easier than ever. 

Whether you have a strict, dedicated food budget or you’re just trying to spend less this year, there’s no reason why your grocery store bill should break the bank. You can make healthy, delicious, nutritious meals at home all while keeping your food costs down. 

THE OVERALL STRATEGY FOR BUDGET-FRIENDLY DIETING

When it comes to budget shopping, meal planning is key. A fundamental golden rule is to never buy food that you don’t have a plan for. This prevents those end-of-the-week garbage tosses of all the fresh produce you bought and had no clue what to do with.

If you want to keep your costs down, focus on fresh, in-season produce. Stick to your grocery list as closely as possible and avoid buying convenience foods. 

They can be very useful and help you save time, but they will likely be a little bit more expensive than the ones you have to slice and peel yourself. This goes not just for the produce, but for all your meat and poultry, as well.

To get yourself started, use this grocery store list and build up your pantry full of foundational foods that you should always have on hand. These foods are affordable, nutritious, and can be used throughout many recipes and dietary styles.

VEGETABLES – beets, sweet potatoes, onions, parsley, lettuce, garlic, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, spinach, mushrooms, and celery. 

FRUIT – oranges, grapefruit, bananas, kiwi, apples.

MEAT AND POULTRY – Whole chicken, ground turkey/beef, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks, bone-in pork chops.

FISH AND SEAFOOD – Sardines, canned salmon, canned clams, tilapia, cod.

GRAINS – whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread.

FROZEN FOODS – edamame, corn, chopped spinach, mixed veggies, fish and seafood, berries, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower rice.

PANTRY STAPLES – yeast, whole-wheat flour, popcorn, peanuts, peanut butter, olive oil, chia seed, canned tomatoes, canned beans, baking soda, baking powder, and dried lentils/beans.

DAIRY – eggs, yogurt, nut and seed milks (such as almond and soy), butter, and cottage cheese.

STRATEGIES FOR BUDGET-FRIENDLY SHOPPING

  • Stores such as Walmart/Trader Joe’s are great for inexpensive produce and bargains on frozen foods. 
  • Meal prepping is an amazing way to save money and time in the kitchen. If you plan out your meals, you’ll be able to only buy what you planned for.
  • Check the individual unit pricing when you’re choosing between items and brands for bulk purchases. Avoid packaged snacks and processed foods since they provide little-to-no nutrition per ounce.
  • Buy whole produce instead of bagged produce. Compare the prices to find the best value.
  • Meat is usually cheaper when purchased in bulk. And it’s less processed that way. Consider purchasing whole cuts and then repacking them in smaller amounts that you can freeze and use for cooking later on.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS…

With the costs of groceries only going up in the last year, we all need a friendly reminder that you don’t need to break the bank to eat healthy. With a few simple tweaks, you’ll be able to nourish your body (and keep your budget low.) 

Choose recipes with low-cost ingredients, plan out all your meals, make a list, and stick to it. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save.

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