Many people ask me “well you are a vegetarian, and mostly vegan, what do you even eat?” Sometimes they say “what do you eat for snacks?” or “How do you get any protein?” It’s difficult to explain sometimes in a simple answer. So I thought I would write a post about what is on my grocery list. This would show everyone what I typically get in one week for my fiance, our baby (who is now eating solids) and myself. We typically shop at Trader Joes or Whole foods because we feel we can get the best quality produce and everything we need there. Now my list varies each time I shop, it depends on season, and there are some times when you go to the store and get those things you don’t need every time you shop. I am not going to cover those things like olive oil, sriracha sauce, spices etc… Those items we don’t get every week so I am just going to go over the items we get weekly.
We like to mix it up week to week sometimes getting different fruits then the previous week and sometimes if we have a special recipe in mind then our grocery list will be different. However we have the usual weekly staples. We eat LOTS of fruits and vegetables, we stay mostly in the produce area of the store. I’m just going to give an example of a typical grocery list for my family and also give an example of another grocery list that keeps under a budget of $100.
To start incorporating healthier foods into your diet you can use these lists as a guide. Start with a typical list you use for your grocery shop and eliminate some of those processed foods like we discussed before (eight tips for starting a healthier lifestyle) and replace with some of the items from these lists. We do a large shop because both my fiancé and I pack lunches and we eat breakfast and dinner at home as well. We also juice which requires more produce. I am not recommending that someone who doesn’t eat this way go out and purchase this exact list. It’s much better to slowly transition into this new lifestyle. So here are the grocery lists!!
Our typical grocery list:
Our typical grocery shop falls around $150. This might sound expensive but to me, there is nothing better to invest my money in than the fuel for my body. But honestly with the amount of food we get and the meals we are able to make its totally worth it. We buy most everything organic also which I would highly recommend doing.
Budget under $100 starter list:
So I calculated this budget friendly list to be about $80 give or take depending on where you shop and how many of each item you get. This should be a good start with enough food for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Now, of course if you are not a vegetarian or vegan this list will be different. You will have meats on the list or possibly cheeses or eggs. That’s totally fine too! We did not start out as vegetarians, in face we tried it a few years ago and we were so nutrient deficient and tired we couldn’t do it. We were not doing it correctly. We weren’t eating enough food in general. Now we are supplementing with tofu and tempeh as our meat substitutes and eating lots of nuts in our trail mix like almonds and walnuts. I will say making the (totally accidental) transition into vegetarian/vegan eating has made it much cheaper. A container of tofu at Trader Joes can cost about $2 compared to meat that costs around $5-$10 for a small decent cut of chicken. Also a brick of tempeh is $1.99 at trader joes which is just way less expensive than meats.
Money shouldn’t be the reason you switch to a vegetarian diet in my opinion. However I just wanted to de-bunk the thought that to be healthy you have to spend twice as much. I also like to stay aware of where and when my local farmers markets are, I can get excellent quality food for even less expense there!
You might look at this list and think it’s completely different from how you shop now which is totally okay. You might think to yourself “three bunches of bananas?? Why on earth would I do that??” Bananas are one if those staples that you can bring anywhere and are delicious yet satisfying. We use them for breakfast, snacks on the go and we peel, chop and freeze atleast one bundle to make our own healthy ice cream in the evenings! You might think a bag of oranges is WAY TOO MUCH oranges for you. That is totally fine, as I mentioned above, we juice so half of those oranges are going into our healthy juices. Same with half our pineapple and sometimes celery and carrots. I hope this post gives you a little insight and inspiration for your next grocery shop! I personally LOVE the grocery store! Here is our little Augustus at Trader Joe’s, as you can see he LOVES to shop!!
We cook many different types of meals and we typically have no waste from our shop. We like to try and use everything we bought before we return to the store so that way we are not buying double of things by accident and we find it saves money. If we reach the end of the week and say we went out to dinner because of a special occasion, maybe some of our food is going to go back if we don’t use it, we will cook up a stir-fry to take for lunch, or make a healthy juice to drink in the morning. Its going to take some practice and some trial and error. You are going to have to experiment with what you like and what foods work for your typical week of eating. We have had to be really aware of what foods work for our busy summer work weeks and what foods work for our cold snowy weeks in the winter as well. We like to take advantage of what is in season, eating lots of watermelon and berries in the summer, and taking advantage of cold crops in the winter like spaghetti squash, kale and root plants like potatoes. We would love to hear what your grocery shop is like! What are your secrets for staying healthy when you shop? Please let me know if you have any questions about these lists and how to shop under budget! Thanks for following!