Load Up the Grocery Cart: How to Make a Healthy and Affordable Shopping List

February 6, 2022

On your quest to live your best life, you might be looking for ways to not only make healthier decisions but financially savvy ones too. When it comes to grocery shopping, you might even be telling yourself you can’t have both. But we’re here to show you that isn’t the case! There are all kinds of ways to make a healthy and affordable shopping list, and today we’ll tell you how.

Here are our top tips for making healthier decisions at the grocery store that won’t break the bank. 

Start with effective pantry staples

It’s helpful to start stocking your pantry with healthy, dry goods that are also relatively inexpensive. These ingredients are great to have on hand to serve as the base of your meal and they can save you from reaching for less nutritious options.

Even better, most of these healthy and affordable shopping list items can be found at bulk stores to help you save any more.

Here are some nutrient-dense pantry staples to add to your shopping list that won’t break the bank:

  • Beans (if you buy them canned, give them a good rinse before cooking with them because a lot of canned beans are very salty)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Farro
  • Oats

Stock up on nuts

Another pantry staple you can find in bulk bins that are important to have on hand. They make a great snack with healthy fats you can grab when you’re in a pinch, for starters. But you can also use them to make nut milks and nut butters. This can be more cost-effective than buying them, and you also spare yourself some of the oils and salt you’ll find in pre-made products. 

Give frozen fruits and veggies a try

Buying fresh produce versus frozen is one area you might notice a big price difference. Until now, however, you might have been justifying the cost of fresh produce because it’s “more nutritious than frozen.” Or perhaps you’ve written off fruits and veggies for the most part because you think frozen produce simply isn’t worth it. 

But here’s the good news! Frozen fruits and veggies have the same nutritional properties as their fresh counterparts. And the best part is, frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be a lot more wallet-friendly. You also don’t have to worry about them spoiling in your produce drawer.

Consider your protein options

Protein is an incredibly important component of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Protein helps keep you full longer, maintain muscle mass, and provide you with energy, just to name a few of its benefits. 

When you’re preparing your healthy and affordable shopping list, however, you might not think there are budget-friendly protein options. But there are plenty of delicious, protein-rich foods worth adding to your list that are surprisingly affordable.

We recommend adding a cooked rotisserie chicken to your list, for starters. You can usually get a small chicken for $4-$6 and use the meat to prepare several meals. Not to mention, because it’s already cooked, you’re saving money and time.

Another budget-friendly protein is eggs. Their prices are known to fluctuate but they tend to remain one of the most affordable sources of protein. 

What’s on Your Healthy and Affordable Shopping List?

We hope these tips have given you some ideas for your own shopping list. If you’re looking for even more healthy meal inspiration, check out these quick, healthy breakfast ideas next.

A lot of the misconceptions around healthy food costing more come from purchasing prepared meals versus the ingredients for making your own. Once you start buying your own healthy ingredients to cook meals yourself, you’ll start to realize how affordable eating healthy can be!

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