Grocery shopping is one of those tasks that you either love or hate. I’m definitely in the love category. My passion for nutrition, creating recipes and food makes grocery shopping one of my favourite things to do. I honestly find it kind of therapeutic and I love exploring different stores for various foods.
I know this isn’t the case for everyone, and some people can find grocery shopping extremely overwhelming. This is why I wanted to go over a few of my top tips when it comes to grocery shopping so you can have a pleasant experience, not overthink every food item you pick up and shop to actually make your food last and not go to waste.
I’m really excited for this post, so let’s jump straight in!
My first tip is: Plan ahead. This sounds kinda wild coming from someone who is a 7 on the enneagram but I have a 6 wing which is where my love for planning comes in.
Gideon, my Husband, and I shop once a week. For the most part we get a lot of the same foods on repeat and get creative through the week by making all different kinds of meals. There is the odd week where we have to buy all the miscellaneous items too.
This is one thing I stand by when it comes to grocery shopping and swear by to save us money. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST. I don’t care if you aren’t a planner, this truly is the best thing you can do to help yourself out when you shop.
I go as far as sectioning mine off into different categories to help me find things easier when I’m out.
My categories are:
Eggs + Dairy
This is a general outline of what our grocery shop looks like each week.
We don’t buy the same meats every single week. We mix things up depending on the season and depending on what we feel like making.
Grass-fed ground beef. This is one of the only meats that stays consistent in our diet. Gideon struggles with anemia and I struggle with low iron. Grass-fed ground beef is the one meat that truly satisfies us and makes us feel energised. We choose grass-fed when we can because this ensures that we aren't receiving any extra hormones, grains and added nasties. It’s just beef. Once you start eating grass-fed its hard to go back because the quality is SO good.
Chicken. We tend to buy this more in the warmer months because we love making grilled chicken salads for dinner. It’s light, lean and super tasty.
Bacon. I LOVE bacon. We try our best to buy nitrate + preservative free because bacon is one of those meats that contain a bunch of added crap that you really don’t need in your body. We used to do pancake Sunday’s every week but we both feel better starting our day with protein + fat so we are going to start doing bacon + eggs every Sunday. I love creating little rituals with hubs!
Shrimp. We don’t eat a lot of seafood. Living in NE, very far from any ocean means that all our seafood is imported and it kind of makes me cringe thinking about it, especially because I used to live 5 minutes from the ocean in Australia. We will very occasionally have shrimp during the summer but other than that we aren’t big seafood people.
Pork. We occasionally buy pork in bulk and store it in the freezer. We like to make big batches of pulled pork. We were eating this a little more in the cooler months.
We also like to buy preservative + nitrate free beef sticks or beef jerky for quick, protein filled snacks. Costco have some pretty good options but if you don't have a costco membership and you live in the States, I really like the brand epic.
Gideon likes to get ham or salami for his lunches.
I try my best to fill our plates with majority veggies. There are so many beautiful vitamins, minerals and nutrients in your vegetables. It’s good to have diversity (and lots of colour) in your veggies because that means you are going to be feeding your gut micro biome all the good bacteria.
These are a list of veggies + herbs we get on a weekly basis:
Frozen Cauliflower (This is must for my smoothie bowls every morning)
We don’t eat a whole variety of fruits. We mainly choose to snack on berries! We love blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. We also love avocados! Give us al the healthy fats. I will occasionally get some other frozen fruits to add to my smoothies in the morning or we will sometimes opt to buy a bag of apples. We definitely prefer vegetables over fruits.
Eggs + Dairy:
I LOVE eggs and have made the switch this year to try my best by purchasing organic free range and pasture raised whenever I can. The quality of the eggs are SO much better and it ensures the chickens are able to roam free in the grass!
As for dairy, I am intolerant to it. I’m always left with horrible stomach pains and TMI... constipation for days if I consume it but my Hubs loves it. On our weekly shop he gets sour cream, cheese, creamer and milk. His stomach tolerates it just fine. This is very dependent on each person, you just need to listen to your body and listen to the signals it tells you when it comes to the foods you consume.
AKA… my favourite section! This is where I get all of our nuts, seeds, nut butters, cacao nibs, baking goods and dried fruit!
If you know me, you know that I am truly obsessed with almond butter. It is hands down my most favourite food in the whole world. I truly believe it is the superior nut butter. Haha! I used to love peanut butter but it just makes me feel slow and sluggish — again, listen to your body! I'd love to know what your favourite nut butter is. Let me know in the comments below!
I also buy almonds, flax seed, sesame seeds, pepita seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. I personally incorporate seed cycling into my daily routine and have noticed such a difference since doing so. I have written up a blog post explaining exactly what this is and what I do, I will link it for you here.
I also really love to make my own homemade nut milk to ensure I’m aware of the ingredients that are going into my body. Would you guys like a post explaining the process, step by step, of how I make my milk?
There is a beautiful balance when it comes to eating. For me personally, if I truly want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I need to treat myself.
Gideon is a salty + sour lover so he normally goes to some sort of cheese flavored chip or a sour lolly, where as I have more of a sweet tooth and LOVE chocolate. My go-to dairy free chocolate brands here in the States are: Honey mama’s (this is a recent discovery and it is the BEST chocolate I have ever eaten, even better than real chocolate with dairy), HU chocolate or Hail Mary’s. In saying that I do love plantain chips (even though they give me indigestion) and siete “corn” chips. They are SO good. Don’t be scared to incorporate treat foods into your diet.
This can range from toilet paper, dish washing liquid, hand soap, shampoo, cat food etc. You get the picture.
It can also be herbs (I'm a lover of herbs), sauces, superfood powders, protein powders, teas, elixers, coffee, coconut oil, ghee etc.
This is a pretty extensive run down of what our weekly shop looks like. Obviously we are only shopping for two people and we don’t need to buy everything every single week but because we try to eat as natural as possible, we restock on meats, veggies and fruits every single week.
My second tip is: Make a budget. This is where the money saving comes in. Gideon and I really don’t spend a lot of money on "stuff". We live within our means and like to be smart with our money. Groceries are the one area of our budget that we don’t mind spending a little extra on. Food is medicine and I want us to be able to nourish our bodies well.
In saying that our food shop comes out to be about $100 a week. There are obviously weeks that we sometimes spend a little more depending on if we need to restock on protein powder etc. and there are also weeks we will spend a little less. All in all it usually works out to be about $400 a month and we are really happy with that. We could definitely make it a lot cheaper but the way we eat naturally makes our food shop a little more expensive. We try to give ourselves a limit to stick to because this ensures we aren't spending more than we need to on foods that are just going to end up going to waste. We make sure what we buy, we use!
We also budget for a date night together every single week. This is really important to both of us and it’s something we both look forward to each week.
This is what works for my Husband and I. I understand this is going to look very different depending on if you have a family, if you live alone or if you live in a different country. Our shopping would probably double or even triple in cost if we lived in Australia. Find a system and budget that works well for you and stick to it. It’s saved us so much money.
My third tip is: Shop the perimeters of the store as much as possible. This isn’t a hard and fast rule because I do need to go into the aisles sometimes but I try to get the bulk majority of our food shop from the perimeters. This is where all the fresh produces is, it’s where the meat is, it’s where the eggs are and usually where the frozen fruits + veggies are too. These are the foods that are going to bring your body the most nourishment. You are still going to need to go into the aisles but because you’ve got your list, you know exactly what you need and can be in and out pretty quickly.
My fourth tip is: Shop at an off peak time. We all know that a Saturday morning grocery shop is an absolute nightmare. Avoid all the panic and all the people by going at an off peak time like a Wednesday night. Half the stress of food shopping comes with the amount of people that are in the store with you. Everyone is frantically trying to get their shopping done so they can enjoy the rest of their weekend. Avoid it all and go at a different time.
These are the tips I stick to and stand by when it comes to grocery shopping. I understand that everyone’s situation is different but I really hope you can gather a few insights from this post that help you as you do your weekly food shop.
I love this community SO much and wanted to give you guys a printable PDF file I created for you to take each week with you as you shop too. I’m a pen + paper girl through and through, so having a tangible list always makes me feel more organised. Just click the link below and download it into your files. It's yours to keep!
As always, I pray you are encouraged and feel inspired + excited to do your next grocery shop!