I get tons of e-mails asking me about a sample grocery list/healthy foods that are important in having in a every day pantry.
Each time I would e-mail my lovely readers back with, “I am working on a post for just that, and it should be up soon!”
Soon turned into weeks, which turned into months, which turned into I’m the worst blogger ever. Hopefully today, however, I can redeem myself by finally introducing you to that post that I have been promising so many of you!
When it comes to grocery shopping and stocking a healthy pantry, it’s easy to want to buy every ‘health’ food on the market and have your pantry fully stocked with every ingredient. I’ve been known to snag bags of healthy flours, grains, sweeteners, etc. because they are just so tempting. But in the end, I usually don’t use them as I thought I would, and I ended up wasting money where I could have spent it elsewhere…
Like, on chocolate. I can ALWAYS find a use for chocolate.
Since starting this blog, I’ve accumulated a large range of food products and I’ve learned that some things are necessary, and some things aren’t when it comes to a healthy pantry.
So before I start listing all those items, I’ve come up with a few ways to easily, as well as cost effectively, stock your pantry with things that are good, wholesome, and natural for you and your family!
Instead of rushing out and buying every healthy ingredient, start slow.
For example; If you planning on having rice that week for meals, buy brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice. If you plan on baking banana bread that week and you are out of flour, buy whole wheat pastry or spelt flour, instead of white flour. If you want to make a stir fry for dinner one night, try tofu one night instead of chicken. It’s all about simple switches!
Which leads me to my next tip:
You don’t need 10 different types of flour, and every single type of vegetable that you found at the farmers market. Your bill would be incredibly high, and then you will have to explain to your husband that all the cool kids are doing it and you are just dying to fit in. Of coarse, he won’t understand, and then you will be stuck with 50 pounds of veggies, and only a few days to use them before they go bad. You will also get the runs, because you had to eat so many veggies, and then you really aren’t going to be happy…
You DON”T want to go there.
So here is the solution:
Try 1-2 new vegetables a week, try a different flour the next time you run out, buy only one type of nut butter, buy tofu one week and tempeh the other.
It’s also important to buy 1 thing at a time, because you or your family might not like that item, and then you could be stuck with it. Which leads to my next tip:
Take advantage of the bulk bins and your local health food store. They have a variety of nuts, seeds, powders, flours, etc. that you can purchase by the weight. That way you can try it out, and if you don’t like it, you aren’t stuck with a 10 pound bag.
When it comes to other food items, do the same.
Just because that box of chocolatey cereal says its first ingredient is Whole Grains, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. More likely than not, the 2nd or 3rd ingredient will be sugar. If you bought every food item that said it was natural/healthy/low sugar/low fat/ etc., you would end up with just a bunch of over processed junk food.
We try really hard to not buy TOO many packaged and processed food items, but there are certain things that are nice to have in the pantry. (For example, you are not going to find me making my own spaghetti each time it’s pasta night. Maybe once in a while, but I’ve got other things to do and trash tv to watch! ) So when we do buy those items, always read the ingredients. If you don’t understand all the ingredients, or know what they are, don’t buy them. And just because it’s organic, doesn’t always mean it is ‘healthier’. There is such a thing as organic sugar…
If possible, plant a garden, or at least an herb garden. Having herbs around are great ways to flavor your foods to make them taste better. If you can grow a garden, even better! That’s less money spent for you!
Also, shopping at the local farmers market is a great way to buy groceries. A lot of times it’s cheaper, and it’s better quality. On top of it, supporting local businesses is always a plus!
Lastly, don’t be afraid to try new food items. Different types of veggies, flours, and grains can be scary, but trying it at least once is a great way to introduce your self to different foods. Every two weeks or month, buy a new spice. Eventually you will have a cabinet full of a variety of spices to cook delicious meals with! It’s good to eat a variety of foods, because each one has it’s different nutrients! You never know, in the end you might find a new favorite food!
I have two printables for you today!
The first one is a sample list of every type of food item I could think of that could help stock a healthy pantry:
Yes, that’s page two of THREE!
Here’s the low down on this list. Your pantry doesn’t have to be stocked with everything on this list, instead it’s more of a guide of different types of food that you and your family can try and check off every so often.
Also, it’s important to know that I probably left out some food items that your family loves that is healthy. The only excuse I have for that is that I am 34 weeks pregnant, and I can’t remember if I shut the garage door when I left the house…So by all means, if there is something on that list that isn’t, add it on. And then feel bad for me because I get lost in parking lots all the time…
Click the link below for The Ultimate Grocery List PDF:
The next printable I have is a blank grocery list that you can use to take to the store with you, and fill it in with the food items you are getting that week!
Click the link below for the Blank Grocery List PDF:
Now that you have the list of food items, you are probably wondering which ones to buy first.
Depending on preferences that you may have, there might be a few differences as to what I would choose versus what you would choose. Here are a few things that I would focus on:
Since I have always believed in eating a majority of plant based foods, I think it’s best to always have those types of foods on hand. For example:
There are obviously lots of vegan cheeses, mayo, fake meat etc., but I believe a lot of those are over processed so I don’t always recommend them. My feeling is try to eat lots of natural plant based foods, and if one day you want cheese, eat it. Moderation and balance is key, as well as making sure it’s organic, whole, and natural. Stay away from fat free/low fat etc. products. My feeling is that they are pumped with other nonsense goods to make up for the low sugar label. Eat those foods moderation, and mainly focus on plant based meals.
I know that some people have different opinions and beliefs and that is great! If you are a vegetarian or vegan, stick to what you believe and don’t side with me. This is just what my family personally does and works best for us! Remember to keep that in mind as you are planning meals for your family!
Main thing is, have fun with your food and learn to love eating healthy!!