One of the most important parts of any healthy meal planning routine is creating the grocery list and going grocery shopping. If you’re new to eating healthy or trying to get more organized in the kitchen, perfecting your grocery list is easily one of the most practical ways you can change your eating habits. That’s where this ultimate healthy eating grocery list printable comes in. This ultimate healthy eating grocery list provides a framework for your grocery store trips. It’s time to stop feeling lost and overwhelmed at the store. Create a well-planned list (using this template) and take control of your trip.
Not only does this list include fruits, veggies, and fresh meats, but I have also included a few (minimal/basic ingredients) convenience foods that I would buy when time and getting SOMETHING on the table are more important for my family than the extra money or preparing a 100% home-cooked meal.
Anyway, this healthy eating grocery list is perfect for beginners and those that are new to healthy eating. It will even help those who know the concepts but are looking to get more organized in their method or simply need a place to start creating their menu plan.
What’s in my Ultimate Healthy Eating Grocery List?
Note: Be sure to grab the free healthy grocery list pdf at the end of this article. It’s set up to help you navigate the grocery store with success!
Here’s how the FREE PRINTABLE PDF is organized to help guide you in your meal planning and grocery shopping!
Organized by Category
This ultimate shopping list is categorized by grocery store section including PRODUCE, PANTRY STAPLES, and FRIDGE/FREEZER. Each category is further broken into sections such as meat/eggs, packaged snacks, oils, and condiments, etc.
Includes notes on WHEN to choose Organic and when to SAVE Your $$.
Do you want to limit your pesticide exposure, but want to stay within budget? Utilizing EWG’s Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen lists will help you know when to invest in organic and when to save your money. The clean fifteen list includes those items that have been tested to show fewer amounts and less likelihood of pesticide use, whereas the dirty dozen are the 12 foods that will give you the most bang for your buck by buying organic and avoiding pesticides.
The clean fifteen items on the ultimate clean eating grocery list are designated with a small C15 beside them and dirty dozen items are labeled D12. This helps you make educated decisions in the grocery store and will help you to budget your grocery money more effectively.
For example, avocados are at the top of the clean 15 list with studies showing fewer than 1% of samples having pesticides. Similarly, less than 10% of conventional onions showed pesticide residue.
On the other hand, strawberries take the number one spot on the dirty dozen list with 1/3 of all conventional strawberries containing 10 OR MORE pesticides. One sample of strawberries actually had 22 different pesticides! Spinach lands in number 2 spot on the dirty dozen list with 97% of samples containing pesticide residue and high concentrations of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide.
Packaged and Convenience Foods
I’ve found one the biggest ways we can eat healthy day in and day out is to be prepared for anything. For me, that includes having a few convenience items on hand that I enjoy.
Do you like salad dressing, but don’t have time to take make your own? No worries! I’ve got recommendations including the brand of salad dressing I buy when I am tired of oil and vinegar or don’t feel like making my own. The list even includes some packaged foods like protein bars and frozen foods I buy for MY family (even frozen foods like the Dr. Praegars spinach littles that I occasionally fix my 15-month-old!)
How to implement the Ulitmate Grocery List in Your Home
As a beginners guide to following a mostly whole food diet.
This list is perfect if you are just getting started with choosing minimally processed foods as it goes through every category.
Using the Healthy Grocery List on a Budget
Eating healthy or “clean eating” on a budget can be a challenge, especially when buying higher quality products. However, you can certainly eat healthfully and follow a budget. In fact, it’s possible to even save money and eat healthier, especially if you have been purchasing a lot of convenience foods or eating out frequently. Here are a few steps you can follow when utilizing this grocery list on a budget:
- Print off the ultimate healthy eating grocery list which you can find in the Freebie Library here.
- Carefully plan your menu. Be sure to check out this post to get some grocery budget tips you can implement with healthy whole foods.
- Mark off what you don’t plan to purchase. (This is a very comprehensive list. For example, this list includes a whole page of produce items and you would never buy that many in one trip. It was created to give you tons of ideas).
- Plan to make items such as salad dressing at home to save on cost. I’ve listed the salad dressing brand I prefer. However, it is pretty expensive and if you following a tight budget then it could easily add up. Salad dressing is easy and simple to make. I have this Kolder salad dressing mixer from Amazon and it can make it really easy to mix up dressings on the fly.
- If reducing pesticide exposure is important to you, but you need to balance it in your budget, following the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list I talked about above can save you money by selecting the most important items to buy organic. Also, some new studies are showing a baking soda bath to be the most effective way to remove pesticides (the study was completed on apples specifically). Some other experts claim a vinegar or salt water solution can also be effective. And finally, most studies confirm that the motion of scrubbing (using a vegetable brush when appropriate) aids in pesticide removal.
Having a plan for your grocery shopping trip will help you to reduce impulse and last-minute purchase decisions as well as food waste. A well-thought-out grocery list is a great place to start in being intentional with your grocery budget.
Beginner Tips and Resources for Choosing Healthy Foods
- Read the Labels – When choosing packaged/canned foods read the label. There are many, many ingredients that can be added to foods. 2 great things for beginners to focus on would be looking specifically look for added sugar and artificial colors.
- A First Lesson in Nutrition: How to Meal Plan and Grocery Shop – Some great meal planning tips for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Simplify Grocery Shopping: Save Time and Money – Read more for some great tips on more efficient and organized grocery shopping to save you time!
Healthy Grocery List FAQ
What should a healthy grocery list include?
Basically, it should include everything you are going to eat for the week. The ingredients you need to make meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and snacks. Making a detailed list will help you stay on track at the store and save on your grocery budget by not purchasing foods off the menu. In short, it should include a good mix of produce (veggies and fruit) for meals, proteins (meat or plant-based protein), and of course pantry staples. As you can see from my list below, I also purchase a few convenience items for those times when we get off our original plan or are truly short on time.
What is Clean Eating? Is this a clean eating grocery list?
In general, when someone refers to clean eating they are choosing whole foods and minimal ingredient products. Think of your grocery basics like fruits, veggies, meat, and minimally processed packaged foods. When presented like this, it’s a healthy way of eating that can be easy to understand and simple to follow. This list could be considered a clean eating grocery list.
A note on clean eating: A clean eating can mean different things to different people. Describing the way we eat can be challenging since there aren’t necessarily universally agreed upon terms. However, we often have to choose a label anyway so that we can communicate! Even the term “healthy” can vary from person to person. Some experts prefer not to use the term “clean eating diet” as it can lead (not always, but it does happen) to a feeling that foods that aren’t perfectly whole or minimally processed are “dirty” or “unclean.” This can domino into disordered thought patterns and even create feelings of guilt when eating a treat or something off your usual path.
I am a huge proponent of balance, moderation, and joy with eating. I believe healthy food
can should be delicious and I believe you should make peace with food. In general, I’m not one to get caught up in worrying over terminology and labels.
Enough about technicality, go get your ultimate/healthy/clean eating/real food grocery list!
FREE 2019 Printable Grocery List PDF
Now, you may be wondering how you will start adding more healthful foods and making better choices at the store. Trust me I know, once you get in the grocery store or actually start meal planning it’s easy for ideas and motivation to fly out the window. That is why I’ve created a downloadable COMPLETELY FREE healthy grocery list for you!
The Ultimate Healthy Eating Food List
- Lettuce (green leaf, romaine, red leaf, etc)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet Potatoes
- Squash, Summer
- Squash, Winter
- Honeydew aMelon
- Oranges/Clementines (cuties, etc)
Grains and Legumes
- Oats, Steel Cut and Old-Fashioned – The Complete Guide to Oats has tons of details on choosing the best oats.
- 100% Whole Grain Pasta
- Sprouted Grain (like Ezekiel) or Whole Grain Bread – Check out the Complete Guide to Sprouted Grains and Choosing the Best Sprouted Grain Bread for more detailed information.
- Brown Rice and/or Wild Rice
- Dried beans and lentils
- Canned beans (black, kidney, pinto, white/cannelloni or great northern)
Canned and Packaged Goods
- Organic Tomato Sauce
- Organic Tomato Paste
- Organic Pizza Sauce
- Organic Diced Tomatoes
- Organic Marinara Sauce
- Organic Salsa
- Organic Chicken, Veggie, & Beef Broth
- Nut Butter (Peanut butter, Almond Butter, etc)
Note on canned/packaged goods: read ingredient list when choosing products. Many may contain hidden sugar.
- Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix
- Lara Bars
- RX Bars
- Kind Bars
- KRAVE beef jerky
- Triscuits, organic
- Popcorn for Popping
- Packaged Popcorn (Boom Chicka Pop)
- Organic Tortilla Chips
- Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds)
Baking and Seasoning/Spices
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Oat Flour (can also make your own using old-fashioned oats and a food processor)
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Dried Spices/herbs (chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, basil, oregano, parsley, etc)
Oils and Condiments
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Note: Please read this article to learn more about the best olive oil and how to avoid olive oil fraud.
- Coconut Oil
- Maple Syrup
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Dark Chocolate Chips
- Tessamea’s Salad Dressings
- Ketchup (Look for Tessamae’s or another brand without or with minimal added sugar)
- Coconut Aminos
- Vinegar: Red Wine, Balsamic, Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother for enzymes and good bacteria benefits)
FRIDGE AND FREEZER
Meat and Eggs
- Organic Eggs
- Grass Fed Beef
- Chicken, Organic
- Turkey, Ground, whole
- Fresh Pork (such as tenderloin)
- Wild Caught Fish
Frozen Fruits and Veggies
- Frozen Fruits & Berries
- Cauliflower Rice
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Pre-chopped Frozen Veggies (Onions, Bell Peppers, Butternut Squash, Mire Poix)
- Steamable Veggies
- Plain Greek Yogurt, Organic (If you want flavored, Siggi’s has much less added sugar than most brands and even a no added sugar variety.)
- Cottage Cheese
- Natural Cheese Block (Avoid processed cheese such as American and Velveeta)
- Milk Alternatives (Unsweetened Nut Milk, Oat Milk, or Coconut Milk. Look for minimal ingredients and avoid carrageenan when possible.)
- Milk, Dairy
Note on dairy products: Choose grass-fed and organic when possible. If you know a local farmer with good farming practices this is even better.
Frozen Convenience Foods
- Hillary’s Veggie Burgers (many varieties available)
- Dr. Prager’s Brand Items (Veggie Burgers, Fish Bites, Spinach Cakes, Kids products)
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Kodiak Cake Waffles
- Ezekiel Brand – Bread, Tortillas, and English Muffins