Going into the grocery store can be intimidating for anyone, especially when you are vegan and can’t eat half of the store.
When you first walk in, your bombarded with advertisements, sales and food everywhere the eye can see. Even if you have experience in the kitchen, grocery trips can still be tough! Whether you forget each and every ingredient that you need your dinners this week or you inevitably spend hours perusing the store for what you need, grocery trips are never easy.
That’s why you never want to walk into the grocery store without a plan. Plan out your meals, include ingredients and how much you need of each. That way, when you go into the grocery store, you know exactly what you’re doing. You can get in, and get OUT!
I like to organize my grocery lists by food type. By organizing your list by the type of food, you make your store trip easier since these products tend to be all-together. For vegans, the main food types include vegetables (obviously), fruits, grains and beans, fats (the good kind), non-dairy products, and pantry items.
Let’s start with vegetables.
My personal favorite! You can purchase vegetables fresh or frozen; fresh being the more nutrient dense option. Staple items always on my grocery list include broccoli, carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, kale, garlic, spinach and lettuce (I like romaine!). While it looks like a lot, it goes pretty quickly while cooking! In the frozen section, I look for corn and peas, stir-fry mixes, broccoli, edamame, and chopped spinach.
Next, the fruit section! So sweet and succulent, fruit is hard to resist. Choose your favorite fresh fruits to eat within a few days and choose frozen fruits perfect for smoothies and baking. I 100% always buy fresh apples, bananas and oranges. Then, I supplement those fruits with whatever is in season. Look for blueberries, strawberries, grapes, honeydew or cantaloupe, watermelon, plums, peaches and kiwis! In the frozen section, I always go for the mixed berry blends.
Grains are the next section you will hit in the grocery store. Keep around 2 100% whole-wheat products for easy lunches, like sandwiches, pitas and wraps. This includes bread, tortillas, English muffins, and bagels. I also like to keep 2-3 whole grains in my pantry for dinners. I like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and russet potatoes.
Finally, healthy fats! Don’t worry, you’re the good kind of fat. This has to be my absolute favorite meme. Healthy fats are very important when it comes to a vegan diet. When it comes to this list, you can find almost all of these products in my kitchen at all times. Research your favorite recipes and pick items based on those! Fatty, omega rich, food items include coconut milk, hummus, peanut butter, nut (almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.), seeds (chia, sunflower, flax, sesame, etc.), and oils (coconut, olive, sesame, canola).
You definitely do not want to forget pantry items! While these won’t be on your list every time, it’s a good idea to stock up on these items. This includes sweeteners, like agave syrup or dried fruits, herbs and spices, condiments (salsa, mustard, Sriracha, vegan mayo) and cooking and baking goods (whole grain flour, baking soda/powder, vinegar, cocoa, etc.).
Lastly, non-daily milk items are usually the last one the grocery list. Pick whatever plant-based milk and flavor that you enjoy the most. I love Silk vanilla almond milk! You can also look at soy milk, coconut milk and flax milk. If you like yogurt, most grocery stores should have some sort of almond or coconut yogurt.
And there you have it!
You are officially ready to go vegan grocery shopping! Off you go!