In this blog post I’m going to share with you some of my tips and tricks for successful grocery shopping.
- We’re not perfect.
So, I’m just going to start off by saying that we’re not perfect. We buy our groceries at a well known grocery store called Trader Joe’s. And even though this store is a lot more “ethical” than others here in Florida, it’s still not where I want to get my food from in the long term. My goal is definitely, to one day be able to buy most of my groceries directly from the farmer. But for now, I’m doing what I have to do until we either find a close enough farmer’s market that we truly like and can trust or we can move to a better location.
- Planning ahead
Before I go groceries shopping, I always think about what meals I’m planning to make in the next couple of days. In the beginning of my health journey, I often found myself not cooking a healthy recipe that I wanted to make, because I didn’t had the right ingredients on hand. And this would really pull me down, because I would end up order food in or eat something unhealthy instead. So, definitely prepare a groceries list, with all the ingredients you need to make a healthy vegan recipe. Maybe even one from my eBook.
I use this App called “Google Keep” to do my Grocery List.
- Get enough Fruits
My best advice, if you want to eat healthier, is to snack on fruits instead of processed foods. But that is only possible if you have enough fruits at home to snack on, because you also want more than just one fruit to choose from. So don’t be shy, when it comes to stocking up on fruits. Even if you don’t feel like eating a particular fruit on this day, still get it, because who knows, you’re probably going to want to eat it tomorrow or on another day. Besides, fruits like Papaya, Pineapple, Avocado and sometimes even Bananas need time to ripen. So, you want to buy these fruits prior to actually eating them.
- Stop buying these foods
Eating healthy starts in the grocery store. How many of you have bought something in the supermarket before knowing that it’s not good for you but you promised yourself that you’re not even going to open it. You just buy it, IN CASE you starve to death. Lol. That was so me a couple of years ago. I was hooked on salty treats, like pretzels or chips and it was definitely a habit to buy these things whenever I went to the store. Unfortunately, these foods where the ones that were keeping me away from achieving my health goals. Because the reality was, that as soon as I came home I would start snacking on them just because they were there. So, if I could give you only one tip, it would be to stop buying these binge foods in the first place.
- How much do we spend on groceries?
This is a question I get a lot. So, for 3 bags of groceries at Trader Joe’s, which included not just fresh produce but also pantry foods that are a little more expensive, (like cashews, coconut sugar, maple syrup etc.) we spent in total $98. But honestly each week is different, sometimes we have to buy more staple foods like nuts & seeds which will cost us a little more and sometimes we only have to buy fresh produce. I’d say, in average we pay between $70 – $110 for weekly groceries. And if you don’t live in the States, or are more than 2 people living together don’t compare this number with yours. I know, that especially in Northern countries in Europe, including Switzerland, groceries are a little more expensive. But that’s also because wages there are way higher than here in the States or in Southern countries, so it balances it out again.
- Health is wealth.
I’m sure you’ve heard this statement before, but it’s really true. For me health is one of the most important things in life. Without it we wouldn’t exist or we wouldn’t be able to live our lives to the fullest capacity. So, with that said, I really have no regrets in spending money on healthy foods that nourish my body. And I know that not everyone has this opportunity to spend all their money on food, so don’t feel bad if you have to buy a cheaper option that may not be organic or ethical produced or whatever. I’m not always able to buy organic either but I strive to go towards that direction. Because we all have to pay a price in the end. And you choose wether you want to spend your money on healthy wholesome foods or on doctors.
- Is being vegan expensive?
A lot of people believe this myth that being vegan is more expensive than being an omnivore. Now, this is just simply not true. At least, not if you mostly eat wholesome foods. Our groceries for example consist of 90% Wholesome foods and about 10% lightly processed foods. Processed foods are always going to be more expensive than most whole foods. I’m talking about things like “mock meat”, “mock cheeses” etc. But these type of foods aren’t a necessity and more like a treat in my opinion. Whole Foods on the other hand are a whole different story. A bag of potatoes, rice, beans, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes or lentils are way cheaper than meat. The only thing that is a little more expensive, are nuts & seeds, but at the same time, it is something that lasts for a longer period of time and we usually only have to stock up on them once or twice a month. If you’re still questioning if being plant based is more expensive, I encourage you the next time you’re in the supermarket to compare the prices between plant foods & animal products and let me know what you found out.
8. What I look out for
- It has to be vegan. Nowadays this is simply done, since most of the foods are labelled vegan. Or you can check the back and it will list if it contains any animal products. Look out for things like Granola bars if that’s something you buy. I find that a lot of them have added milk powder or something like that in them. And if you already eat a mostly Whole Foods diet, this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Organic produce. Whenever I can, I chose the organic option. I find that Trader Joe’s has very reasonable prices for Organic produce, unlike other stores. So, I definitely recommend exploring different supermarkets around your area and see which one have the cheapest prices for organic foods.
- No plastic if possible. It makes me so sad when I see veggies and fruits being wrapped up in plastic but it’s the reality in today’s world. Whenever they have a non-plastic option I definitely chose it, but that’s not always the case. Someone told me the other day that I should express my opinion towards plastic to the store manager and I think that’s a great idea. Because it’s true, only if we the consumer demand change, these supermarkets will change. So, the next time I’m there, I’m going to express my concerns about plastic. And of course, I always bring my own reusable bags with me, which I have laying around in the car, like that I don’t forget them.
I hope, this post was helpful to you and gave you a little insight to what’s going on behind the scenes. Grocery shopping can definitely be fun and it will get easier with time and practice. Just like everything else. 🙂
Love, Val x