A 5-Step Guide to Creating a Healthy Grocery List

Grocery shopping is often the one weekly task we all dread. We’re on a mission to change that! To make it fun, quick and cost effective, creating a grocery list ahead of time is essential. This five-step guide will have you looking forward to grocery shopping and will ensure that your cart is full of fresh, healthy ingredients.

Create a meal plan

At the beginning of each week, think through how many meals you need to prepare and what you’d like to cook for each meal. Once you’ve planned out your recipes, make a list of the ingredients you’ll need for each one. As you do this, keep two things in mind: First, ask yourself what produce is in season. Not only is local produce usually cheaper, it’s higher in nutrients and tastes better. Second, make sure each meal has a good serving of vegetables and protein.

Don’t forget about snacks

While you may plan healthy lunches and dinner, it’s easy to go for the junk food when hunger hits in the afternoon. Stay on track by purchasing healthy snacks each week and stocking your home and office. With the abundance of fresh produce in season right now at farmers markets, it’s easy to create a healthy snack by pairing fresh fruit with a handful of nuts, or local chopped vegetables with hummus. For more creative ideas, read our 3 p.m. Visual Snack Attack Guide.

Use staple ingredients more than once

There are certain fresh ingredients that you may need for a recipe, but know you won’t use the full package. Rather than let the rest go to waste, try to incorporate a second recipe that week with the same ingredient. For example, if one recipe calls for fresh mint, find a second recipe that also uses mint.

Buy in bulk and freeze for next use

It’s often cheaper to buy food in bulk. This works best for foods you can store in the pantry (like grains) or foods you can store in the freezer (such as meat). Vendors at local farmers markets offering grass-fed meat will often offer a discount if you buy a larger portion. Keep in mind that you don’t have to eat it all that week. Instead, freeze some and make your grocery list a little bit shorter the following week.

Organize the list by location

When you’re buying groceries for the whole week, the list can be long and you may be making multiple stops. In order to make shopping as fast as possible, group the ingredients by the location you are going to pick them up. That way, you know exactly what you need and nothing is forgotten.

Mandy King

Mandy King is a Holistic Nutritionist and Gluten Free Guru whose passion is to provide delicious recipes and easy nutritional tips to help you live your healthiest life possible. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and being forced to change her diet, Mandy was lucky enough to discover her passions of health, nutrition and food. Check out her website, <a title="www.healthyeatingandliving.ca" href="http://www.healthyeatingandliving.ca/" target="_blank"> www.healthyeatingandliving.ca</a>, for lots of healthy and delicious recipes and simple nutritional tips. You can find her on Twitter at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/mandyking_HEAL" target="_blank">@mandyking_HEAL</a>.

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