Make a healthy grocery list…
That saves you time and money

Healthy eating begins when you walk down the aisles of your supermarket.

With so many options to choose from (both healthy and not-so-healthy), it is important to prepare yourself with a well-organized and planned grocery list. To do this, we’ve compiled some tips for improving your time management, budget, and diet – so that you can get in and out of the grocery store knowing that you have everything you need.


Tip 1: Consider planning your meals in advance.

Mapping out an entire week’s worth of meals could save you money and time. A good example would be that you could roast a chicken on Sunday night; then plan to make a spinach and chicken salad on Monday night and Tuesday, chicken soup.

Tip 2: Prepare your grocery list based on food category.

For example your categories might be: Bakery and bread, meat and seafood, pasta and rice, oils and sauces, juices and drinks, produce, dairy and eggs, etc. Doing this alone dramatically reduces your supermarket time.

Tip 3: Buying fresh foods is best.

Fresh foods provide nature’s best nutrients. Apples, broccoli, and chicken breasts, as opposed to applesauce, frozen broccoli, and precooked frozen chicken, are all excellent examples of foods that may provide better taste and quality when fresh. The perimeters of grocery stores usually carry the fresh foods. Also, if you have a local food market, like the Lee County Alliance of the Arts Green Market, consider visiting. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are often not carried at grocery stores can be found.

Sample grocery list items:

– Skinless chicken or turkey breasts

– Ground turkey or chicken

– Salmon, halibut, trout, mackerel

– Reduced-sodium lunch meat (turkey, roast beef)

– Tomato sauce

– Mustard

– Barbecue sauce

– Red-wine vinegar

– Salsa

– Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, nonfat cooking spray

– Jarred olives

– Whole-wheat bread, pita pockets, and English muffins

– Whole-grain flour tortillas

– Brown rice

– Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta

– Diced or whole peeled tomatoes

– Tuna or salmon packed in water

– Low-fat soups and broths

– Black, kidney, soy, or garbanzo beans; lentils, split peas

– Diced green chilies

– Frozen vegetables: broccoli, spinach, peas and carrots (no sauce)

– Frozen fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries

– Frozen cooked shrimp

– Pre-portioned, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt

– Whole-grain waffles

– Whole-grain vegetable pizza

– Skim or low-fat milk, soy milk or almond milk

– Fat-free or low-fat yogurt

– Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese

– Low-fat cheese or string-cheese snacks

– Eggs or egg substitutes

– Firm tofu

– Butter or spread (a variety that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils)

– Whole-grain crackers

– Dried fruit: apricots, figs, prunes, raisins, cranberries

– Nuts: almonds, walnuts, peanuts (roasted and unsalted)

– Seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, whole or ground flaxseeds

– Peanut butter, almond, or soy butter

– Hummus

– Dark chocolate pieces (containing more than 70% cocoa)

– Unsweetened green and flavored teas

– Calcium-fortified orange juice or 100% juice (with no added sweeteners)

– Sparkling water

– Fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries

– Vegetables: sweet potatoes, baby spinach, broccoli, carrot sticks


– Look for a large variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. They contain the most nutrients.

– Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and locally grown. They taste better, and cost less.

– If you’re busy, buy pre-cut fruits and vegetables. They’re easier to cook with and eat.