Use This Healthy Meal Prep Shopping List to Simplify Your Next Grocery Store Run

Jun 8 2019 - 9:23am

Feeling overwhelmed by the mere idea of meal prep [1]? Sit tight, sister. We've got you! Washing, chopping, tossing, baking, blending, portioning, and freezing are all enough work on their own, so use our trusty grocery store guide and shopping checklist [2] to make your trip to the supermarket a breeze. We'll guide you through produce, protein, the frozen section, and beyond to ensure you have every single thing you need in the kitchen to prep your menu for the week [3]. Not sure what to make? We have meal prep recipes [4] for you, too.

You'll start with the produce section, stocking up on essential fruits, veggies, and pre-chopped staples. Then you'll move your way into the center aisles for grains, spices, and sauces. Finally, you'll wrap up with the chilled and frozen selections (saving the coldest for last!), so everything stays fresh on your journey back to the kitchen. Check it out.

Fresh Fruit: Produce Section

Start with fruits for smoothies [6], yogurt and oatmeal toppings, and snacks. You can be more flexible with these selections depending on what is in season, and what looks and smells appealing.

Fresh Vegetables: Produce Section

You'll want fresh (not frozen!) vegetables for salads, protein lettuce cups and wraps, and grain bowl toppings. You'll also want these for soup recipes and sides. Plant-based for the win [7]!

In addition, many recipes (especially soups!) start with a mirepoix (a fancy French word for a specific veggie mix), so include the following for that:

Pre-Chopped Essentials: Produce Section

As a meal-prep time saver, skip chopping garlic and ginger, and opt for refrigerated pre-prepped jars [8].

Pantry Essentials: Center Aisles

Pantry items like grains, spices, oils, broth, and nuts are essentials; they're peppered through the grains, soups, and baking aisles. See what you already have in your cupboard and fill in the blanks!

You may want some flavors or accoutrements from different foreign cuisines. The ethnic food aisle or section of the aisle should be near the grains and spices. For example, if you're creating an Asian-inspired dish, you may want some of the following ingredients on hand in your pantry:

It's amazing what you can do with just a little bit of seasoning and sauce. You can dress up an otherwise boring grain bowl [9] with a little something extra, and it immediately transforms from plain to amazing. Consider oregano, basil, and marinara sauce for an Italian dish, ginger and turmeric for an Indian-inspired meal, or cumin and chili powder for a Mexican twist.

Proteins: Butcher/Deli, Refrigerated Section

Unless you're a soy-averse vegetarian, your proteins will be refrigerated or frozen. Save these for near the end of your shopping trip so they don't thaw or warm up while you shop. Any of these can be found either chilled or frozen (aside from tofu, which is simply refrigerated).

Dairy, Eggs, and Dairy Alternatives: Refrigerated Section

Also at the end of your trip, pick up any dairy or dairy-substitute items, as well as eggs.

Frozen Essentials: Freezer Section

Whether you need frozen veggies for longer shelf-life [10], frozen fruit for smoothie packs, or frozen protein in bulk, this is the final stop on your grocery run. Consider picking up the following:

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