Meal Prep

Grocery List for Healthy Meal Planning

You’ve made the decision to eat more healthfully — now what? How do you know what basic groceries you’ll need to prep healthy meals and stick to your nutrition goals? Grocery shopping can be overwhelming as it is — according to the Food Marketing Institute, the average supermarket has around 30,000 items to choose from. So we asked nutrition experts to explain the best methods for coming up with a basic grocery list of healthy staples you should always have on hand in your kitchen.

“It’s always best to go to the grocery store with a basic grocery list in hand — this can help prevent impulse buys and keep you on budget,” says Krista Maguire, R.D., C.S.S.D. and Nutrition Manager for Beachbody.

Once you take the time to nail down a good basic grocery list, it’ll only take only a few minutes to figure out what you need on future shopping trips.

“I find the best way to go about building a healthy grocery list is to plan out your meals for the week,” adds Maguire. “When you have an idea of what you’ll be eating, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy.”

Use the basic grocery list below as your baseline, then add whatever additional ingredients you’ll need for any healthy recipes you plan to try this week.

Most recipes yield multiple servings, so if you live alone, plan on using the leftovers as meal prep.

For example, say you want to make spaghetti with spinach and ground turkey: “You’ll likely buy one box of pasta, one package of ground turkey, one jar of pasta sauce, and one bunch of spinach,” says Maleah Staton, R.D.

That’ll yield enough food to cover 4 to 6 of your meals for the week.

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