Lets me just say that healthy eating in college is ridiculously hard. There’s zero time to finish all your reading, let alone cook a well balanced meal! Grocery shopping is key to success, but how do you know what to buy without going way over budget?! First, check out my post on Healthy Eating in College, and then read on for my healthy, affordable grocery list!
Keep it simple
Don’t overbuy, and don’t fret about having the perfect list. Don’t stress too much about making sure everything is organic and ecofriendly and clean and pesticide free and all those other confusing
(not to mention debatable!) concerns. Don’t beat yourself up over buying prepackaged food–sometimes it’s necessary with a college schedule! Most of all, be kind with yourself. Don’t freak out if you eat something “bad,” it’s not a big deal.
Remember the food pyramid that was forced on you in grade school? Think of that now, it’s actually super important when considering your grocery list. Here are the groups you need to keep in mind when shopping:
There’s a lot of healthy options for each group. Here’s some tips.
I like to choose two different fruits for my grocery trips, but if you can adjust that if necessary. In season fruits are generally cheaper, so keep that in mind when shopping. Another thing to consider is buying easy fruits to take on the go, such as apples or oranges. Kiwi might be your favorite, but they are not very practical to take to class.
You can buy and cook whatever veggies you prefer, but I like to keep it simple because I know I will not bother with any fancy cooking routines during the semester. My favorite go to’s are frozen veggies (microwavable!) and potato’s which can be baked in the microwave. These are excellent for quick meals. There’s also a wide variety of canned veggies available too which are incredibly easy to prepare.
Stick to whole grains if you can, such as whole grain pasta and breads. You can fit a lot of your snacks in this category as well, such as popcorn, oats, and cereals. Remember to read labels before you buy, and check for important information like sugar and fat content.
I usually only choose one meat product each time I go to the grocery store, but I naturally don’t care much for meat. I’m a veggie person. Chicken breast is my favorite, and it’s a good thing to buy in bulk because you can freeze anything you don’t use. Chicken is also easy to prepare. There’s precooked chicken options as well in case you don’t have access to a stove/oven.
I personally don’t have a good relationship with dairy. However, greek yogurt and cheese are really important to me. Once again, check labels for sugar and fat content. I prefer drinking almond milk and consuming almond milk products over other (non)dairy options. A friend of mine has recently brought a potential harmful ingredient to my attention, so read more on that here if you’re so inclined.
While you might not think snacks belong on a healthy grocery list, I think you should most certainly keep room for them in your budget. Buying healthy snacks at the store will prevent you from searching for snacks later that might not be as healthy. I personally opt for crackers, popcorn, baked chips, and granola bars.
My grocery list
Frozen mixed veggies
Whole wheat bread
Whole wheat bagels
Whole grain pasta
Low fat cream cheese
Almond milk coffee creamer
Reasonable, right? How do you keep your grocery list healthy?