Healthy grocery tips that won’t break the bank! It CAN be done.

Every mom needs a little help when it comes to figuring out what to fix for dinner EVERY night. You want to find healthy foods for your family, but who has the time or energy after a long week of work and chores to spend hours at the health food store?

You CAN buy healthy foods for your family at the regular grocery store (and not spend a fortune) if you know what to look for!

Below are some great healthy grocery tips that I use myself to help make the trip to the grocery store quick, easy and (nearly) painless:

  1. When buying bread and pasta check the list of ingredients. Look for the words “Whole Grain” as the first ingredient. If you see “wheat flour” or “enriched flour” as one of the first couples of ingredients, then this is mostly refined white bread with some whole grains added.
  2. Buy lean meat, fish (especially oily fish like salmon) and poultry when it is on sale and freeze it for future use.Try to limit deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats due to high levels of nitrates.
  3. Buy organic milk when possible.
  4. Avoid pre-packaged meals that contain high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Try broiling fish and steaming fresh broccoli instead!
  5. Try to spend half your budget each week on fruits and veggies and spend the other half on whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Start in the produce department first and work your way around the outside edges of the store. Most processed and unhealthy foods are kept in the centre aisle. Limit what you buy there!
  6. Stop buying soda or fruit juice that is mostly sugar water! Buy unsweet tea or tea bags to make tea yourself and keep in your refrigerator. If you must buy juice, be sure it is 100% juice and limit the amount you and your family drinks each day.
  7. Stop buying junk food at the store. I have discovered if I don’t buy candy or chips, my family won’t miss them! They will grab a piece of fruit to curb that sugar craving instead. Plus, not spending money on junk food saves money in the budget for healthier foods instead!
  8. Learn to read food labels. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), bleached flour, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup by checking the ingredients on packages.
  9. Buy a bottle of red wine each week. Alcohol in moderate amounts is actually good for adults especially red wine.
  10. Buy healthy cooking oil like Canola or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

If you can’t afford all organic produce, try buying these fruits and veggies organically since they have the highest levels of pesticides left on them even after washing (according to a study by the Environmental Working Group):


Apples, Cherries, Grapes (imported from Chile), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries


Bell Peppers, Celery, Potatoes, Spinach (and other leafy veggies)

Also, here is the list of the CLEAN 15.

You don’t have to buy these organically. They are not as prone to damage by insects and have the least amount of pesticides!

onion, avocado, sweet corn (frozen), pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, egg-plant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato

(CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT TO BUY ONCE YOU ARE AT THE STORE? Check out these great totes!!)

12.  Purchase berries, peaches, mangos and other fruits when they are on sale and freeze in individual baggies for use later in smoothies or on whole grain waffles.

13. YES, you can use coupons and still have a healthy grocery list! It takes some work to pull your list together each week, but stores offer great coupons on things like frozen vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain waffles. But, don’t get tricked into buying processed foods just because you have a coupon. Just because a bag of candy is $0.50, doesn’t mean it needs to be in your cart! 
Some things have taken my family longer to get used to than others, but these healthy grocery tips have really improved my family’s overall health and nutrition!