10 Healthy & Cheap Foods To Always Have On Your Grocery List

It happens to the healthiest of us — the week gets busy, your social calendar fills up and you forget to meal prep. I’ve done this too many times to count and then I end up ordering food or picking up takeout for dinner pretty much all week. Sometimes I’ll go to the grocery store with good intentions and walk out with a hodgepodge of ingredients because I didn’t have a list.

I realized a number of years ago that life won’t get any less busy, so to help ensure I eat healthily, I thought I should memorize a few recipes. The recipes below don’t really require cooking — just preparing and tossing together salad ingredients. Who says it needs to be complex?!

Here’s what to buy at three different grocery stores for healthy dinners to carry you through the work week.


Trader Joes 10 Item List:

Big bag of kale

2 packages of roasted Brussels Sprouts

2 packages of roasted sweet potatoes

1 lemon

Container of Tahini

Miso paste (I use white)


Bag of sunflower seeds

This grocery list makes a hearty salad you can quickly prep for dinner each night. I like to warm the Brussels Sprouts and sweet potatoes up just a bit before adding them to the salad. Make this Miso Tahini dressing. After tossing, let sit for 10 minutes so kale softens up a bit.


Safeway 10 Item List 

About 2 cups of Quinoa from the bulk bins

About 1/2 cup shelled pistachios from the bulk bins

1 serrano pepper

1 yellow onion (to caramelize)

1 bag arugula

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch tarragon

1 bunch mint

1 bunch dill

This makes a delicious and flavorful main course dish. I just copy Yotem Ottolenghi’s Green Couscous recipes but substitute quinoa for couscous so there is added protein and iron. If you can’t find all the herbs don’t worry, I’ve improvised and it still turns out pretty flavorful. You’ll have a lot of extra mint and maybe a little extra tarragon and dill. I use extra mint in water with a little cucumber, and extra fresh herbs for salad and sprinkled generously over veggies after they’re done roasting.


Whole Foods 10 Item List 

2 bags of romaine

1 clamshell of organic cherry tomatoes

2 avocados

1 red onion

2 limes

Roasted Chipotle chickpeas

I love the flavor of this salad. Juice the limes and mix with a little olive oil and sea salt to use as dressing. Thinly slice the red onion, cube the avocado and roughly slice the lettuce.



Speaking of main course salads, here are a few of my other favorites:

Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Lemon Tahini Dressing 

Salad with Carrot & Ginger Dressing  (I’ve made this salad so many times. The dressing is out of this world delicious! You’ll need a hand blender or high-powered blender to make it).

Avocado Tuna Salad

Blueberry and Mango Spinach Salad with Basil Vinaigrette   (This is a sweet salad that’ll help curb your sweet tooth, like those days you consider having a cupcake for dinner!)


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