Write a healthy grocery list: Never go shopping without one!

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If you have ever walked into a supermarket hungry and without a plan, then you know that you might wind up walking out with some expensive impulse purchases. Then when you get home, you find yourself unpacking food that you don’t really need. Our solution: write structured shopping lists that fit your healthy lifestyle. But what’s the perfect healthy grocery list, and what foods should you make sure you include on yours? In this post, we’ll give you our best healthy grocery shopping list tips.

Writing a healthy grocery list: the advantages

Before we get into the different foods you should definitely put down on your shopping list, let’s talk about the advantages of a well-structured shopping list. Once you’ve created a shopping list, you’ll benefit several times over.

  1. Writing a grocery list saves time

Good planning is good for time management. As soon as you enter the supermarket with a plan, you can work through the fruit and vegetable aisles, the refrigerated sections, and the canned goods shelves – and save a lot of time. When you get to the checkout, you’re guaranteed to have everything you need in your cart.

  1. Writing a grocery list helps you avoid unnecessary impulse purchases

Well, have you ever gone to the supermarket with a few ingredients in mind, but come out with a bag full of other products? With a shopping list in your pocket, this won’t happen again, and you’ll only end up buying what you want to put on the checkout belt.

  1. Writing a grocery list saves money

With a plan in your pocket, you’ll also save money. Logical, because you buy what you need – and no more.

  1. Writing a grocery list for healthy eating

Spontaneous purchases often end up not only buying expensive products, but also bags of unhealthy foods and snacks like high-sugar granola bars, salty crackers, or sweet sodas. Your healthy shopping list reminds you to buy the products you wrote down.

  1. Writing a grocery list avoids food waste

Another advantage of a weekly shopping list is that you stock your kitchen with foods that you’ll eat promptly and thus you can avoid fresh foods from spoiling.

Recognize healthy foods

As a newbie when it comes to making a list, you’re faced with a blank slate. Before you pull out your pen, we’ll help you to identify healthy foods.

  •   Go wild in the fruit and vegetable departments, as unprocessed foods like fresh fruits and all vegetables clearly fall into the healthy category.
  •   Take a look at the ingredients list of ready-made and prepackaged foods. Generally, the fewer the ingredients, the healthier the product.
  •   When checking the label, also pay attention to the composition of the macronutrients.
A white mesh bag holds fresh fruits, vegetables, and a bottle of juice from a healthy grocery list

Our tips for the perfect shopping list

Planning your weekly shopping and about to create your perfect grocery list? Then follow these tips:

  1. Check kitchen supplies – Open your refrigerator and pantry before filling out your list. Having a basic supply of food is great, but your focus should be on the food you’re still missing.
  2. Pay attention to seasonality – Every month, the supply of seasonal fruits and vegetables changes. Fresh foods that are in season are usually less expensive due to their high availability and are the healthier choice.
  3. Sort foods on your list – Sort the ingredients on your shopping list according to their section in the supermarket, i.e. fruit, vegetables, dairy products…
  4. Shop and check off groceries – If you buy from more than one grocery store, remember to check off the groceries you’ve already bought so you avoid duplicate purchases.

Shopping list apps

Want to swap pen and paper for a smartphone? A suitable app on your phone can help you plan your shopping even faster and easier. Best of all, thanks to your smartphone, you’ll always have your list with you, so you can edit it and check it off as you go. Browse your store and find your new shopping list app.


We love structured lists because their advantages are clear: those who enter the supermarket with grocery shopping lists save time, money, and end up carrying bags full of healthy food home.

One last tip: Browse our huge database of the best fitness recipes and fill your list with the ingredients of your favorite recipes.

Sources for this article

We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.