Pantry and Grocery Shopping Staples

When trying to eat healthy there are always certain staples I like to make sure I have handy and things that I buy on a weekly basis at the grocery store. Here I will provide a typical weekly grocery store list (planning for 1 or 2) and pantry essentials I always have handy.

Pantry Essentials–

Canned Goods:

  • Rotel (hot or original)
  • Diced Tomatos
  • Fat free/Reduced Sodium Chicken and vegetable broth (great for cooking chicken in the crockpot)
  • Reduced sodium black beans/garbanzo beans or other beans
  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie) Libbys brand is great!


  • 100% Whole-Wheat pasta– any type! I like penne or macaroni noodles but you can have spaghetti or whatever your heart desires
  • Oatmeal!!!!! I looooooove Oatmeal and have it almost every day! I use Quaker Old Fashion oats but quick oats and steal-cut oats are great too! Try to stay clear of the individual packaged kind- they have a lot of sugar added!!!
  • Higher protein/higher fiber cereals like Kashi Go Lean or Fiber 1. I try to stay clear of sugary cereals. My all time weakness is Cinnamon Toast Crunch!!! Its SOOO good.
  • 100% whole-wheat bread of some type– I alternate between having regular bread, sandwich thins, bagel thins, pita pockets etc. It is great to have some type of bread handy for a quick breakfast or lunch options! I also love snacking on peanut butter toast with bananas!
  • WHole-Wheat or corn tortillas- I love to make homemade tortilla chips so it is great to have these handy. Also a great quick lunch around here is a cheese and chicken quesadilla!

Condiments and Such:

  • Natural Peanut butter and Almond butter- I ALWAYS have extra of this,  I go through it like CRAZY. I’m a peanut butter addict, and not ashamed of it one bit! Got to have those healthy fats. My current favorite brands are Earth Balance Coconut Peanut butter and Earth Balance Crunchy with flax (purchased at Kroger)
  • Pb2– if you haven’t heard of it you MUST try it! I like the chocolate PB2 also. It is a powdered peanut butter AKA peanut flour that has a lot less fat than the actual version! It is not quite the same as peanut butter but it is great in oatmeal or for dipping apple slices.
  • Salsa– I am also a salsa addict. I use salsa for everything! I use it for dipping chicken, dipping homemade corn tortilla chips, topping chicken, dipping carrots (don’t knock it until you try it) Salsa is low cal and a great essential for everyday eating! (just watch the sodium)
  • Single Serve popcorn bags (the 100 calorie type)- These are a great night-time snack if your needing a pick-me up after dinner! I like both the kettle corn and 94% fat-free light butter!! You can also use popcorn toppers (they have flavors like Jalapeno Cheddar, white cheddar, ranch, etc that you can get at Walmart) to help add flavor. Best part about these is that they are already portioned so there is no guess work involved!
  • Protein Bars- You never know when you’re going to have a busy day and there is just no time to stop and eat a full meal. I ALWAYS carry a protein bar on me wherever I go just in case! My current favorite bars are Quest Protein Bars that you can order on their site, at iHerb, or buy at a local GNC! My favorite flavors are White Chocolate Raspberry, Choc. Chip Cookie, Banana Nut, Apple Pie and Strawberry Cheesecake…basically they are all good!!! (try baking the bar or heating it in the microwave.. it is like eating dessert) Plus these bars have great nutritional value– most are about 160-200 calories with ~20 grams of protein, 17 grams of fiber, ~1 gram sugar and only 3 grams of active carb!!!! Sign me up!
  • Protein Powder- I always have tubs of protein powder handy! These are great add ins for healthy baking, oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes, waffles etc!! I love Cellcuor Whey protein flavors– Peanut Butter Marshmallow, Vanilla Cream, Cookies-n-Cream, Cinnamon Swirl…they are all great tasting!
  • Pasta Sauce- I like to have general pasta sauce or pizza sauce handy for those lazy pasta nights! I like a good garlic lovers or sweet basil sauce my Classico!!
  • Sugar-Free/Fat-Free pudding mixes- I do NOT use these to make pudding (usually) I like to add a teaspoon or so to plain greek yogurt or to cottage cheese to add some flavor without adding sugar!! You have to try it! My favorite is the cheesecake in cottage cheese with a bit of Sugar-free jelly mixed in!

Weakly Shopping List–


  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini Squash
  • Spinach
  • Romain
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Other various Squash–> Spaghetti Squash, Kabocha squash, butternut squash
  • baby Carrots
  • Frozen Steamers (great to have handy in case you run out of the fresh) I prefer frozen to canned due to the sodium in canned
  • Other vegetables depending on what I am making for the week– i.e peppers, tomatos, jalapenos etc


  • Apples (I like Gala and Pink Lady)
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries (my favorite)
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple or Cantaloupe or Honey Dew– I usually pick one of these a week at a time to have
  • Grapes- I like Red seedless
  • Frozen Fruit- good for making creamy protein smoothies


  • Lean Ground Turkey- Good for making lean meat loafs
  • Fresh Chicken Breasts- I prefer buying non-frozen breasts and making a few at a time to have handy throughout the week
  • Other lean meats of choice ie fish or lean beaf.. I really only eat chicken but these are other good options
  • Chicken Sausage- I love chicken sausage as an alternative to chicken breasts, they have great flavor!
  • Lean deli meat- I usually get shaved 97-99% fat free chicken breast and Black-Forest Ham.. unfortunately I am not a fan of turkey deli meat..I really only like turkey at Thanksgiving or in a meat-loaf…I frankly find it bland.


  • Reduced Fat or Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
  • Kraft Fat Free (skim) Cheddar cheese slices or Fat-free shredded cheddar or mozzarella
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese (not fat free or anything, I like this on my roasted veggies)
  • 0% Plain Greek Yogurt (I like Chobani- I usually get the big tub)
  • Individual greek yogurt for snacks– I am currently loving the Light-And-Fit Greek yogurts! They have great flavors like Toasted Vanilla Coconut, Strawberry Banana, Carmel Macchiatio (new at Target), cherry etc! They have about 80 calories for 5.3 oz and 7 grams of sugar compared to a lot of other flavored greek yogurts with 12+ grams of sugar!
  • Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (at 30 calories a cup) or other milk of choice… I try to stay clear of dairy milk unless I am baking something that needs dairy milk!
  • Sugar-Free coffee creamers by coffee mate
  • Frozen Yogurt/Skinny Cow Ice cream products/ Dreyer Double Churned No Sugar Added Ice Cream– Gotta pay attention to that sweet tooth before it is out of control!
  • Egg beater egg whites– I am not anti egg yolk I just actually prefer egg whites from the carton!

Random :

  • Herbal or green tea
  • Hummus– great for dipping veggies or Kashi Hummus Chips!
  • K-cups for my coffee cravings
  • Sugar-Free Jelly (Smuckers Brand, I like Raspberry)
  • Peanut/Almond Butter
  • Nuts- Almonds or Pistachios
  • Pretzels– Not exactly healthy but better for you can chips etc.
  • Sugar-free Maple Syrups (Like Maple Grove) Or if you can find Walden Farm calorie free products (usually at Kroger or other specialty stores)
  • Stevia/splenda/truvia– whatever sweetener you like if you use them! I like SweetLeaf Drops by Stevia!

This is just a compilation of MOST of the things I get on a weekly basis but again it depends upon what is on the menu for that week– things change if I am making a specific recipe!! But this is just a basic outline. Rule of thumb is to stay on the outskirts of the supermarket!! The stuff around the edges is usually the fresh produce and the stuff in the middle isles is usually the modified or fortified foods!! I TRY to get MOST of my stuff from fresh produce but obviously I do not eat 100% perfect but I strive to eat as balanced as I can!!!


One thought on “Pantry and Grocery Shopping Staples

  1. Pingback: Special Birthday | Hooked On A Healthy Balance

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