It’s been a while since I posted details of my grocery shops and I thought it would be interesting to take another look at how I shop and what kind of ingredients are ending up on my shopping list in light of my diet evolving.

Since I started doing my Big Budget Challenges I’ve learned a lot about how to shop as best I can to save money where possible. I still shop at a variety of places including Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco and Waitrose as well as regularly hitting up Aldi, my local green grocer and the market for cheap fruit and veg, plus the health food store for things like tempeh.

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I have my ‘favourites’ from each of the different places I shop. For example I love Tesco’s  whole foods range – they seem to be the best place to stock up on whole grains, dried beans and nuts and seeds and tend to have the best range of non dairy milks available for me in my area. I also love their huge bags of pre washed spinach and kale. I also specifically visit Waitrose to buy kabocha squash (when they have it!), coconut water, Popchips and basil tofu – when by budget allows!

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I mainly shop at Aldi and Sainsbury’s because they are local to me. Aldi’s spinach, cucumbers and celery are often on offer and much cheaper than Sainsbury’s so I’ll pop in to Aldi and see what I can get before going to Sainsbury’s on my way home from work. Sainsbury’s always have the best range of frozen berries including their Basic range mixed frozen fruits, as well as having some tasty Basic range hummus and big bags of Basics range courgettes.

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I love the green grocer and market for picking up whatever fruit and veg is on offer plus they tend to be the best place to get large bunches of fresh parsley and some of the more unusual and in season fruits and veggies that I love so much.

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I do wish that I could afford to buy more organic produce but the way I approach it is that I do what I can. When I see something organic at a good price I definitely stock up. I also try and shop seasonally as much as possible, usually what is on special offer / cheap tends to be what’s in season, although I have to admit I still love my frozen berries throughout the whole year!

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Over the last couple of years since I started blogging I’ve noticed that my grocery staples have changed, as have the things I get for James too. I’ve also started to feel like I want to get back to basics. After 2 years of blogging where I have experimented with all kinds of weird and wonderful health foods, I now feel like I know which of these actually works for me and my needs.

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Here’s a list of my current staples, the things I generally buy at least once every couple of weeks…

My staples:

  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Kale or Spring Greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Red Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Courgettes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Lemons
  • Pink Lady Apples
  • Avocados
  • Frozen berries
  • Tahini
  • Hummus
  • Shoyu
  • Wholegrain Rice Cakes
  • Plain Tofu
  • Crushed Ice
  • Frozen soya beans
  • Green Tea
  • Dark Roast Coffee
  • Non dairy milk – almond, hemp, coconut, rice
  • Other in season / on offer fruit and veg

In addition we also get the following which are more for James: white pasta, white sugar, porridge oats, quorn products, tomato passata, cooked ham, tinned tuna, baking potatoes, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, skimmed milk and once a week a big pizza ;-)

I blogged about healthy eating in a relationship if you’d like to know more about how I manage mine and James’ different diets!

Then there are the less regular staples (about once every month – two months):

  • Full fat tinned coconut milk
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Nut butters (peanut, almond, sunflower seed etc)
  • Fresh ginger and garlic
  • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat)
  • Spelt flour
  • Gram flour
  • Garlic powder and Italian seasoning (for the tomato passata to make into a cheap tasty pasta sauce which James loves)
  • Dried and tinned beans (chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc),
  • Dark chocolate (the darker the better)
  • Olives
  • Dried fruit (raisins, gojis, dates etc)
  • Muesli (always Dorset Cereals)
  • Pretzels
  • Popchips
  • Sweet white miso paste
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Xanthan gum
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Red wine
  • Sugar alternatives – agave, sweet freedom etc – got a vlog coming up on this soon!
  • Vegan vegetable bouillon powder

More unusual / specialist foods – I get these from Holland and Barrat, my local health food store or iHerb:

  • Sun Warrior Protein powder
  • Good hemp protein powder
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • yogi or celestial seasonings herbal teas
  • tempeh
  • kelp noodles
  • Sauerkraut
  • vital wheat gluten
  • coconut butter
  • maca
  • ground flax
  • cacao nibs
  • chia seeds
  • coconut oil (doubles up as a skin moisturiser)
  • raw cacao powder
  • raw cacao butter
  • raw apple cider vinegar (doubles up as a facial toner 1:4 with water and as a digestion tonic)
  • coconut water

I know that’s still a big list, but its much smaller than it once was thank goodness ;-)

As I said in my evolution of my diet post and as I’ve blogged about generally, proteins and fats are where its at for me at the moment. I can not get enough avocado, full fat coconut milk, coconut oil and nut butters! Those fats are making me feel great so I’m keeping them coming.

In light of wanting to do more experimenting with my diet I also think I’ll be adding local free range eggs and small amounts of full fat dairy to that list in the coming weeks. This week I have had some full fat Greek yoghurt and my body was totally fine with it so we shall see how we go!

What’s on your shopping list? How do you approach budgeting for your food shopping? What are your essential unusual or specialist foods?