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How I plan my weekly vegan grocery list + 6 items I always buy

by tamarajune
Published: Last Updated on

I’m a big fan of arriving at the grocery store prepared. I always like to know what I need to get before I even go in.

It saves time and money as well as minimizes impulse buys and food waste. Thus, I always get exactly what I need and nothing more. 

I know not everyone likes to plan his/her grocery store trip, but it does have a lot of benefits. Plus, it truly does not require a lot of extra time or effort. 

So, in this post, I share the four steps I always go through when planning my weekly vegan grocery list. Applying these strategies makes planning a lot easier, quicker, and less dreadful. 

Towards the end, I also share the 6 items I always purchase when I go grocery shopping and why I buy them. 

Paper grocery bag full of fresh vegetables as an example of what to put on your vegan grocery list

The whole process of planning my vegan grocery list takes me about 10-15 minutes. 

Occasionally, it may take longer if I have a hard time coming up with recipes I want to make.

But in general, the four-step process is very efficient, and the little time invested upfront pays off in many ways. 

Let’s get started! ➡️

Step 1

Make sure all your pantry staples are stocked

The very first thing I do when I sit down to write my grocery list is make sure that I’m not out of or running low on the staples I keep in my pantry. 

I do use all these items frequently, so I want to be sure I always have them on hand.

Naturally, I try to add an item that is running low to my grocery list as I’m using it. 

However, sometimes I forget. 

So, as I’m sitting down to write my vegan grocery list, I take a minute or two to remember if I used up anything this past week.

Often I take a quick peek inside my pantry to double-check as well. Once I know I have all my staples, I move on to step 2. 

Step 2

Check your fridge and freezer for items that need to be used up or expire soon

Vegan groceries such as vegetables, fruit and grains on a white surface

I don’t like to waste food. So, I always check my fridge for leftovers I still need to eat and other products I need to use up.

 I also check my freezer to see if there’s anything I should eat soon. 

Once I know which products/ingredients I need to consume this week, I plan how I am going to incorporate them into my dishes as well as when I’m going to make them. 

If I can’t use something up before it goes bad, I freeze it.

Once I made sure that as little food as possible goes to waste, I move on to the next step. 

Step 3

Plan all the meals you’re cooking that week and jot down the ingredients you need to make them 

Small shopping cart with vegetables in it

The hardest part about this step is coming up with recipes. I have weeks when I’m overflowing with ideas and weeks when nothing sounds good. Anybody else ever feel this way?

But aside from that, this step is quite simple. 

Because I already have the ingredients I frequently use in my pantry, I don’t have to add a lot to my list in this step. 

Usually, the only things I need to purchase are fruits and veggies, perishable items, and recipe specific ingredients I don’t use frequently. 

When I plan my meals, I do my best to keep seasonality in mind, and I would encourage you to do the same.

It makes your food fresher, more flavorful, and it’s better for the environment. 

Once I wrote down all the ingredients I need for what I’m cooking this week, I’m ready for the fourth and final step. 

Step 4

Add the items you always buy to your list 

Regardless of what I am cooking, there are some items that I buy every time I go grocery shopping (I usually go once a week).

I use these ingredients every single day, so I go through them quickly. 

You likely have your own list of items that you buy all the time, but for inspiration, below, you’ll find what is on mine. 

Summary: Plan your weekly vegan grocery list by going through a four-step process. 1) Make sure all your pantry staples are stocked 2) Check your fridge and freezer for items that need to be used up or expire soon 3) Plan all the meals you’re cooking that week and jot down the ingredients you need to make them 4) Add the items you always buy to your list 

6 items that are always on my vegan grocery list 

Paper grocery bag full of fresh vegetables as an example of what to put on your vegan grocery list

1. Lemons

I always start my day with a hot lemon turmeric water. But I also use lemons in other ways. I add a bit of lemon juice to most of my meals because it enhances the flavor.

Moreover, lemon juice boosts iron absorption, which is beneficial, particularly for vegans. 

2. Bananas

I put bananas into my smoothie every day, so I need a lot of them. Plus, they are handy to have as a quick snack or on the go. 

3. Frozen berries

I also go through a lot of frozen berries. They are a staple in my smoothies and oatmeal. In summer I make nice cream with them.

I also love frozen berries because they are very convenient, inexpensive, and super healthy!  

4. Frozen spinach

You probably guessed it, but frozen spinach also goes into my smoothie. It is just so much more convenient and affordable than using fresh one. 

I mean, who feels like washing fresh leafy greens in the morning?

Aside from smoothies, they are a variety of other ways I incorporate spinach into my meals regularly. I add it to curries and dals or use it as a delicious quick side.

5. Seasonal fruit

I always make sure I pick up some fruit that is currently in season. I enjoy it as a healthy snack as well as in my smoothie (of course!). 

6. Oats

Oat are a staple I go through quickly, so I buy it every time I go grocery shopping. Naturally, they go into my smoothies and oatmeal.

But I also use them for snacks (f.e. energy bites) or cakes and muffins. Oats are very inexpensive yet nutrient-rich, so you can’t possibly ever have enough. 

Summary: The 6 items I buy every time I go grocery shopping are: lemons, bananas, frozen berries, frozen spinach, seasonal fruit, and oats.

Summary: How I plan my weekly vegan grocery list

Infographic summerizing the four steps that are necessary to plan your vegan grocery list

Now, it’s your turn!

Let me know what items you always buy at the grocery store 🙂

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