How To Build A Healthy Master Grocery Shopping List

Grocery Shopping List On A Budget - Master Grocery Shopping List Hacks - Master Grocery Shopping List Tips

I hate grocery shopping. I love food but grocery shopping is not my favorite activity. Between social anxiety and my ADHD I almost always leave the grocery store forgetting to get something. Most of the time that something is super important to my meal planning too.

So over the years I’ve figured out ways to do my grocery shopping faster and more efficiently. Part of what helped was building a master grocery list with items we always keep in the house.

Today I’m going to go over a few of the different ways that I built my master grocery shopping list with tips to choosing vitamin rich and healthy ingredients. I’m even recommending some of the apps that make grocery shopping easier too.

Apps For Grocery Shopping

When building a master grocery shopping list the first thing that we will often look for is a handy app we can use on our phones. For me, keeping my grocery shopping list on my phone was the easiest way to do my grocery shopping.

Over the years I’ve come across a few options that have worked well for me.


eMeals is a meal planning and grocery planning app all in one. For less than the price of a coffee each month you can choose your meals for the week and the app will automatically generate your grocery list.

To take it even further you can even schedule delivery or pick up of your groceries with the app. eMeals works with Instacart, Shipt, and Amazon Fresh to get your groceries to you on your schedule.

As far as meal planning goes you have plenty of options to choose from. They have healthy diet plans like Vegan, Vegetarian, and Paleo. Or if you are pressed for time they also have plans for quick and easy dinners.

Be it you are looking to stick to a budget, have quick dinners, or follow a diet, eMeals has a meal plan with great meals for you to choose from.


Cozi is a whole family schedule app. Not only can you create family calendars that track what is going on with each member of your family but you can create lists your family can access too.

If you are looking for a grocery list app that you can share with your spouse this is a fantastic option. It’s completely FREE too.

While meal planning is a bit more difficult than with Emeals you can enter in different family favorite recipes. If you decide to make a meal on this list you can have the items needed show up on your grocery list.

Cozi is a great option to get your whole families schedules organized and the whole family can have access to it.

No more forgotten treats to make for a school event, no more missed meetings, and your husband can access the grocery list when he stops at the store to get you flowers.

Sign up for a free Cozi account today. It’s the #1 family organizer that keeps schedules, lists, contacts and more all in one place!

Keep From Google

If you are looking for just a quick and easy app, Keep from Google is a great option. You can create lists easily enough with a simple easy to use platform.

The great part about these lists is once you check off an item it doesn’t entirely leave your list. The next week when you are creating your list you can just un-check an item and the item will show back up on your list again.

Keep is free to use works wonderfully if you just need a simple list and note taking app. It’s lightweight so it won’t take up loads of storage on your phone either.

Woman holding a grocery shopping list while pushing a cart filled with healthy food

Grocery List Categories

Once you figure out which app you want to use for your grocery shopping list you can figure out your categories.

Before I started getting my groceries delivered I would set up my categories in the same way I would shop the store.

For instance, I would walk in right by the produce department so I set up my list with those items being first. Then came the deli meats, butcher area, and dairy. After that I would pick up my breads and bakery goods. After that I could pick up the few frozen items, canned and boxed goods that I needed.

Setting up your master grocery list in the same way allows you to move through the store with purpose and can save you time.

The categories you may need in your master grocery shopping list are:

  • Dairy
  • Meats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Bakery Goods
  • Frozen Foods
  • Canned Goods
  • Boxed Goods
  • Seasonings

I find it’s helpful to have a few extra available spaces in each category to make sure you can add to it as needed.

Healthy Grocery List Items


I’ve run into issues in the past with buying vegetables and them going bad before we get around to eating them. I solved this problem by learning how to freeze vegetables.

I stock up on in season and on sale vegetables once or twice a month then cut, chop, and slice them so I can put them in the freezer for use when I need them. The biggest trick to using frozen vegetables is to cook them from frozen. Do not defrost them like you do meat they will just get soggy.

If you are getting vegetables that typically don’t freeze well like leafy greens you will want to try to use them in your meals first.


Purchase long lasting fruits that you can cut up when you are ready to eat them. Melons are a great long lasting fruit.

Pineapples freeze well so if you can buy one fresh and cut it into individual servings, I recommend it. Banana’s are a great fruit to add to smoothies or bake bread with and also freeze well for up to 3 months.

For citrus fruits challenge yourself to eat an orange every morning. Use lemons and limes to season meats like chicken, pork, and steak.

Healthy Proteins

Typically when people are thinking about proteins to add to their grocery list they immediately think about lean meat cuts.

This is not the only source of protein you can add to your grocery list though.

  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Black Beans
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Tofu

All of these items are great sources of protein that are not meat. They are also great for easy meals like soups, curries, and scrambles that can be whipped up easily.

The major plus side to all of these meatless proteins is they all contain far less fat amounts than typical meats you might purchase. Switching out 3 dinners a week with a meatless option can cut your fat intake while still leaving you feeling full.

Eat More Fruits And Veggies

We’ve all heard this advice but for some reason in our brains we aren’t reconciling what it means. Eating more fruits and veggies doesn’t mean to eat them on top of what you are already eating.

It means eating less of the other things. Or to make fruits and veggies the main course instead of the side dish. Studies have shown lifestyles with higher intake of fruits and vegetables have less Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and chronic diseases.

Young woman holding a bell pepper

Building Your Master Grocery List

In building your master grocery list there are a few things I like to have readily available.

  • Must Haves
  • Nice To Haves
  • Taking Stock
  • Shopping The Sales

The must haves are things that I absolutely need to have in the house. Typically these are items that my son really likes to eat. Because he is a picky eater they fall under the must have.

Other must haves are milk, coffee, coffee creamer, wheat bread, and eggs.

Nice to haves are things that we enjoy eating but typically only purchase while it’s on sale. When an item in this part of the list does go on sale I typically purchase them in bulk. This saves us money and keeps our kitchen stocked.

In your master grocery list you might want to have a place where you can mark down how much you have of any certain product in the house. This might help you with meal planning, shopping sales, and making sure you aren’t picking up more lemon juice when you already have 3 bottles in the house. Not that I’ve done that or anything.

Finally I will have a small area next to an item on my list that I can check if it’s on sale. I typically check the sale papers before I do my grocery shopping so I can plan my means and shopping around those sales.

Master Grocery List Final Tips

Set up your list to go with your normal walking pattern inside of a store. It makes tracking items, sticking to your list, and saving money easier. Take it a step further and shop the outside of the store for healthier products and ingredients to buy.

Only go down an aisle if there is something you actually need in that aisle. This helps to prevent impulse buys.

Use one of the recommended apps to make sure you get exactly what you need and to have your list with you when you do your shopping.

If you aren’t using an app keep a printed copy of your master grocery list in your purse or wallet. Keeping a list in your purse or wallet will help you to make sure you aren’t missing things in your trip.

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Grocery Shopping List On A Budget - Master Grocery Shopping List Hacks - Master Grocery Shopping List Tips


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