Meal Planning 101: The Staples to Include on Your Grocery List

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grocery list meal planning

Shopping for groceries every week isn’t a very fun task, but it’s a task we have to do nonetheless. To make things easier for yourself, try planning for the week ahead. That means buying food for easy weeknight dinners, simple, nutritious breakfasts, large Sunday dinners that can double as Monday lunches and healthy snacks to sustain you while you work. To help get your meal planning started, here are six essential foods to include on your next grocery list.

1. Chicken Broth and Soup

soup grocery list meal prep

A hearty soup that you can freeze and reheat is an excellent investment for those who are always on the go. Stock your cupboards with tasty broth that you can easily combine with basic recipes or ready to go soups that you can enjoy all on their own. From chowders to stews, use chicken stock or broth to boost flavours and make foods a little more filling.

2. Fruits

Fruits should be at the top of your meal planning shopping list. Their natural sweetness make them ideal for breakfast time; mix some berries with a serving of yogurt or enjoy a banana on the side of a bowl of cereal. Berries also make for great toppers on garden salads and a healthy component in smoothies. Alternatively, pack an apple or an orange in your bag for a quick and tasty snack at work.

3. Plain Greek Yogurt

grocery greek yogurt meal plan

Plain Greek yogurt is normally used as a base to a healthy breakfast or a key ingredient in many seafood recipes. This superfood is packed with protein, healthy fats and probiotics. Whether you’re topping it off with fresh berries, granola and little bit of honey or using it as a spread on some smoked salmon, plain Greek yogurt will prove a very useful ingredient in your fridge.

4. Seafood

We’re supposed to eat up to 12 ounces of fish every week, so this should definitely make your weekly grocery list. Choose sustainably raised seafood like salmon, shrimp or Tilapia. This fish’s versatile taste allows it to pair well with any recipe, from hearty tomato soups to a basil and arugula salad. Add fish to classic dishes, substitute it for beef and chicken or even try out a new recipe with it.

5. Granola Bars

granola bars meal planning

Packing a healthy, nutty granola bar can help you sustain your energy over the course of a day. An easy grab-and-go snack is key to ensuring you don’t crash at 2pm after a heavy lunch. Keep your energy high and your health a top priority by packing a simple, yet nutritious pick-me-up.

6. Vegetables

This is a no-brainer. Not only do vegetables pack in nutrients and make up a core part of a balanced diet; they’re also quite versatile. Leafy greens, whether enjoyed raw or cooked, make for a great base to many oven-roasted recipes as well as lighter summer specials. Choose something new when you’re at the grocery store this weekend and see what delicious dishes you come up with.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Your grocery list shouldn’t really be the same week in and week out, but it should be able to get you through until the next weekend. Because of this, these six staples should make the cut every time. Plan a good portion of your meals for the upcoming week before you head out the door and enjoy the fruits of your meal-planning labor.

Image Credits: Jakub Kapusnak, Soorelis, Meal Makeover Moms