Grocery Guides To My THREE Favorite Stores!

Call me crazy, but grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do! I love discovering all the new products, scanning labels to search for the best ingredients, & finding beautiful produce to create fun recipes with! And I of course love sharing those products & recipes with you!

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Having access to so many amazing products & grocery stores nowadays is such a blessing, but I understand it can be extremely overwhelming. What products are actually healthy? What store has the best produce? Where can I save some money & where should I spend a little more? This can all be dizzying & difficult to navigate, but I am here to help! 

I am taking you along to not one, but THREE of my favorite stores to shop! Trader Joe’s, Sprout’s, & Whole Foods. Not only will I be showing you what is in my cart & why… but I’ll also be sharing tips on saving money while stocking your house with nutrient-dense foods & products, as well as sharing printable guides to each store. Now let’s get shopping!

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When it comes to my guidelines for shopping, the most important thing to me is buying organic whenever possible. I always aim for organic, pasture raised, grass-fed meats & animal products. When it comes to produce I follow the “dirty dozen” rule. 

Though they don’t have everything, Trader Joe’s is SO great for inexpensive organic items! I try to buy most of my produce from TJ’s, but if they happen to not have an item or I need a specialty item I’ll go to Sprout’s or Whole Foods for those. 

Trader Joe’s Grocery Guide

Lets talk TJ’s! Trader Joe’s is great for inexpensive items ranging from organic produce, some organic meats, to fun products like their cauliflower gnocchi. When I’m shopping, I start at TJ’s - aiming to get as much off my list as I can from there because I know it’ll most likely be the least expensive. What isn’t available at TJ’s I’ll search for at Sprouts.

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PRODUCE (I buy all organic / follow the “dirty dozen” rule.)

  • Bulk sweet potatoes - I buy these in bulk because they are great to have on hand, won’t go bad quickly & saves money buying them in bulk.

  • Bulk sweet onions - I also buy our onions in bulk to save money.

  • Bulk apples - Love buying apples in bulk to save money. I keep in the fridge because I love a cold crisp apple, but it also helps them last longer.

  • Bulk avocados - I also store our ripe avos in the fridge to help them last a little longer. 

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Berries - Strawberries, raspberries blueberries, & blackberries.

  • Lemons - I always keep in the fridge to add to my water throughout the day.

  • Carrots 

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cucumbers

  • Herbs

  • Microgreens 

  • Celery

  • Arugula

  • Spinach

  • Pomegranate seeds

  • Bananas

  • Spaghetti squash

  • Butternut squash

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MEAT / POULTRY / FISH

  • Organic chicken - TJ’s offers organic whole chickens, breasts, thighs, & tenders.

  • Organic ground turkey - can’t beat the price at TJ’s.

  • Organic grass-fed ground beef

  • Organic, grass-fed beef hot dogs - we don’t buy these often, but they are great to have on hand for BBQs during the summer.

  • Organic turkey deli slices

  • Wild-Caught Alaskan salmon filets.

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FROZEN ITEMS

  • Organic berries - I use frozen berries for homemade jams, smoothies, cobblers, & stirring into oatmeal.

  • Organic spinach - Also great to have in the freezer for smoothies, or to throw into a soup for extra greens.

  • Organic peas

  • Organic corn

  • Organic frozen cauliflower florets - I’ll grab these every now & then for a quick sub to fresh cauliflower.

  • Organic riced cauliflower - Always great to have on hand. Perfect for a quick meal or side like fried cauliflower rice or to add to smoothies!

  • Organic cauliflower gnocchi - Another I like to keep on hand for a quick meal. Great with some spinach, red sauce & pepper flakes.

  • Organic delicate squash - Great to have on hand to bake & make a soup out of or roast up for meal prep at the beginning of the week when you’re needing something quick!

  • Organic chicken wings - The price is great for these! Plus, we love some buffalo wings in our house!

  • Wild-caught scallops

PANTRY ITEMS

  • Organic canned beans - Black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc. Best prices!

  • Organic canned pumpkin - Amazing to have in the pantry for baked goods, pancakes, to add to smoothies, etc.

  • Organic canned coconut milk - I love using coconut milk in baked goods, stirring into oatmeal, making coconut whipped cream, etc.

  • Organic vegetable, chicken or beef stock - Quailty ingredients for a low price. Perfect for soup bases & using to cook your grains in for extra flavor! Always buy organic if you can & read the label to watch for no junk oils like canola + no added sugar.

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  • Organic brown rice pasta

  • Organic red lentil pasta - A great gluten-free alternative + can’t beat the price at TJ’s.

  • Organic sprouted rice - I love buying sprouted grains for their upped nutritional value & happen to be easier to digest & you really can’t find a better price for sprouted grains!

  • Organic sprouted quinoa - Again, can’t beat this price for sprouted goods.

  • Organic canned tomato sauce - Love having stocked in our pantry for quick pasta sauces, soups or bases to pizzas!

  • Organic peanut butter - When looking at the lable to your nut butters you want to look for: no added oils or sugars. TJ’s has great PB with no added junk for only $5.99

  • Organic Coconut Aminos – I love using coconut aminos as a gluten-free, soy-free swap for soy sauce! TJ’s has the best price for coconut aminos.

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  • Avocado oil – This is a must for high-heat cooking – it has a much higher smoke point than olive oil.

  • Organic unsweetened shredded coconut / flakes - I love to add to baked goods, smoothies & oatmeal for an extra boost of healthy fats.

  • Organic dried dates - Dates + PB = the perfect sweet snack.

  • Salsa verde / organic tomatillo salsa / serrano salsa / hatch valley salsa - Look for salsas without added sugars or chemicals.

  • Organic chia seeds - Love having chia seeds on hand for a great omega-3 boost to smoothies, baking or making homemade chia jam.

  • Organic ground flax seed - I add ground flax to my oatmeal, smoothies, & use create flax “eggs” for vegan baked goods. Best price here!

  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning - Because it’s only $1.99 & who doesn’t like the seasoning of an everything bagel?!

  • Organic brown rice cakes - We always have these in our pantry. The perfect snack with nut butter, avocado, or organic deli meats!

  • Organic tortilla chips - I buy the stone-ground blue corn chips with sprouted amaranth, quinoa & chia seeds. They do have sunflower seed oil, which isn’t the greatest. But they aren’t something we eat on the reg! When buying chips you want to stay far away from canola oil. It’s best to look for chips cooked in avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil.

  • Just Beets Chips - such an addicting snack!

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BAKING ESSENTIALS 

  • Almond flour - I buy TJ’s almond flour if I’m looking to save some money. I use almond flour in a lot of my baked goods.

  • Organic coconut sugar - Can’t beat this price!

  • Organic maple syrup - Love having maple syrup on hand for baked goods!

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REFRIGERATED PACKAGED GOODS

  • Kale vegan pesto - Not something I buy all the time, but a great buy for a quick simple add to any pasta dish, pizza, or to dip veggies in!

  • Jalapeño almond dip - Also not something I buy all the time, but love this vegan dip for snack boards! Great with any crackers or veggies!

Sprout’s Grocery Guide

Onto Sprout’s! I love shopping here because I feel like it’s the middle ground between TJ’s & Whole Foods. They carry a lot more specialty items than Trader Joes & have a lot more affordable prices than Whole Foods. When I’m heading to Sprout’s it’s usually for whatever organic produce or meats I couldn’t find at TJ’s, a specialty item like vegan cream cheese, or our favorite organic popcorn for $1.99!

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PRODUCE (I buy all organic / follow the “dirty dozen” rule.)

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  • Broccoli & cauliflower - Love buying fresh full heads to roast up at the beginning of the week for my meal prep!

  • Lettuce (romaine, butter leaf, green leaf.) - I love having fresh greens on hand throughout the week. I like to buy fresh lettuce instead of bagged so I get ours from Sprouts most the time.

  • Cabbage - I buy cabbage from Sprout’s because I prefer organic & TJ’s doesn’t carry it.

  • Limes - TJ’s doesn’t carry organic limes most the time so I get them from Sprout’s.

  • Kale, chard, collards

  • Asparagus

  • Boy choy

  • Bell peppers

  • Green onions

  • Roma tomatoes

  • Beets

  • Ginger

  • Tumeric

MEAT / POULTRY 

  • Organic turkey bacon - Not something I buy all the time but if I get it I buy from Sprouts. TJ’s doesn’t have organic & WF is more expensive.

  • Organic chicken sausage - I’ll buy these to keep in the freezer to add to quick meals.

FROZEN ITEMS

  • Bone broth - I like to keep a bag of this in the freezer for soups, or sipping. Great for gut health! I usually buy Bonafide Provisions in the freezer section of Sprouts because their prices! Usually on sale for $6.99 a bag.

  • Dairy free ice cream - I mean, ice cream. Need I say more? My favorite vegan brands are: Nadamoo or Luna & Larry’s.

PANTRY ITEMS

  • Sprouted GF oats - Love buying sprouted oats for their nutritional value & easier digestion. I buy One Degree Organics.

  • GF steel cut oats - Steel cut oats are my favorite! I buy Bob’s Red Mill.

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  • Grain-free granola - I’m in love with my grain-free granola! I add it to smoothies, toast, oatmeal, or eat it straight from the bag. Lark Ellen Farm is my favorite because they use sprouted nuts & seeds.

  • Cereal - When I have a cereal craving I search for products with little to no added sugars. Erewhon Organics is my favorite cereal brand. They have little to no added sugars. I love their corn flakes & brown rice puffs!

  • Almond flour crackers - I don’t buy these all the times, but when I’m craving crackers the Simple Mills crackers are my favorite. They’re gluten-free & grain-free + Sprouts always has a sale on them!

  • Popcorn - We go through popcorn like crazy & Sprouts brand is the best! I buy the organic himalayan popcorn that’s popped in coconut oil. Only $1.99!

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  • Chickpea pasta - I love buying chickpea pasta for the extra protein boost! Banza is my favorite brand & Sprouts always has a deal on them! Usually 2 boxes for $6.

  • Protein powder - My two favorite brands are Amazing Grass Organic Plant Protein & Garden Of Life Raw Organic Protein.

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  • Canned diced tomatoes - Great to have on hand to add to sauces, soups or casseroles.

  • Bulk nuts & seeds - I stock up on my organic nuts & seeds in the bulk section. Tip: store your nuts & seeds in jars in the freezer to keep them from going rancid!

  • Sunflower seed butter - I am obsessed with sunflower seed butter, it’s great on everything! Look for a brand that has no added oils or sugars.

  • Almond butter & cashew butter - Great prices at Sprouts. Again, you want to look for a brand with no added oils or sugars.

  • GF bread - I love toast! I usually buy my GF vegan bread from Sprouts. I like Little Northern Bakehouse bread & you can find it in the fridge section.

  • Greens powder - I use Healthforce’s Vitamineral Greens. It’s full of 25 of the most nutrient-dense superfoods which help support thryoid function, digestive health, & detoxification! I add it to my smoothies or green juices.

  • Organic sesame oil - Sprout’s has the best prices for organic sesame oil.

  • Apple cider vinegar

BAKING ESSENTIALS 

  • Cacao powder (organic) - I use cacao powder everyday in my Maca Chocos.

  • Maca powder (organic) - Maca is great for so many things! It helps balance hormones, mood & is great for energy. I use it everyday in my Maca Chocos.

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  • Baking soda

  • Baking powder

  • Spices (organic) - I find Sprouts has the best prices when it comes to organic spices! They range from $2.99-$5.99

  • Vanilla extract (organic + alcohol free)

  • Monkfruit sweetener - I love monk fruit sweetener because it’s low-glycemic & doesn’t shoot my blood sugar up.

  • Coconut flour (organic) - Love having coconut flour on hand for gluten-free baked goods!

  • Tapioca starch / arrowroot powder (organic) - I keep in the pantry for my baked goods + it’s great gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free way to use to thicken soups or sauces.

REFRIGERATED PACKAGED GOODS

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  • Kombucha - Brew Dr is my favorite!

  • Miyoko's vegan cream cheese - This stuff is a splurge but SO good!

  • Miyoko’s vegan butter - Most vegan butters on the market are full of junk, but not this stuff!

  • Miyoko’s vegan cheese wheels - Not something we buy all the time, but great to snag for a vegan charcuterie board! Tastes amazing & junk-free.

  • Suja plant-protein milk (unsweetened) - I love snagging this milk when I want a break from nut or seed milk. It adds a great boost of protein to your drinks or baked goods.

  • Ripple pea milk (unsweetened) - Also a great nut/seedless dairy-free milk option! Full of great plant-based protein as well.

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Whole Food’s Grocery Guide

Oh, Whole Foods… often referred to as “whole paycheck.” Whole Foods can be extremely expensive which is why I only shop there on occasion. The main reason I go to WF is for organic meat that isn’t available elsewhere, like bacon, pork, or lamb. Also, for not-so-nessesary specialty items like vegan cauliflower pizza crusts, coconut yogurt, & my favorite sprouted hummus. 

PRODUCE (I buy all organic / follow the “dirty dozen” rule.)

  • Purple sweet potatoes - Purple veggies are great for heart health + look extra pretty! The only place I can find organic purple sweet potatoes in WF.

  • Delicata squash - My favorite squash! I buy fresh organic here.

  • Sprouts - I love the variety of organic sprouts WF has.

MEAT / POULTRY / FISH

  • Organic pork - Chops, ground, bacon. I choose to eat only organic pork if I have it & I found WF is the best to find it at.

  • Organic lamb - Not often that I’d make a dish with lamb, but if needed I get at WF for the sourcing.

  • Organic breakfast sausage - We don’t eat it a lot, but I found WF is the only store in our area that carries organic breakfast sausage.

  • Organic free-range eggs - Matt goes through eggs like it’s going out of style. We buy organic, pasture-raised local eggs.

  • Wild-caught shrimp, tuna, halibut & cod - I find WF has the freshest & best quality for a grocery store.

FROZEN ITEMS

  • Grain-free tortilla - I love Siete or The Real Coconut tortillas.

  • Cauliflower pizza crusts - These are a splurge, but a great low-carb, gluten-free option that won’t spike your blood sugar. I buy the plant-based Cali’flour Foods brand (most others have dairy so make sure you read the label if avoiding dairy.)

  • GF vegan rolls

PANTRY ITEMS

  • Seaweed - I’m a big advocate of getting seaweed into your belly as much as possible! It’s packed full of so many minerals & vitamins we need.

  • Kombu - Kombu is a powerhouse of a seaweed! It also packed full of vitamins/minerals, helps with digestions & improve thyroid function! I’ll add a some to soup when it’s simmering to soak up all the benefits & remove it before serving. Great add if you’re making ramen!

BAKING ESSENTIALS 

  • Cassava flour - Cassava flour is a great gluten-free, grain-free flour. Out of all the gluten-free flours, I think the texture is most similar to wheat flour.

  • Raw local honey

REFRIGERATED PACKAGED GOODS

  • Sprouted hummus - WF carries my all-time favorite hummus. The brand is Majestic Garlic.

  • Specialty dressings/marinades - If I’m not wanting to make our dressings/marinades from scratch I’ll look to WF for junk-free products. We like Steve’s Paleo Goods, Tessamae’s, & Primal Kitchen.

  • Kraut - Kraut is a great way to get your healthy gut-flora up! I love Steve’s Paleo Goods & Farmhouse Culture.

  • Dairy-free yogurt - I love dairy-free thick, greek-style yogurts. My favorites are Kitehill Greek unsweetened & Coyo plain!

  • Parmela's vegan cheeses - These are a splurge! But I love them for their cultured cashew cheese slices & shreds.

    OTHER

  • Ciders / wines - When I’m buying wine I buy organic with no added sulfites because that’s what feels the best to my system. I also love 101 Cider House ciders. They’re alcoholic fermented ciders that naturally have 0 sugar, are gluten-free & vegan!

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I hope you all enjoyed my guides! If you have any questions, please let me know! Have fun shopping!

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