Plant-Based Grocery List On A Budget

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With tens of thousands of items in the supermarket, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when grocery shopping. Not to mention that buying healthy plant-based foods can be time consuming and expensive. 

But visiting the supermarket shouldn’t fill you with dread. As a matter of fact, knowing what to buy before you go can actually make plant-based grocery shopping a pleasurable experience. 

plant based grocery shopping

Whether you’re new to plant-based eating or just want to add more plants to your diet, this grocery list for a plant-based diet is here to help make grocery shopping a breeze. 

How to save money on plant-based foods

Healthy foods can get expensive, but there are ways to save money on a plant-based diet. Here are some tips to save you cash while at the supermarket. 

1. Buy frozen fruits or veggies

If you’re making something where the texture doesn’t matter, like a smoothie, soup or dip, frozen fruits and veggies work wonders. They are flash frozen at the peak of freshness and don’t have any additives. That means they are just as healthy as fresh veggies and much cheaper!  

2. Shop in season

The produce that is grown in that season is in abundance, so it’s cheaper. Not sure what grows in what season? I separated the produce into seasons in the grocery list below.

3. Buy canned food

Canned beans, vegetables and fruit are affordable and good for you. Learn more about the benefits of canned food here (and grab a recipe for Coconut Veggie Fried Rice featuring canned foods).

4. Shop the bulk section

If your supermarket has a bulk section, you can buy grains, nuts and seeds there for less than the bagged varieties. Plus, only purchased the amount you’re actually going to use, so that none of the food goes to waste.

5. Shop the sales

Supermarkets have great sales. You can look up their circulars online before you shop and then make a list based on what’s on sale. Or if you prefer to shop on a whim, buy the items that are on sale and find recipes to use those ingredients when you get home.

plant based groceries

6. Buy generic brands

The generic foods are practically the same as the name brand foods. Put the nutrition label of the generic versus name brand next to each other and check out the ingredients. It’s probably exactly the same for a fraction of the cost. 

7. Don’t buy something you aren’t going to eat

Everyone has the best of intentions at the supermarket, but buying a piece of produce that you hate is like flushing money down the toilet. Only buy the foods that you know you will actually eat. 

8. Shop at bulk stores

If you have room in your freezer, stock up on bread products at stores like Coscto and freeze the extras. 

9. Try dry beans

Dry beans take much longer to prepare than canned beans, but they are cheaper! These Vegan Bean Tacos use dry beans in the slow cooker.

10. Store nuts properly

Because of the fat content, nuts can go bad quickly, so store them in the fridge or freezer if you don’t eat them right away. 

If you stock your fridge, freezer and pantry with any of the below items, you’ll create a highly nutritious plant-forward diet without breaking the bank. 

Want a similar list delivered straight to your inbox, drop your info below to receive 100 Best Foods For Runners, which has plenty of plant-based options.

Happy plant-based shopping! 

Plant-Based Grocery Shopping List

Fruits & Vegetables (by season)

Pro tip: Eat the rainbow. More colors equals more nutrients. 


  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Citrus- oranges, mandarins, clementines
  • Greens- Collard greens, kale, swiss chard
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash


  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb


  • Avocados
  • Bell Peppers
  • Berries– blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Mangoes
  • Melons– watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Summer Squash/ Zucchini
  • Tomatoes


  • Apples
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Greens
  • Grapes
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Pumpkin
  • Winter Squash

Beans & Legumes

  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • White beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Black eyed peas
  • Split green or yellow peas


[Related: How To Fuel If You’re Gluten Free]

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa 
  • Farro
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Wheatberries
  • Oats
  • Pasta
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pita
  • Whole grain tortillas
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Popcorn

Nuts and seeds

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios 
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds


[Related: The Best Foods For Runners To Have In Their Pantry]

  • Hummus
  • Nut Butters 
  • Tahini 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Refrigerated Section

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Other foods & snacks

I’m not here to be the food police! Of course all foods fit in moderation. [Related: What Is Intuitive Eating & Does It Work For Athletes?] 

There are other foods I occasionally add to my grocery list to add some variety to my diet. 

  • Tea and Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Dairy foods, like Greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, ricotta and cheese
  • Snacks (limited): tortilla chips, salsa, popcorn, seedy crackers, protein bars
  • Miscellaneous: maple syrup, honey, pesto, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce

What do you think of this list? Do you have another money saving tip that I missed? Find me on IG: nutritionalanat and let me know! 


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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