Grocery shopping and cooking meals at home can sometimes feel like another box that needs to be checked off our to-do list. But the bit of extra planning might just be worth it after all. Grocery shopping is healthier and cheaper than eating most of your meals out at restaurants on the go (although it may seem more convenient). We’ve found that both cooking and grocery shopping can be easier if you’re prepared and have a well-stocked kitchen to simply maintain as you use the non-perishable items. Below, we’ve listed our favorite essential food items perfect for stocking your kitchen to help you prepare healthy home-cooked meals while avoiding additional time, energy, and money.

If you’re prepared, and you have a well-stocked kitchen, grocery shopping will be a bit less daunting and easier to maintain. We’ve found that having these items on hand helps save time, energy, and money so that when you’re ready to test out a recipe, you’re not starting from square one.

These essential grocery items have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of ways when cooking, so buy them in bulk and keep them stored in your kitchen!

01 Canned Beans + Peas

Chickpeas, lentils, or black beans, for example, are a great source of protein and fiber. Just make to sure to wash them well before you cook them!

02 Spices

Keep a few of these dried spices in your spice rack to add flavor and color to your meals:

  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Curry Powder
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Rosemary

03 Nuts and Dried Fruit

Nuts like almonds, pine nuts, and pistachios are a great source of healthy fat. Mix them with some dried fruit to make a trail mix for a yummy snack to munch on! However, be mindful to eat them in small quantities because they are high in fat.

04 Oats

Oats are great for a healthy, filling, fiber-filled breakfast or snack. Mix in some of your nuts, dried fruit, and some honey for extra flavoring.

05 Farro or Quinoa

These grains are great for low carb options that are easy to make and to buy in bulk.

06 Canned Tuna

Keep canned tuna for a long lasting protein option to add into a sandwich, wrap, salad, or to even just eat on the side!

07 Chicken Broth, Olive Oils, or Vinaigrettes

Keep these oils and broths available for cooking your beans or grains or for giving salads a bit more flavor.

08 Frozen Items

Veggies and fruits are always the first to go after a grocery trip, but frozen veggies and fruits are an easy alternative! Try buying frozen versions of vegetables like broccoli, spinach, corn, and peas to make a quick side dish. Use frozen fruits like mangoes and berries to throw into a smoothie with some yogurt or milk!

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