6 Vegan Grocery Tips

9 Apr 2020

@abillion profile image

bananas for sale

Grab your reusable grocery bags; we're going shopping!

Shopping for groceries may seem daunting for those of us transitioning to a vegan diet. With these surefire tips, you'll be walking down the aisles with confidence in no time.

1. Shop at the ends of the store

Usually, grocery shops stock fresh produce on one end and frozen food on another; stick to these two sections. Some of the cheapest foods are vegan, such as bananas, rice, potatoes, beans, and tofu. Of course, it's also okay to buy vegan dairy alternatives, meat substitutes, or snacks. Vegan alternatives are delicious but they tend to be expensive. For budget-friendly alternatives, check out our guide substitute vegan alternatives with everyday ingredients.

Shop along the aisles only if you need to restock non-perishable staples like beans or pasta sauce. This is where you find all the tempting chips, cereal, snacks, and other processed foods. While these items are definitely delicious, they tend to add up. Avoid the temptation to overspend by avoiding these aisles.

woman shopping for grocery

2. Check allergen information

If you're not sure if a specific item is vegan or not, check the allergen information at the bottom of the ingredient list. This way, you don't have to read through all ingredients. When a product contains common allergens like milk or eggs, they are mentioned in a "warning" text at the bottom of the ingredient list. If, instead, you find dairy, eggs, or other non-vegan items listed under "may contain traces of", it means that while the product can be vegan, it has been made in a place that makes non-vegan items as well.

allergen information

3. Shop seasonally

Most fruits and vegetables are seasonal and will cost more when purchased off-season. For instance, berries are five times more expensive in the winter, and tomatoes get pricier as the temperatures drop. Additionally, the fruits and vegetables may be imported from overseas or other states, traveling further to get to the store as compared to locally grown produce. These imported goods may arrive later than the optimal time for consumption and hence lose nutritional value. Moreover, eating seasonally ensures you eat fresh and introduce variety to your meals.

buying apple

4. Buy in bulk

Items purchased in larger quantities are usually sold at a reduced price. Non-perishable items such as rice and beans are perfect to bulk-buy as they are staples in a vegan diet, and have a long shelf life.

jars of lentils Photo source: minimalistbaker.com

5. Invest in spices

Dry spices and herbs add both flavor and nutrition to your meals. They also have the ability to transform a basic food item in a variety of ways. For example, rather than eating plain black beans for a week straight, you can use your spice cabinet and make rosemary and garlic flavored black beans, spiced cajun beans, or countless other tasty combinations! To obtain the best nutrition and flavor, choose to buy organic spices whenever possible as non-organic ones may contain artificial additives.

robertsons spices

6. Stay sustainable

Bring along reusable grocery bags when shopping. Reusable produce bags are lightweight and can be used to keep the produce fresh when placed in the fridge. Some grocery stores may even give you a discount if you bring reusable bags!

If you find bulk bins at your store, check with the manager if you can bring reusable jars. If they agree, remember to take your jar to the cashier to tare its weight before you fill it up, as most bulk products are sold by weight. This way, when you check out, you only pay for the contents of the jar.

oranges in reusable bags

Bonus: Vegan grocery guide

To give you a hand, we've come up with a plant-based and vegan shopping list. The best way to go about this is to list the foods to buy in bulk (usually a monthly basis) and foods to buy weekly (often fresh produce) separately. Hang the lists on your refrigerator door, or use an existing list app on your phone and consult it before you shop.

healthy vegan grocery list


There you have it! With these easy to follow tips, grocery shopping on a vegan diet will be a breeze. Remember, if you're starting on a plant-based or vegan diet, it's okay to make mistakes. The important thing to remember is that as you continue to grocery shop, you will gain more confidence and develop your own guidelines. If you already follow these tips or have some of your own, we would love to hear about them in the comments section.

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@simhazel profile image
simhazel2 YEARS AGO
tempeh is a must for me!
@heymacarena profile image
heymacarena2 YEARS AGO
I love spices!! I reuse St. Dalfour marmalade containers to keep my spices protected and easy to access
@djmindyfresh profile image
djmindyfresh2 YEARS AGO
Where's the bread and oatmeal though? I usually rock an oatmeal bowl with ground flax, coconut yogurt and berries on top. And also peanut butter toast with caramelized bananas and seeds sprinkled on top. It's such a good breakfast. I definitely don't miss the sluggish feeling after eating bacon and eggs lol.
@djmindyfresh profile image
djmindyfresh2 YEARS AGO
@djmindyfresh whoops just noticed oatmeal haha my bad.
@djmindyfresh profile image
djmindyfresh2 YEARS AGO
@djmindyfresh and bread on the list...way too early in the morning ;P
@vuyom1998 profile image
vuyom19982 YEARS AGO
@djmindyfresh I love the oatmeal bowl idea! Sounds like something I should try
@vuyom1998 profile image
vuyom19982 YEARS AGO
This is a fantastic guide! Actually so useful.
@lissethgalarza profile image
lissethgalarza2 YEARS AGO
Love this article, very useful !
@melissa96 profile image
melissa962 YEARS AGO
Doesn't miso paste have fish?
@ftc profile image
Thank you for this useful information
@vikas profile image
vikas10 MONTHS AGO
Love this article hooray!
@herbimetal profile image
herbimetal10 MONTHS AGO
"Avoid temptation to overspend" - oh man I get tempted to buy so many stuff that aren't necessary but are tasty