Grocery shopping is a personal and unique experience. No two shopping lists are the same. People develop and evolve their groceries to suit their needs and situation. But if you’ve never created a grocery list before, where do you start? Well, we have a basic grocery list to lay the foundations of your very own grocery list masterpiece.

Basic Grocery List Dos & Don’ts


Expect to do another trip – Remember that this is only a basic food shopping list. It should have you set up with key ingredients for basic meals to keep you ticking over.

Once you’ve got the basics in, you can then start expanding to include more complex meals and comprehensive meal plans.

This is when you start expanding upon your essential grocery list to build one that’s uniquely yours. But even then, you still might get this 100% right on the next trip. So be prepared to do a handful of shops in the first week or two at your new digs.

Consider frozen produce – Although fresh fruit and veg are considered the kings of healthy eating, don’t be too quick to overlook frozen versions. Whilst they are a little more pricey, they keep for a lot longer.

They can be quite convenient and save you time when cooking if you’ve bought some prepared (chopped etc) varieties. An important thing to remember when buying frozen produce is that it loses little to no nutrients compared to fresh produce.

So, the convenience of having frozen food on your essential grocery list will not be at the detriment of your health.

Your Basic Grocery List Explained:

Now that we’ve laid down some ground rules, let’s get to work on what the foundations of your grocery list should look like. We’ve put in some healthy options.
But if you really want to kick-start your health, we recommend you also take a look at our healthy grocery list article.


Buy too much – There’s a temptation to buy in bulk and save money. However, this might cause more problems than it solves. You might find you don’t quite have the storage space to store it all.

Furthermore, if the items you are purchasing are perishable, you could end up with food waste, which means you actually end up realistically spending more than you’ve saved.

After you’ve done a couple of shops using your basic shopping list, or when you start to expand it, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how much storage space you have, and how quickly you consume perishables.

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