How to Grocery Shop Like an Adult

From by Jenna Butz
How to Grocery Shop Like an Adult

Photo by Hannah Cather

Let’s talk.

We both know you can’t live off ramen, frozen pizza and Jimmy John’s delivery for the rest of your life. But, we also know that as a college student, you’re probably pretty close to broke. Let me let you in on a secret: if you grocery shop smartly, it can be waaay cheaper than eating out every night. And probably way more delectable.


Photo by Hannah Cather

Ignore your mom’s meal planning strategy (Sorry, mom.) Chances are your evening plans could change at a moment’s notice, thanks to the hectic life you lead as a college student. Setting aside specific meals for certain nights is totally irrational for you, and I get that.


Photo by Hannah Cather

So instead, borrow these tips and this list to shop cheaply, smartly and tastily. (Bonus: If you want to make your list extra healthy, these foods can help.)

The Grocery List

  • 2 proteins: Pick up one raw meat and one that is pre-marinated or pre-cooked. This strategy gives you both the chance to experiment but also the ability to make something well-rounded and simple in a snap. This recipe uses pork chops and seasonings, easy for a busy day.
  • 2 veggies: Grab two different, in-season veggies to cook whichever way you choose or to eat raw.
  • 2 fruits: For these, also two different, in-season fruits that you can take with you on the fly or mix into smoothies or yogurt.
  • Eggs: Always grab eggs. Whether you’re making breakfast for dinner or scrambling them into rice, eggs are too versatile to skip.
  • A tub of yogurt: Personally, I always grab a tub of vanilla yogurt but you can buy flavored cups (not Trix) or a vat of Greek for a quick, healthy snack.
  • Cheese: Pick one cheese you love or a new one every week to garnish your eggs, salads or really anything.
  • Grain: You can grab the tried-and-true bag of rice or experiment with quinoa. Either way, these will help your meal pack in some more filling power.
  • Granola: Because it’s better for you than Cap’n Crunch.
  • Snacks: I recommend grabbing something healthy like almonds then indulge a little with some kettle cooked potato chips or dark chocolate.


Photo by Hannah Cather

Sure, this list may not include all your favorite essentials like peanut butter, popcorn or protein bars, but following this list can ease the stress of cooking and prevent some ugly pound gainage.

Check out these articles for a little extra, adult-worthy help:
Food Fight: Regular Yogurt vs. Greek Yogurt
Best Sources of Protein for Vegetarians
The Cheeses You Should Be Eating Right Now

More food porn ahead:

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