The Ultimate Grocery Store Guide! 

How to Save Calories, Money & Time at the Grocery Store!!

At the bottom of this page is a PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION so you can print what you like when you like!!

Let’s Dive Right In!!

Cheat Sheet:

If your in a hurry and just want some bullet points for now, here’s a little cheat for you. Know that I go into greater detail and share much more tools and tips in the guide below:)

  1. Always have a list and stick with it
  2. NEVER, I repeat NEVER shop when your HANGRY!!
  3. Shop Produce that’s in season
  4. Shop at local farmers markets to save on produce
  5. Meal plan and prep for the week, so you know exactly what you’ll need from the store
  6. Be open to alternate sources of protein besides meat
  7. Purchase the Bo-Bo Brand- LOL- That’s what I call the generic or store brand
  8. Check out the newspaper-thingy when you walk in- you know the one that we all always blow right past- it’s loaded with tons of items on sale and coupons
  9. Drink more water- save more money and major calories by not  buying expensive soda’s and juices.
  10. Check out the store rewards programs- they usually offer discounts- some even on gas- WooWoo!!
  11. Buy in bulk when you can
  12. Shop the perimeter of the store-that’s where all real food is. I.E Produce, Meats, Yogurt, Milks, Eggs, ect…..


This is my favorite spot in the whole store, and where I begin my shopping!

Did you know the key element missing in most diets today is fresh fruits and vegetables?

Eating plenty of produce guarantees your body is getting all the phytochemicals, nutrients, and vitamins it needs to be healthy.

Here are my favorite tips for navigating the produce aisle: 

Choose local, seasonal, organic produce as often as possible.

• The less time there is between your produce being harvested and going into your mouth, the more nutrients you’ll get.

*Eat a rainbow to make sure you’re getting the full spectrum of vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Plus all those yummy colors will give your skin a gorgeous glow!! #Winning

The Antioxidants are what give them that gorgeous  color, and they all have a unique purpose and benefit.

Deep greens are great for purifying the blood, removing toxins from the body, strengthening the immune system, nourishing the nervous system, warding off depression and anxiety, and making your skin GLOW!!! My Fav’s are Kale, Spinach, & Chards.

  • Orange fruits and vegetables are full of beta carotene and  vitamin C, great for improving eye health and immunity.


  • Yellow fruits and vegetables improve circulation.


  • Red fruits and veggies support heart and brain function, especially memory.


  • White fruits and vegetables reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol.


  • Garlic, ginger, and onions are known for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and they are often used as natural antibiotics.
  • Blue and purple foods are rich in antioxidants and can prevent early signs of aging and heart disease.

Keep healthy flavor enhancers on hand.

  • Keep fresh herbs, garlic, onions, and ginger in your kitchen year-round. In addition to offering a wide variety of nutritional benefits, these staples can take a healthy dish from bland to AH-Mazballs!!! I pretty much add garlic to everthang!!


  • Load up on Sweet Veggies!


Eating sweet veggies can actually help reduce sweet cravings! True Story!!!

You can start crowding out sugary junk, like cookies, cakes, and ice cream- reserve those for special treats once in a while, and start adding in sweet veggies like delicata squash, butternut squash, carrots, yams, onions and my personal favorite sweet potatoes. To me a mashed sweet potato with a little coconut oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg, tastes like a slice of warm pumpkin pie!! 

So GOOD!!!!


Whether your a meat eater, vegan or vegetarian, we all need protein in our diets!! Not only does it keep us full, helps build strong, lean, sculpted muscle, but it’s also in charge of building our cells and producing critical enzymes and hormones!

So protein has a big shoes to fill!! It’s important for our bodies, and for our overall health, to make sure we’re getting adequate amounts of protein in our daily diet.

There’s all kinds of “rules” for how much protein you should be consuming at every day, but it gets confusing, and we all have different needs- so my rule of thumb is – I try to incorporate protein at every meal- I aim for 20-30grams when I can. If I’m still hungry, I eat more. Start with a protein portion the size of your palm, and see how you feel. 

There are so many sources you can get your protein from- meat is just one option. I usually will eat meat 1 or 2 a week, and then try to get my protein from plant based sources.

In the next section, I’m going to break down meats, and plant based proteins for you.


Be sure to check the dates when buying fresh animal products, and look for the terms organic, free-range or cage-free, and certified humane on labels.

Always try to aim for lean cuts of protein, like chicken breast, turkey breast and seafood.

Certified Organic:

Animal products and byproducts that are certified organic come from animals raised on organic feed without antibiotics or hormones.

Free-Range or Cage-Free:

This usually means the livestock are allowed to roam free. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have access to the outdoors.

Certified Humane:

Typically means the animals are free to behave naturally, have sufficient access to the outdoors, and slaughterers are held to higher standards, minimizing the animals’ pain.


There are tons of ways to add protein into your diet, through plant based options.

Here are a Few Examples:

Good quality soy products, nuts, beans, chia seeds, lentils, hemp seeds, spirulina, nutritional yeast, seeds, quinoa,might be a good option for you.

This is on of my favorite things to talk about!! I won’t go into all of these products in this guide because, well that would take all day! LOL!! I have tons of info on all of these options on my Workout & Nutrition Guru- you can find details for that!!!

This is my biggest tip when it comes to plant based proteins:

It’s easy to resort to highly processed imitation meat products when cutting down on animal protein. Like the Phax(Spell chk) meats- and those are good options, but they are usually highly, overly processed products- basically they’ve been created under a microscope-and contain a lot of ingredients, you probably cannot pronounce. I’m all about enjoying a boca burger from time to time, but not as an everyday staple in my diet- does that makes sense?

These products may seem helpful for someone transitioning from a meat-heavy diet, but it’s important to focus on natural, whole products, like the options listed above.

Soy can get tricky, again the more overly processed- frozen plant based meats are made with soy- but they lack all the nutrients soy naturally has, because they’ve been refined and processed so much. So when shopping for soy products- try to stick to the options below.


Tofu is soybean curd. It’s one of the most popular vegan meat substitutes and is like a chameleon in your kitchen as it takes on the flavor of any seasoning you add to it.


Tempeh is made of whole soybeans fermented into a block. It has a toasted, nutty flavor, perfect for grilling or stir-frying.


Miso is a thick paste made from fermented soybeans, rice, or barley. Miso lasts very long in the fridge and is really versatile. Because it’s fermented, it has a lot of beneficial enzymes that aid digestion.


Seitan is a vegan protein made of wheat gluten, the main protein found in wheat. If you’re allergic to soy but not wheat, seitan may be a good option for you.


Seafood is another important source of protein. It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which keep our heart and brain healthy. Those fatty acids are also great for giving your skin a natural glow- especially salmon. Do you notice a theme here- I’m all about whatever I can eat that will give me the clearest, most vibrant skin possible!!

You might want to experiment with fresh fish and seafood like salmon, cod, sardines, and mackerel.

Keep in mind:

•Smaller fish tend to swim closer to the surface, and contain less mercury- like tuna, salmon, sole, tilapia, and shrimp.

• When buying whole fish take a good look at the eyes and the gills; the eyes should be clear, not glazed over, and the gills should be red. Fish should also have tight skin and a clean smell.

• Fish fillets and steaks should be bright and clean in color – not murky.

  • Always ask when the fish came in – if it’s been sitting on display for more than a day don’t buy it.

My biggest tip for buying seafood:

Never buy farmed seafood. They basically sit in a cesspool of their own filth, and their fed soy and corn, so they’re usually lacking the omega 3’s that you really want. Farmed fish are also loaded with disease so they are usually dosed with antibiotics. Always buy wild caught fish when possible. You can buy wild caught frozen seafood in most grocery stores.


Eggs boast a great balance of protein and fat, and they’re complete protein, meaning they provide all the essential dietary amino acids the body needs. They also contain healthy amounts of vitamin D. Eggs are a great, quick, and easy way to add protein to a meal of grains and vegetables, especially if you’re on a budget!

• Look for the terms certified organic, free-range, certified humane, and Grade A on the label.

  • There’s no difference in quality or nutritional value between the brown and white eggs, so pick the ones you like.


Dairy can be a little tricky. It can lead to digestive issues, allergies, and/or mucus, skin irritations, inflammation, and acne.

I personally don’t eat very much dairy anymore. Occasionally I’ll eat a pizza for a special treat. Unfortunately it makes my skin break out, and become very inflamed.

I would recommend experimenting with dairy, and see how it affects you.

• Choose high-quality products such as free-range, organic, and grass-fed. Keep in mind that cows that graze in the sunlight absorb vitamin D.

• Ghee is clarified butter. It can add a delicious nutty flavor to vegetables, and you can also add it to grains after they’ve been cooked. Ghee can help balance excess stomach acid and is popular in Indian culture.

• If dairy doesn’t work for you, you still have plenty of options. You can enjoy soy, rice, oat, coconut, and a number of nut milks including almond milk and hazelnut. My favorite is Cashew milk, it’s super creamy and delicious.

  • When looking for non-dairy milk, choose one that has certified organic ingredients, has the fewest number of ingredients on the label, and look for unsweetened – sweeteners can add up to 25 grams of sugar per cup!
  • Also look for dairy free products that have Carogeenan in the ingredients- This can cause skin irritation and breakouts among other things. The silk brand usually is clear.

Biggest tip for buying Dairy:

Stay away as much as possible from low fat/non fat options. It may sound good in theory, but they add tons of added sugar to replace that fat- so your doing yourself a disservice with low fat/non fat options. Shoot for the full fat, and enjoy in smaller portions and in moderation.


Most supermarkets carry a variety of grain options, including gluten-free and/ or wheat-free items. The tricky part comes in the form of marketing. Many products boast that they’re chock-full of whole grains, but a quick glance at the label reveals that very minimal grains were included in the food product. This is where your detective skills come into play! The key is finding products made from whole grains – that is, all parts of the grain are left intact.

Keep these tips in mind when choosing grains at the store:

• Check the ingredient list on a product claiming to be whole grain. A whole grain should be listed first in the ingredients – not “wheat” or “enriched wheat” or “enriched flour.”

• Wheat grains include bulgur, cracked wheat, spelt, and wheat berries.

• Wheat-free and gluten-free grains include amaranth, buckwheat, corn,

millet, rice and quinoa – which is technically a seed.

  • Oats are inherently gluten-free, but cross-contamination during growing and processing is common – look for certified gluten-free if needed.

*Be Mindful of GF products, unless you have a gluten intolerance. Most GF products are over processed, and contain tons of added sugars. Check out Quinoa- which is a complete protein, and naturally GF

Biggest Tip for Whole Grains:

Like everything else, try and stay away from the packaged and boxed goods that claim to have whole grains in them. These options are always going to be overly processed, and filled with added sugar, and tons of extra junk. Try to buy just the grain itself, like oats, bulgar wheat, farro, brown rice, quinoa, ect…


Oils contain the good fats!! Contrary to popular belief fats are actually good for us. The good ones that is. The monounsaturated fats actually help our bodies absorb all the nutrients from our foods.

Healthy fats are essential to good health. Fats are needed for everything from brain function to vitamin absorption. You can get great healthy fats from oils, nuts, seeds, coconut, and avocados.

When choosing oils at the store, consider these tips to maximize your purchases:

• Avoid hydrogenated and bleached oils.

• Look for brands that are cold pressed and unrefined.

• Don’t be afraid to switch it up! Olive oil is delicious drizzled directly onto salads and grains. Sesame oil lends a unique, nutty flavor – you can get hot sesame oil or toasted sesame oil to mix it up and suit your taste. Coconut oil lends a smooth coconut taste. There’s also almond, avocado, hazelnut, and high-oleic sunflower oil.

• Heat and light speeds up the rancidity of oils, so you never want to keep them near a window or hot stove. Keep them in a cupboard that stays cool and doesn’t get light. Also, look for oils in dark bottles when possible.

  • Oils are great natural body moisturizers. You can use coconut oil to prevent stretch marks and smooth the skin, avocado oil to revive dry, brittle hair, and sesame oil for a healthy massage.

I even do oil pulling- which helps remove toxins and added gunk from the body- oh yea- and it helps clear up acne!! Added Bonus- I did a whole blog about oil pulling- you can read about it by Clicking Here


The condiment aisle contains everything you need to make your food taste just the way you like it. If you’re cooking meals for a lot of people, allow them to personalize their plate by adding different flavors.

Unfortunately most store bough condiments like mayo, and special sauces- have a lot of added sugars and fats.

Here’s a few tips to keep your condiments light, tight and more natural:

  • Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce that can be used on grains, soups, vegetables, and pretty much any recipe that calls for salt. Seaweed flakes are also a great salt alternative.

*Try apple cider vinegar for a sour, tangy flavor, or balsamic if you want something a little sweeter

For spicy, try hot pepper sesame oil, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce.

If you’re looking for a nutty flavor, try sesame salt, tahini, or nut butters.

Nutritional yeast is a great condiment that adds a cheesy flavor to foods and contains a lot of protein and B vitamins.


This is my favorite way to jazz up my meals. Herbs and spices are a great way to add extra flavor without adding a ton of extra calories!

Herbs and spices taste great and have many powerful health benefits – that is, when they’re unprocessed and organic. Experiment with spices and seasonings to determine which ones you prefer.

Here are tips to keep in mind when shopping for herbs and spices:

• Herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves complement everything from lighter fish and chicken to meats like steak and lamb. They’re also great on whole grain bread with garlic and olive oil.

• Coriander, cumin, and ginger help to reduce gas caused by beans.

  • Cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg enhance the flavors of sweet vegetables and make them more digestible. They can also improve the digestion of dairy, fruit dishes, and desserts.
  •  When shopping for salt, look for naturally harvested sea-salt, which has a grey-ish tint and looks almost damp because it hasn’t been bleached and therefore retains many of its important natural qualities. One of my go to favorite spices- is Jane’s Krazy mix up salt!! I put it on everything!! It’s so yummy! You can find it at most grocery stores.


This is a big one! Artificial sweeteners are not your friend- you’d be better of eating pure white sugar. Now I’m not saying an occasional Diet Coke is out of the question- please, let’s not get Cray Cray- but once in awhile-

Remember this one thing: Pretty much everything is ok in moderation! 

Try to stick with more natural forms of sugar like fruit, and stay away from packaged goodies, and your pretty much good to go!! As long as your not binge eating pounds of banana’s and berries- but who would really want to do that right! Not as much fun as a Box-O-Cookies!! Lol!

Even with the natural sweeteners- you don’t want to go crazy and add tons of honey, agave and maple syrup to everything. It’s still sugar, and it’s going to take your insulin levels through the roof- which is a whole other topic.

Keeping sugar at a minimum, will keep your waste line in check, and keep you feeling energized and happy!

Here are Some Healthier Options, When Used in Moderation:

  •  Honey is delicious, and is a great way to combat seasonal allergies, especially if you buy the local raw, unrefined type.
  •  Maple syrup is a great way to add minerals to your diet, and can add a unique flavor to more than just pancakes and waffles.
  •  Stevia is a calorie-free option and is 40 times sweeter than actual sugar, gram for gram.


As you investigate the products your store has to offer, keep an open mind, experiment, and don’t be afraid try new things. Each time you visit the supermarket, act as if it’s your first time and try something new.

Check out what other people have in their carts. If it looks interesting, ask them about it – what it is, what it tastes like, and how to prepare it. The organic and natural food industry is growing so rapidly, it’s likely you’ll find a new product every time you step into the store.



I Hope you found this Guide helpful!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at:

For more Healthy living tips and to learn more about me, head over to my website:

You can also hang out with me in my women’s only private FB group:

WHOLE-istic Living with Kimberly Grace



The Dirty Dozen

Eating healthy starts with making sure that plenty of fruits and vegetables are a part of your daily diet. It’s widely accepted that eating organic produce is better for both your health and the environment, but sometimes the price point of organic fruits and vegetables is super expensive. Instead of altering your entire grocery budget, you can make healthy choices by prioritizing only the organic products that are the worst offenders when it comes to pesticide and fertilizer use.

The Dirty Dozen are the Fruits & Veggies you want to buy organic if you can. They’ve had the most exposure to pesticides and chemicals.

They are not in any particular order:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Nectarines
  3. Peaches
  4. Celery
  5. Grapes
  6. Cherries
  7. Spinach
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Bell Peppers
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Kale/Other Greens
  12. Hot peppers

The Clean 15

These are the Fruits & Veggies you can get away with buying conventional- or not organic. It’s pretty much all produce that contains a thick peel. The pesticides and chemicals aren’t able to penetrate through the peel. If they don’t have a peel, they are considered part of the clean 15 because, they’re just not as heavily sprayed.

  1. Banana’s
  2. Pineapple
  3. Cabbage
  4. Pea’s
  5. Onion
  6. Asparagus
  7. Mango’s
  8. Kiwi
  9. Honeydew
  10. Grapefruit
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Cauliflower
  13. Papaya
  14. Eggplant
  15. Avocado

This is a great guide to work from. Use this when your on a budget and trying to figure out where to splurge on produce and where you can cut corners, without cutting down on quality.

My rule of thumb is- if organic is just too expensive overall- buy conventional of everything! It’s way better to buy non organic, then to buy no produce at all!!!

What Do the Stickers on the Produce Really Mean?

This is a super easy way to know what you are buying with just a glance of the eye.

Every piece of produce has a sticker on it, and those numbers actually mean something!

So let’s break it down……

There are basically 3 things to look for….

  1. When you see a number that BEGIN’S with 4– and it has 5 numbers total- it means that it’s been conventional grown- which means it’s not organic.

2. When you see a number that BEGIN’S with 9– that means that product is organic.

3. When you see a number that BEGIN’S with 8– that means its been   Genetically Modified!! In other words RUN!!!!

Genetically Modified means just that- it’s genes have been manipulated and modified to create a certain product. So It’s not really a REAL orange that’s grown on a tree- It means it’s been made in lab- under a microscope!!

I don’t know about, but I like my produce to come from the tree’s, from the earth- not from some mad scientist, in a lab coat mixing and matching different potions!! No Thank you!!!

With these few tips, you can peruse the produce, making educated choices that best fits your lifestyle and budget needs.


  1. Green Veggie Soup

Soups are a major staple in our diets. We love to make a big batch, and eat it throughout the week. Soup is hearty, healthy, filling, and so versatile! Soup makes it easy and fun to play around with different flavors, and ingredients, creating a yummy meal every time. 

2.   Spaghetti Squash with Basil Marinara & Mushrooms

This is one of our favorite go-to’s. You’ll feel like your eating a naughty bowl of real deal pasta, and you can even go in for seconds guilt free. 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash only yields about 75 calories! Spaghetti squash is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, omega 3’s, and tons of antioxidants. Making this squash a nutritional power house over traditional starchy pastas.

3.    Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

People who claim they don’t like brussels sprouts, haven’t tasted these little ditties! These are loaded with flavor, and leave you wanting more! 

4.    Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Date Balls!

Great for a post workout or a midday snack! They are packed with fiber, and protein which will help restore glycogen to your muscles and help repair torn muscles after a kick a$$ workout!!They also taste Amaz-Ballz!!!

Green Veggie Soup


2 tbs Olive Oil

2 Leeks Cleaned and Chopped

1 Head of Broccoli (florets and stalk, which you should peel then chop)

1 Large Summer Squash or Zucchini Chopped

4 cups Vegetable Broth

2 cups Water

1 Veggie Bouillon Cube (optional)

4 Cloves of Garlic

2 cups of Spinach

1/4 cup of Cashews or Raw Almonds- added protein


  1. Saute leeks & garlic
  2. Add veggies, broth, and water
  3. Bring to boil then simmer till veggies are fork tender.( about 10 minutes)
  4. Add spinach and nuts
  5. Blend all ingredients together!


Added Bonus: 

A few slices of avocado is a great garnish, and an added bonus of healthy fats!!

Soups are a major staple in our diets. We love to make a big batch, and eat it throughout the week. Soup is hearty, healthy, filling, and so versatile! Soup makes it easy and fun to play around with different flavors, and ingredients, creating a yummy every time.

Spaghetti Squash with Basil Marinara & Mushrooms

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2-28oz cans low sugar tomato puree
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 2 tbs diced garlic
  • Package of portobello mushrooms
  • Salt and Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste

How to Prepare Squash: 


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Slice squash length wise, from stem to tail. They re really tough and hard so be careful, and work slowly
  • Scoop out the seeds in the middle and all the loose string of squash
  • Place the halves cut side down, in a roasting pan, or cookie sheet will work
  • Cook squash for about 30-45 minutes- smaller squash will cook faster- check on squash in 30 minutes
  • Squash is done when tender. When you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel
  • Use a fork to gently scrape the squash flesh from the peel into a large mixing bowl


  • Slice squash length wise, from stem to tail. They re really tough and hard so be careful, and work slowly
  • Scoop out the seeds in the middle and all the loose string of squash
  • Place the halves cut side down, in a large Tupperware bowl.
  • Cover the bowl, but don’t seal one corner of bowl to allow for steam to escape
  • Cook squash for about 10 minutes- smaller squash will cook faster
  • Squash is done when tender and soft. When you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel
  • Use a fork to gently scrape the squash flesh from the peel into a large mixing bowl

How to Prepare Meal:

  • In a sauce pan- Mix the tomato puree, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper keep on low, and warm thoroughly
  • Sauté mushrooms on medium heat until cooked- about 5-7 minutes
  • Mix sauce, “noodles”, and mushrooms together and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional)
  • You can even toss in a few veggies balls or turkey balls to add some protein

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

What You’ll Need:

  • 2-3 pounds of brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp celtic salt

How To Prepare:

  • Mix vinegar, Olive Oil, Garlic, Pepper, Salt, and Italian Seasoning in the bottom of a tupperware container
  • Toss in brussels sprouts
  • Cover container and shake up, until all the ingredients are mixed together
  • Place sprouts on baking sheet
  • Cook at 400 Degrees for 20-25 minutes until sprouts are soft and golden brown
  • We like to throw the Sprouts in the broiler at the end for a few minutes to really crisp them up, and give them a yummy crunch.
  • For an Added Bonus, you could throw on a smidgen of Parmesan Cheese to make them “Dirty Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts”


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Protein Date Balls!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Pound of Dates
  • 2 tbs of Peanut Butter (or any nut butter your prefer)
  • 1/2 cup of Walnuts
  • 2 tbs of Cacao Nibs
  • 1 tbs of Vanilla

How To Make:

  • Blend the walnuts first, and break them down
  • Blend the rest of your ingredients into your Vitamix or any blender you have.-
    • NOTE- if you don’t have a Vitamix you may need to separate dates, and blend in several batches. The dates are really sticky, and can sometimes make it difficult for the motor to break them down
  • Roll the dough into little balls and refrigerate (balls can be eaten immediately, but taste awesome when refrigerated)

Added Bonus Tip:

Have one or 2 post workout, or for a mid day snack!! These are also great if your having a sweet tooth!!

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