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Unsure of where to get started with your plant-based diet grocery list and curious what your kitchen staples should be? Or perhaps you have been eating a plant-based diet for a while and want to expand your selection to some new things? I stock up on many of the plant-based shopping list items below, and then I can always throw something together to eat!
Vegan vs Plant-based Diet
What is the difference between vegan and plant-based?
“Vegan” refers to elimination of animal products in any form. Vegans do not eat any foods that are from an animal or derived from an animal – such as meat, dairy, eggs, and often honey. Many strict vegans also do not wear products sourced from animals – such as leather 1. Veganism is essentially based off a passionate stand against animal cruelty. It is more a philosophy and practice, rather than just a diet. Vegans are often not always restrictive about processed foods. As long as it doesn’t contain animal products, it is considered vegan.
Plant-based diet, on the other hand, is based off of similar ingredients but is whole food based. “Whole food” refers to eating foods as close to how they were originally grown – food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives or other artificial substances. Plant-based also does not necessarily mean total avoidance of animal products. A plant-based diet includes the adoption of more plant-based foods while cutting back on animal foods. The term “plant-based diet” also totally refers to diet and bears no restriction on other lifestyle factors.
When eating a plant-based diet, regardless of identifying as completely vegan or flexible, I find that searching for “vegan recipes” yields the most results with the most plant-based ingredients. Since I eat 95-99% plant-based myself, I usually search for vegan recipes.
Vegan Shopping List or Plant-Based Diet Shopping List
Regardless of which route you choose, the list below is a great place to start with a vegan or plant-based diet. What is most important is that most of your diet consists of whole food plant-based ingredients. I think the 80/20 rule applies here. If you start basing all your meals off plants first, it’s easier not to center your diet around meat and dairy. Click the items in the list to see more information about that item. If you don’t see an item linked, I probably haven’t gotten to making a page for it yet!
What is most important is that most of your diet consists of whole food plant-based ingredients.
Plant-Based Shopping Tips
You’ll want to get plenty of produce to allow for creativity and variety but to be wary of those items going bad. Local produce in season in your area is always best, since it doesn’t have far to travel to make it to your market. Local produce often contains more nutrients and is better for the environment, among other benefits 2. Many produce items you can freeze or buy frozen to begin with. Reputable sources suggest avoiding canned produce, as it possibly has lost a lot of it’s nutrition due to the canning process. Canned produce also often has additives such as salt, sugar, and/or preservatives as well as some canned products have traces of BPA in the lining 3.
The easiest solution to staying stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables is to try a produce delivery service! Most of them are pretty expensive, but I stumbled on a service that will deliver you the product that doesn’t make it to the store: Misfits Market. If this service doesn’t deliver to you, I have heard of several more. I get the “Madness box” and it provides a lot of what I need to make meals for the week for myself and my family. You also can’t beat this price! If you want 25% off your first box, you can use my discount code: COOKWME-GW8YHS ! This solution will make it easy to stay stocked with adequate servings of fruits and vegetables from the plant-based diet grocery list.
If you start basing all your meals off plants first, it’s easier not to center your diet around meat and dairy.
I often am able to make meal decisions based on the products that I need to use up in the fridge. For example, I’ve got a lot of cauliflower and green beans and just bought an air fryer last week, so I’m going to be making some green bean fries and buffalo cauliflower wraps! By the way, using an air fryer is an awesome way to make “fried” food without the oil. We love ours! We have the Instant Vortex 6 quart. It’s a pretty basic model with the best price we could find and it works great! The model we have is right there. ➡️
Plant-Based Diet Grocery List Ideas
Just to get your juices flowing… for each person, choose ~14 servings total per week5 from 3-5 different fruit types. I often eat even more! Change up what you buy and occasionally try new things to avoid boredom. I avoided putting anything too exotic to be easily accessed in the United States on this list.
For each person, choose ~21 servings total per week 4 from 4-6 different vegetable types. I often eat even more! Change up what you buy and occasionally try new things to avoid boredom.