/* Verification Code A7472EB2-373A-425A-9216-520C2E6E4611*/

How to Shop the Conventional Grocery Store for REAL, Wholesome food


I’ve had a lot of questions about how I shop for my groceries, where I go to find the best prices, and where I buy which foods.  Last week, I gave you the low down on how I shop for REAL, wholesome foods.  I also gave you the list of what I buy at Whole Foods/Earth Fare.

This week I am sharing how I shop for REAL, wholesome foods at your regular ol’ {conventional} grocery store.  Every store is a bit different and availability just depends one which part of the county you live in.  In my {southern} neck of the woods I have the choice of Kroger, Ingles, Walmart, Bi-Lo, Food Lion, and Piggly Wiggly.

When I first started trying to figure out which real/wholesome foods were available to me and who had the best prices, I visited them all. Since the, I’ve browsed them all again.  Though Bi-Lo has a few things, I have had the best luck at Ingles and Kroger.  Of course, Walmart’s prices are often unbeatable, but they don’t always have what I need. I encourage you to test out all your local stores too.  Compare prices and also see who has the most organic items-that you buy {it doesn’t do any good to take note that they have organic spaghetti o’s if that isn’t something you care about…and I hope its not!}.

So, typically, I visit Walmart a couple times a month to purchase my groceries {often the same week as I go to Whole Foods because I can get all the stuff I couldn’t get at Whole Foods at Walmart and vice versa}.  On the alternate weeks I go to Ingles most often.

Like I said in last week’s post, I keep a running list on the fridge of things I need from the store.  This includes things I have run out of {I write it down immediately so I won’t forget}.  If most of the things are things I can get at the conventional grocery store, I go there, if most of the items are things I can only get at Whole Foods, I go there.  You get the idea.

How to buy real wholesome food at your regular grocery store

So, what DO I buy at the conventional grocery store?

ANYTHING I can buy at the conventional grocery store…I do.  It is a lot cheaper, obviously.  So, I buy:

  • natural peanut butter
  • organic, vegetarian fed eggs {when I don’t have them from a local farmer}
  • dried pasta, beans, rice
  • organic yogurt
  • organic valley mozzarella cheese
  • organic valley flavored half and half, organic valley regular half and half, and organic valley whipping cream
  • organic valley sour cream
  • tea and coffee
  • frozen veggies {not on the dirty dozen list}
  • antibiotic free, vegetarian fed, chicken breasts
  • vinegar, extra virgin olive oil
  • nitrate free lunch meat and hotdogs {such as Oscar Mayer}
  • turkey bacon
  • fresh veggies {clean 15, dirty dozen I buy organic}
  • canned pineapple and canned tomato sauce {preferably in BPA-free cans}
  • pineapple juice & orange juice {these are clean fruits- so I buy any brand as long as its 100% real juice/not from concentrate}
  • spices
  • sugar
  • yeast
  • baking powder, baking soda
  • GOOD chocolate chips {such as Ghirardelli}
  • mayonnaise
  • storage bags, foil, wax paper

That’s a lot of groceries!  So, you see, you can buy a LOT of REAL/wholesome foods right at your regular grocery store.  You just have to be observant and have will power.  Why will power?  You need will power to avoid all the unhealthy foods that are also available.

Just like Whole Foods has its own traps – like buying organic cookies and frozen dinners {at a price most of us can’t afford!}, your conventional grocery store has even worse traps!  I think they are worse because the unhealthy food tends to be super cheap and if you are a bargain hunter/coupon shopper it can be tough {especially at first} to say no.  The frugal couponista in me used to have an internal battle every time I would see the meal deal at Bi-Lo {for those who aren’t familiar, it was usually a SUPER processed dinner item, like processed chicken, frozen pizza, or frozen lasagna with chemical ice cream and terrible for you soda pop at a very cheap price – which screamed EAT ME ON FRIDAY NIGHT… YOU NEED A BREAK!}.  Avoid the traps!  Just say no!  And if you need a reminder for why you should kick processed foods read my post here. :)

Post to Twitter Post to Plurk Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to Ping.fm Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


  1. Wanted to Thank you for your write ups. They are really helping me along the way with MY Whole Food Journey!! :) I am thankful for your time and help.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      Glad to help! If you ever have any questions along the way I’m happy to answer them. I remember having trouble when I first gave it a go!

  2. I think it’s awesome that you are sharing how you can buy good real food at places other than whole foods!
    I would however encourage you to move your lunch meats and chocolate chips to your whole foods shopping list if you can’t get organic at your local store! If you arent buying organic meant of any kind then chances are your meat (even the nitrate free kind) was fed GMO corn and soy, and from perusing your blog I’ve noticed that is an facotr for you. Same goes with the chocolate chips..the “good” ones Ghiradelli are made with GMO sugar!
    Its so sad that we have to be so careful and almost paranoid about what we purchase to feed our families!

  3. Linda Kelban says:

    Question about the mayo and sugar…? You don’t put any criteria here, but most brands of mayo the ingredients are terrible. Thank you!

  4. This is such great info! and I can totally relate to the couponing thing, its so hard to pass up on deals when you can get them so cheap or even free sometimes, but I just keep reminding myself of how bad they are for your body. My husband was recently diagnosed with cancer for the second time and I vowed to change our diets completely to organic and natural foods, especially since we have two little boys 5 and 2. I came across your site and have been hooked since! Thank you for all the wonderful info, it has been hard trying to accomplish this all on a budget but you have given me great insight!

  5. Hi, I enjoyed the recipes for the snap budget. I subsctibed last month but I did not get this month list or recipe. Is its possible to send the link to my email address privided. Thanks a lot, my kids enjoyed me cooking healthy lsst month znd I eould like to continue to do just so.

Leave a Comment


Site design by New Season Design