Thursday, October 1, 2020

Big Vegan Grocery List: Easy Vegan Foods That Work


You might be wondering what it is that you will need to shop for, now that you are considering going vegan. First of all, let’s talk about your kitchen. Time for a get rid of party. Get into your kitchen with a few bags. And get rid of anything that you feel is a temptation for you. ANYTHING. If you feel bad about getting rid of something, call some food banks, see what you can give to them. If you are worried about the money, I promise that in the end going plant based will save you A LOT of money, not to mention save you from lots of dr. visits and meds. So don’t feel bad about getting rid of food, feel good that it’s the last time you will see it.

On that note, be prepared to spend a little up front money to change your kitchen. Think of it as the best make over EVER. Remember that a lot of things you will be buying are staples, you won’t have to buy them every single week. Remember, you are worth ever cent!

Here is my big and easy shopping list for new vegans:

  • Firm Tofu – (be sure to get a couple of packages)
  • You can also try some of the softer tofu for different recipes.
  • Cans of beans or whole beans (not refried) black, kidney, white, garbanzo (whatever you like really) Just stock up – they won’t go bad
  • Red Potatoes.
  • Bananas- a bunch of them, you’ll be freezing them.
  • A good cereal – a high fiber or high protein. Check to be sure that it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrrup or casein, eggs or milk powder)
  • Non Dairy Milk (Soy, Almond milk, Oat Milk or Rice milk (really any thing aside from regular milk)
  • Hummus (you can also get the stuff to make your own, which is very tasty) You will need Tahini if you are going to make your own.
  • Pita bread
  • Any veggies that you like to eat. Be sure to get some flavorful ones like peppers!
  • Any fruit that you enjoy – again stock up on bananas
  • Tempeh
  • Garlic
  • applesauce (plain)
  • Spices – go wild – seriously! Garlic, cumin, pepper,cinnamon are my staples.
  • A good spicy chili sauce (like cayenne pepper based)
  • A good non dairy protein mix – (Soy, Hemp, Green) Stay away from anything with casein or whey in it.
  • Pasta – I use “Brown rice pasta” but you don’t have to  – it is a healthier option, and honestly I think it tastes a lot better
  • Tomato sauce (be sure to check for cheese or meat) I like chunky veggie ones
  • Mushroom or meatless meatballs (MMMMM)
  • Veganaise – it’s mayo but a much healthier one, my husband prefers it to mayo!
  • Sea Salt
  • Agave Syup and powder
  • Nuts –
  • A nut butter – (peanut, cashew, sunflower seed)
  • Crackers, rice cakes,
  • a good bread (with out corn syrup)
  • Tofuti – sour cream and cream cheese.
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Rice – brown or white, I mean brown is better, but hey if you only want to do white, that’s cool.
  • soy sauce – low sodium
  • Rice noodles
  • Smart balance or Earth balance ‘butter”
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips
  • Salsa
  • A good dark chocolate
  • Coconut flakes
  • cocoa powder (like the baking kind not the dutch processed ones)
  • Limes and lemons
  • lentils
  • seeds (like sunflower seeds)
  • Olives
  • Tortillas
  • quinoa,
  • Oatmeal
  • Flour – and if you can try some new kinds of flour, I like Bob’s Red Mill for some good variety of whole grain flour.
  • Ground flax seed, or flax seed oil – sometimes they put this in the pharmacy section.
  • dried fruit
  • a big water bottle
  • B-12 vitamin (I do a liquid, but anything to get you started is fine)

Some processed and pre-made foods that might make your life easier right now:

  • Veggie burgers – be sure they do not have eggs or cheese in them (a lot do, they are sneaky)
  • “Meat” crumbles – Again check ingredients.
  • Chicken-less chicken strips or nuggets (I find that especially if you are feeding kids this ia good one)
  • Amy’s brand in the frozen aisle. Before I learned to do it myself, the tofu breakfast scramble was a staple of mine for a long time. There are a lot of vegan options with her food – but be careful and  read ingredients!
  • Soy/Rice/ or Coconut Ice Cream
  • Soy or Coconut yogurt
  • Tofurky – I’m not a big fan, but hey, if it helps you out to start with, that is just fine.

Great places to order from online:

Okay – so there is my list. I know there is  A LOT more that could be added – but I don’t want to completely overwhelm anyone. But – to my vegan readers, please put as many suggestions in the comments as your heart desires. Foods that you love, staples, and places you shop. Hints are great as well – like where to look for something in the grocery store. Think back to when you first went vegan and all of the things you wished you had known then about grocery shopping.

I’ll be posting a sample menu with recipes tomorrow! I know – how exciting!

*Also, here’s a great post and list on what to fill your kitchen with!


  1. Linzey

    I keep powdered soy milk in my pantry. It doesn’t seem as strong as regular soy milk and it’s great if you’re not a big “milk” drinker because it doesn’t go bad!

  2. vegan dad

    Just to point out real quick: Ensure you get ground flax, or is you buy it whole grind it in a burr coffee grinder. If not, it’ll come out the same way it went in! Body get digest through the outer husk.

  3. Niki

    Great list!

    I also can’t live without:
    Vegetable stock powder (obviously check its all natural and vegan)
    Tomato paste (2 Tblsp sachets are good as they are no waste and more liekly to be tomato only – no preservatives)

  4. Alex

    I saw the humus on your shopping list and can’t resist to give my super duper secrete recipe (ok it’s not that secrete but that makes me feel a little special to say it is 😀 )


    1 tin of chick peas
    1/4 of that tin in water (roughly, you can adjust consistency at the end)
    1/4 cup of olive oil
    1/4 cup of cashew nuts (or any other nuts you want to experiment with, peanuts at quite nice in it too)
    1 tsp of salt
    the juice of one lemon (I make sur eto put a lot of it cause it makes my humus really good)
    1 garlic clove
    Optional: 1 tsp of tahini, cilantro.

    I put it all in the blender press the button and bam! in a second I have a pot of humus. You can adjust consistency by adding water or oil or nuts.
    One pot of humus lasts us about 2 days, My boyfriend and I literally fight over it! We put it on everything… my (non vegan) boyfriend even says that nothing beats a toast with humus and avocado. (not even cheese toast, can you believe it?)

    Take care,


    PS: I would replace the big bottle of water by a Brita filter (or any other brand of filter really). It’s cheaper in the long run and it means you don’t contribute to the 3,000,000+ plastic bottles used in the U.S. every 5 minutes (

  5. Nat

    Thanks Alex!
    And I should have been clear about the water thing – I don’t like using bottled water (unless we’re really needing to on the road or something)
    I have a water bottle that I fill up and use every day – I’ve also found some water bottles made from other materials.

    I use one that is 32 oz. which just helps me keep track of how much water I’m drinking.

    But definitely – no need to go get a huge pack of bottled water! Most of it says “PWS” on it – which means it’s tap water anyway!

  6. Lily

    I would add nutritional yeast. I realize that it is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is definately worth trying. I use it both for cheesy flavor and as the base for my homemade chicken broth powder (recipe from Vegan Feast Kitchen I think). Plus it is an excellent soure of B vitamins and a lot of vegan recipes call for it.
    Also, miso, lentils (and dry beans if they are feeling adventurous or want a wider variety), soy curls, and replacements for any condiments they use regularly that have animal products (worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, etc. Check the labels.)

I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on

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