What Items Should Be in a Minimalist Grocery List?

Minimalist Grocery List

Food costs usually make up a large percentage of a family’s budget. Therefore, if you can reduce your food spending, then you can save a lot of money. One key trick is to make (and stick to) a minimalist grocery list. Here’s what that’s all about.

What Is a Minimalist Grocery List?

The idea behind a minimalist grocery list is that there are things that you can use for nearly every meal. If you stock up on those items at a low cost, then you’re able to significantly reduce your food spending. As a result, you can save a lot of money at home.

The Most Important Foundation for a Minimalist Grocery List

Most of the items on your minimalist grocery list are staples. They’re things that you can buy in bulk and use daily. However, you need a solid foundation of fresh, seasonal produce as well. People don’t always include this on a minimalist grocery list. After all, you can’t stock up much on produce. You have to buy it fresh. However, if you change your family’s diet to one consisting primarily of fresh, in-season produce then you start things off on the right foot. This is a healthy affordable foundation for your family’s meal planning.

What Else Goes on The Grocery List?

All of the other items on your minimalist grocery list are things that you can use to supplement that primary foundation of fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll use these in small portions. However, you can buy them in bulk to reduce your food spending.

Herbs and Spices

When you eat minimally, you end up eating the same foods over and over again. To avoid fatigue (and family complaints), change the flavors with herbs and spices.

Here are some tips for reducing the costs of herbs and spices:

  • Pick a few that you really love and buy them in large quantities. Then supplement that with smaller quantities of other herbs and spices.
  • Grow your own fresh herbs. You can easily use container gardening in most homes.
  • Shop around to find the best prices in your area. Stores that are expensive in other ways might have affordable herbs and spices.
  • Look for gift baskets and discounts around the holidays. Spice sets are sometimes significantly discounted at these times.

Rice and Pasta

There are so many different options out there for rice and pasta. Many of these are extremely affordable. Plus, they last a long time in the pantry. Therefore, when you see a good deal, you can stock up. Combine these with your fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices for a variety of creative meals.


Likewise, canned beans and dried beans are always good to have on hand. They are a must for the minimalist grocery list. Beans are a great source of protein. They’re easy to store, cook, and spice up.

Additional Items You Might Want on Your Minimalist Grocery List

The Tiny Life suggested adding the following items:

  • Baking supplies
  • Oil
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dried fruit
  • Cereal / oats
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Cans of soup
  • Shelf-stable dairy and sauces
  • Jerky
  • Canned meat and fish
  • Bread / crackers
  • Snacks

That said, you should think carefully about your own dietary preferences before making your list. Some of those items would be on my personal list but many would not. Buy what you love, what you’ll eat, and what is most affordable in your area.

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