Grocery Shopping on a Budget: Must-Have’s

As a personal trainer and active college student on a budget, one of the most common questions I get in regards to nutrition is: what do you eat? To answer this question, I’m including a recent week’s shopping in review (don’t worry, this covers a lot more than just one week!), which includes my must-have’s on my grocery list and staple foods that I always keep in the pantry – along with the prices of several of the items.

A few of these were huge bargains, such as the rice protein powder (4.99 marked down from originally being $20!) and other than the fresh fruits and veggies, these last a long time! The oats and protein powder have both lasted me over 2 months, and taste great when put together. They’re also versatile enough to use in a variety of recipes, from no-bake protein bites to pumpkin protein muffins.

Whether you’re a college student on a budget or simply someone trying to buy healthier groceries, I hope this list gives you some ideas and helps prove the point that healthy groceries can be affordable and appetizing!



Oats – 2.99 for a huge tub!

Quinoa – 2.79-3.79

Whole Grain Sandwich Thins – 2.99 (?)


Spinach – 2.99

Green Beans – 2.99

Brussels Sprouts – 2.79

Broccoli – 2.99

Carrots – 1.79

Mushrooms – 2.29

Tomato – .79


Sweet potatoes (not pictured)


Strawberries – 2.99

Frozen berries, apples, pears and bananas (not pictured)

Avocados (also not pictured!)


Greek Yogurt – 4 pack, 3.69

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Milk (sometimes non-dairy – almond, coconut, or soy) – 2.99


Chicken Breast – 6.99

Turkey Bacon

Ground Turkey – 5.99

Turkey (I know, enough turkey…) – 3.59

Fish (not pictured)

Reduced Sodium Black Beans

Veggie burgers (not pictured) – 3.50-3.99 / box of 4

Eggs – 3.69

Protein Powder – 4.99 – a HUGE bargain! Usually costs me about $17-20.

Protein Pancake Mix – $13, but again, lasts a while, and only used occasionally.


Almond Butter (often flavored and protein-infused) – $7.99

Chia seeds – $10-12 range – a little pricier, but lasts me a long time!

Pumpkin (’tis the season!) – $2.09

Hummus – $2.99

Popcorn, kettle corn, or rice cakes for snacking – $2.99

Dark chocolate for a sweet treat 🙂

Coffee and tea!

Stevia, cinnamon, and other spices to flavor

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