Grocery Essentials for Your Pantry & Freezer

About the author


My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

Ever wondered why so many of your favorite food bloggers can come up with quick recipes on the spot?  Part of it is sufficient time experimenting in the kitchen, the other part is being prepared with healthy ingredients ready to go.  Having an adequate supply of quality ingredients in your pantry and/or freezer allows you to easily add more variety to your diet and flavor to your meals.

Here are the items that I almost always have on hand in my pantry and freezer.  These grocery essentials are not things I would recommend buying all at once as it can get pricey.  Rather, build your stock and inventory over time so that the moment you step into the kitchen, you have what you need to succeed.

These grocery list essentials are by no means exhaustive so I hope it gives you IDEAS for things you’d like to have on hand to keep your diet interesting and #healthyAF!

Grocery Essentials Shopping List:


Load up on your favorite frozen veggies so you can easily defrost and incorporate into recipes or meals and ensure you get in your servings of veggies.

  • Green beans
  • Shelled Edamame
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Berries
  • Your favorite frozen fruit such as mango
  • Coconut



Remember to purchase NO salt added or low sodium whenever possible.

  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Broth cartons – chicken, beef and vegetable
  • Beans
    • Black beans
    • Garbanzo



These come in handy when you’re in a pinch and can’t cook a full meal. Note: Always buy unflavored or plain.

  • Brown rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Basmati rice



Select a few of your favorite international inspired flavors and sauces to transform simple dishes! 

  • Curry paste (green or red)
  • Coconut milk
  • Lite Coconut milk
  • Coconut cream
  • Sriracha or Red chili garlic sauce
  • Lite soy sauce



Purchase 1 loaf of your favorite bread and store it in the freezer so you know you don’t need to eat it right away!

  • Multi-grain or whole grain
  • Living bread – seeded bread



Overall go for sauces that are lower in sugar and sodium.  Consider making your own “honey-flavored” condiment by adding small servings of raw honey to your servings.  You can control the amount of sweetness and get the added health benefits of raw honey!

  • BBQ sauce (less than 15g per serving of 2 tablespoons)
  • Hot sauce
  • Raw honey
  • Ketchup – low in sodium and natural
  • Dijon
  • Yellow mustard
  • Light Italian dressing OR light balsamic dressing



Always buy raw, unsalted nuts so you can make your own flavored or sweetened nuts.  Select 1 bag of your favorite raw nuts and store them in airtight containers.  Build up your storage of these over time so you can mix and match whenever you feel like it.

  • Raw almonds
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw walnuts
  • Raw pecans
  • Raw, natural nut butter (almond or cashew)



Make your own fruit-infused sparkling mineral water by using frozen fruit and fresh herbs such as mint!  Gives you the sensation of soda but without all the calories.

  • A case of sparkling mineral water