Food Shopping – Tips on What to Buy When You Don't Have a Plan

The last thing you want to do when you’re tired, have no food in the house and really can’t be bothered to go shopping, is to spend an hour or so before hitting the supermarket rustling around trying to find recipes to make a shopping list. Or at least, when I’m low on energy, it’s something that I really don’t want to do! And so, that’s why I’ve put together a shopping list of key foods for you which I buy when I haven’t had time to plan a weeks’ meals and which keep us eating healthily.

When I’m feeling organised, I love getting a meal plan together so that I know exactly what food to buy, what I’m cooking in the evenings and which recipe book to turn to. Even better, the added benefit of meal planning is that it takes away an extra decision that you have to make, in what I’m sure, is already a very busy and decision-laden day.

But let’s be honest, planning isn’t always possible!

So here’s my shopping list for a week or so worth of wholesome nutritious food shopping, with tips on what recipes to throw them into…. so, without further a do!

Fresh Veggies

Sweet Potatoes (1.25kg)
Organic Carrots (750g)
Organic Kale (500g)
x5 Courgettes
Organic Chestnut Mushrooms (250g)
x1 Butternut Squash
Cherry Tomatoes (600g)
x2 Mixed Peppers (600g)
x2 Aubergines
x12 Ripen at home Avocado
Red Chillies
x2 Wild Rocket (200g)

Meat / Fish

x2 Organic Chicken Breasts (two per pack)
Organic Pork Sausages
Organic Unsmoked Bacon (6 rashers)
Smoked Mackerel (250g)


Halloumi (250g)
Unsweetened Almond Milk

Dried / Canned

x10 Organic Black Beans
x4 Organic Chopped Tomatoes
x4 Organic Green Lentils
x4 Organic Red Kidney Beans
Pumpkin Seeds (100g)
Plain Almonds (500g)
Unsalted Cashews (200g)
Organic Brown Rice (500g)
Organic Doves Farm Brown Rice Spaghetti (500g)
Organic Oats (750g)


Whole Green Beans (1kg)
Spinach (1kg)
Chopped Vegetables (700g)


Brown Miso Soup Paste
x12 Organic Mixed Eggs
Merdian Almond Butter (1kg)

Ideas on How to Use these Ingredients for a Healthy Week

Lets start with breakfast!

Here are three breakies that Peter and I love and which are all easy, quick and sustaining meals to start your day with:

  • Mix a dollop of Almond Butter into a pan of oats to make some almond porridge – we love to make the porridge with half water and half almond milk. Top with a handful of pumpkin seeds.
  • You could start your day with a bowl full of steamed or boiled veggies (green beansspinach and chopped veg from the freezer), topped with a sliced avocado!
  • On weekends, we love to have scrambled eggs which have been made with a little bit of almond milk, served alongside a couple of rashers of bacon and a good helping of spinach.

Ideas for Snacking

Peter and I love to snack on something to help fill the 9-12 and 1-6pm gaps, we love…

  • A handful of almonds or cashews or both!
  • A small handful of almonds with one teaspoon of almond butter mixed on top.
  • An avocado, sliced in half and stoned with a teaspoon of tahini in the middle and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and chilli flakes on top – delicious!
  • A couple of slices of grilled halloumi.

Unplanned lunches

Assuming I made enough, we usually have dinner leftovers for our next day lunches. But there inevitably are days where we’ve either not made enough or we’ve been out for a meal the night before hand, so here are two ideas for a quick, nutritious unplanned lunch.

  • I absolutely love de-seeding a pepper and filling it with a mashed avocado, drizzling a little bit of olive oil into and seasoning with pink salt and pepper. I tend to serve this with any leftover salad (i.e. rocket leaves), scrambled eggs and a few slices of halloumi.
  • Smoked mackerel is always a handy thing to have in the fridge for a quick lunch, have a fillet cold and serve with a mix of green lentils and black beans, cherry tomatoes, rocket and a half of avocado. For an extra hit of flavour, mix a teaspoon of brown miso paste into the lentils and beans.

Dinner Ideas

We tend to eat meat a couple of days a week, rather than every day and when we do, we try and buy the best quality that we can. So where possible, our meat is organic. I think it’s important to buy organic ‘processed’ types of meats such as sausages and mince so that you know you’re getting as high a quality meat as possible.

Not having meat everyday, leaves us with endless possibilities of vegilicious platefuls!


  • Deliciously Ella’s Fajita Bowls which will use up peppersmushrooms,  avocado, spinach, brown rice, black beans and red chillies. Don’t be scared to mix in different veggies which are on the recipe list, it’ll always taste delicious. I love to substitute spinach with kale, and black beans for kidney beans. It all depends on what I’ve got in my cupboard.
  • I take a lot of inspiration from Naturally Sassy’s ‘How to Make a Balanced Bowl‘ guide and love to mix it up with a variety of roasted veggies (sweet potatoes and butternut squash), an addition of sauteed veg (courgettesmushroomsPeppers and aubergines) – served with a grain or legume (quinoa, brown rice, lentils or black beans) – drizzled with a tahini dressing.
  • No matter what time of year, I adore a good stew – here’s a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories which will use up the canned tomatoes, carrots, courgettes and squash. You could also throw in an aubergine, kale and green beans Moroccan Vegetable Tagine.

Meaty and Fish Meals

  • One of my favourite meals is oven cooked sausages served with a mix of steamed greens and chopped cooked carrots. The simplest thing to cook after a stressful day.
  • I absolutely love a good stir fry and take inspiration from recipes such as Jamie’s Chicken Noodle Stir Fry – for this type of meal, you can use up any leftover veggies!
  • We love this mackerel recipe from BBC Good Food, which steams butternut squash and combines with greens (you can use courgette, green beans, broccoli etc) with a mustardy dressing – all topped off with some pumpkin seeds. For some extra umph, add a side of lentils or black beans.


Why do you buy so much canned food?

Canned foods such as tomatoes, lentils, beans and chickpeas are such an easy way to speed up the cooking process. Come on, let’s face it – we don’t have time to pre-soak and then cook a load of lentils before dinner, so it’s a handy alternative. One thing you should do however, is to boil them and then thoroughly rinse before eating – this will help you to digest them better and make things a little less windy!

Why should I choose organic?

As I mentioned before, choosing organic meats will help you to eat higher welfare meat which is not just better for you but better for the animal and also our environment. Another massive benefit is that the animals are not reared on antibiotics, with the use significantly reduced due to better living conditions for the animals.

Organic practices as a whole are more sustainable on our environment as farmers use lower levels of pesticides and no manufactured herbicides thus protecting our ecosystems. Read more, here!

Why buy Almond Milk?

Peter and I switched to almond milk because we thought we were consuming quite a lot of cow’s milk (what with our porridge and drinks). Since swapping, we’ve not really noticed any change in our bodies – although I do now feel like I can’t drink as much milk as I used to be able to. My nails and skin are still looking healthy so I don’t think my body is really missing it. That’s not to say that I don’t drink cow’s milk… because I do, in my coffee whilst out and about. Be sure to always choose unsweetened varieties of nut milk!