Your Ultimate Inflation Busting Grocery List To Save Money While Eating Well

The cost of basic necessities like food is rising faster than ever. It’s getting harder than ever to afford the things we usually buy at the grocery store. However, with a few smart swaps, you can save money on groceries and manage inflation for your family.

Here’s a grocery list to help you stick to your budget despite inflation.

What is a Simple Grocery List?

A simple grocery list is a small list for the week that allows you to restock on items you have used throughout the week.

Your simple list won’t include pantry items like flour, spices, or beans but will consist of basics like bread, milk, and eggs you’ve used over the week.

This post breaks your grocery list into a variety of categories. The meals sections are mostly simple grocery lists with a few needed pantry items thrown in, but there’s also a pantry section that lists some essential items most kitchens need on hand. What you store in your pantry highly depends on your diet and meal preferences. 

What Groceries Should I Buy for a Week?

Every dollar in your grocery budget counts when you fight inflation. The groceries you buy each week depend heavily on a variety of things:

Someone feeding just themselves will have a vastly different list than someone who is providing a family of five, whereas someone with a tight budget will have a separate list from someone who can spend a lot of money.

Grocery List for 2 Adults

We will start with a grocery list for two adults. The list will assume seven days with three meals a day plus snacks. If you have children, you will want to add additional snacks and buy extra of most of these products. 


We often call breakfast the most important meal of the day while skipping it. Eating something for breakfast is essential, but you don’t need to make a big production out of it. Fruit, a breakfast bar, a handful of granolas, or something else small will be enough.

Here are some of the best breakfast items to add to your grocery list for the week:

  • Bananas
    • A single banana makes a great on-the-go breakfast
  • Cottage cheese
    • One 16-ounce container
  • Blueberries
    • One small container
  • breakfast bars
    • one package

These four items are enough for two adults to have a light, simple breakfast for the whole week for about $15.

 If you have children or want more complete breakfasts, consider adding the following items:

  • Dozen eggs
  • Cereal
    • Avoid the stuff filled with sugar and opt for something with whole grains
  • Milk
    • Milk goes bad very quickly. Don’t buy it if you don’t know for sure you will use it.
  • Bacon/sausage
  • Granola
  • Yogurt
  • Pancake mix

These items will add a lot of extra money to your grocery list, especially with the high cost of eggs and meat. However, having a full breakfast now and again is nice if you can afford it. Milk, cereal, granola, and yogurt make easy breakfast options for the kids, and a box of pancake mix gives you a cheap opportunity for a hot breakfast.


There are a lot of great lunch options available if you have a little bit of prep time. My favorite lunch is a veggie, cheese, and cracker platter. It’s easy to make, cheap, and healthy. You can also opt for quick & easy sandwiches.

Here’s what’s on my grocery list for a week of healthy, delicious weekday lunches:

  • Three cucumbers
  • Bag of carrots
    • Usually lasts two weeks!

Pro Tip: Get a bag of real carrots instead of the pre-cut baby carrots. It takes a few extra minutes to chop, but they are much cheaper and taste better!

  • Three apples
  • One package of fancy brick cheese
    • I like to mix up the type I buy for a little variety week to week
  • One package of crackers
    • Usually lasts two weeks!
  • Lemon juice
    • To keep apple slices from going brown

For my lunches, I slice up half a cucumber, half an apple, two carrots, and a few slices of cheese. Then I add a handful of crackers to the mix and have a cheap yet healthy lunch. The items on this grocery list would feed one adult for six lunches and costs about $17. The most expensive thing is the fancy cheese, which you can likely find substitutions for if it doesn’t fit your budget.

Pro Tip: Swap out the cheese with hummus for a vegan lunch!

My partner prefers a hot lunch every day. Here’s his idea of the perfect lunch shopping list:

  • 2lb bag of rice
    • There are approximately 2.5 cups of dry rice in a one-pound bag.
  • Miso dressing
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice vinegar
    • Should last you about a month, if not longer!
  • Dozen eggs
    • You may need to buy two dozen eggs depending on how many you plan to use for breakfast. One dozen will be fine for all the lunches for a week, plus one or two mornings for breakfast.

He makes a cup of rice in the rice cooker daily and adds a dab of rice vinegar to prevent sticking. He mixes it up day to day with any combination of dressing, soy sauce, and eggs. Many of these items last him for multiple weeks, and the total cost of buying all of them at once is about $19.

A cup of rice or a handful of vegetables may not sound like the most appetizing idea for lunch. Add some of these items to your lunch menu if you want a little more variety!

  • Sandwiches
    • Lunch meat
      • Fresh from the deli tastes better but is also slightly more expensive and doesn’t last as long.
    • Cheese
    • Bread
    • Favorite condiments
    • Favorite veggies
    • Tuna
    • Sides
      • Chips
      • Carrots
      • Apple

Pro Tip: for a super cheap and easy sandwich, opt for peanut butter and jelly on generic white or wheat bread!

  • Salads
    • There are thousands of salad varieties. Try purchasing different pre-made salads at the deli, or make traditional salads with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, green pepper, and other veggies as desired.
  • Avocado Toast
    • Wheat bread
    • Tomato
    • Avocado
  • Bruschetta
    • Fresh mozzarella
    • Baguette
    • Tomato
    • Basil
    • Olive oil

Pro Tip: Go carb-free with Caprese and skip the baguette!


Every good grocery list makes room for snacks. Sometimes you need something extra to help get you through the day or a late-night snack before bed. It’s best to plan for these items when making your grocery list, which helps prevent impulse buys later.

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a good snack. I’m a chip junkie, but my partner prefers fruity candies like hi-chews or Starburst. You may enjoy healthy snacks like carrots or a nut mix or want to indulge in sweets like cookies or ice cream.

It’s important to give yourself and your family a few snacks each week, so you don’t feel deprived. Don’t forget to include them in your grocery budget!


Dinner is the meal that Americans usually go all out in. Here we need to plan our meats, vegetables, and grains for the week. Planning weekly dinners can get expensive, but there are plenty of ways to cut your costs while still having healthy meals at dinner.

You must plan your meals before grocery shopping. Weekly meal planning will ensure that you don’t overspend at the supermarket and don’t waste food.

Rather than list a bunch of things to add to your list, we will provide 14 different meal ideas along with suggested items for your grocery list to make each meal.

Keep in mind this isn’t a recipe post. The number of items you buy depends upon how many people you have to feed, and Google is your best friend to find the appropriate cook times for things you haven’t made before. The below list gives you an idea of delicious meals you can cook and an approximate cook time to help you plan your weekly meals.

  • Tacos (approximately 20-45 minutes, depending on if you make rice)
    • Taco shells
    • Ground Beef
    • Taco cheese
    • Taco seasoning (cumin, pepper, or a pre-made mix)
    • Vegetables to taste
      • Tomato, onion, lettuce, cilantro, avocado
    • Sauces to taste
      • Sour cream, salsa, pico, guacamole
    • Taco Casserole (approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on when you make the rice)
      • Make this dish the day after taco night. Add Spanish rice and black beans to your leftovers for a fresh new meal. Below is what you will need if you make the rice from scratch, but you can also get a pre-made package which can save a ton of time. I like to make rice while making tacos so I can make my tacos more filling!
      • Rice
      • Olive oil
      • Beans (black, red, or pinto will work, canned are ideal for less work, but you can also make from dry if you have the time)
      • Tomato sauce
      • Carrots
      • Corn (canned or frozen)
      • Tortillas
      • Leftover taco stuff
    • Hamburgers (approximately 30 minutes)
      • Ground beef
      • Sliced cheese
      • Condiments as desired (ketchup, mustard, mayo)
      • Fries or chips

Pro Tip: Save money by swapping ground beef with ground turkey for hamburgers and tacos!

  • Stuffed Pepper (approximately 60 minutes)
    • Rice or Quinoa
    • Tomato sauce
    • Olive oil
    • Green Peppers
    • Additional vegetables as desired
      • Pepper
      • Onion
      • Carrot
      • Zucchini or squash
      • Mushroom
    • Meat if desired
      • Meatless stuffed pepper is nutritious and filling. Opting to skip the meat will save you money at the grocery store and gives you a delicious vegan meal option!
    • Stir Fry (approximately 20 minutes)
      • Rice
      • Vegetables as desired
        • Green peppers
        • Broccoli
        • Onion
        • Mushroom
        • Green onion
        • Sprouts
      • Canned veggies as desired
        • Water chestnuts
        • Bamboo shoots
      • Soy sauce
      • Protein as desired
        • The great thing about stir fry is it’s so versatile. If money is a concern, you don’t need the protein for a cheap, easy meal. If you want to add more, you can add any protein, including tofu, to keep it vegan, beef, chicken, shrimp, or even sausage.
      • Chicken Picatta (approximately 45 minutes)
        • Chicken breast tenders
        • Butter
        • Olive Oil
        • Lemon juice
        • One lemon
        • Capers
        • Flour
        • Chicken stock
          • You can also use white wine!
        • Pasta as desired
      • Salad Night (approximately 30 minutes)
        • Vegetables of choice. May include:
          • Lettuce
          • Spinach
          • Tomato
          • Cucumber
          • Green pepper
          • Onion
          • Radish
        • Cheese (shredded, parmesan, or feta work well)
        • Croutons
        • Salad Dressing of Choice

Pro Tip: Use similar ingredients to make fresh veggie wraps! Grab some wraps and hummus to make a complete meal of it!

  • Crock Pot Chicken burritos (5-minute prep, 5 hours to cook)
    • Chicken breasts
    • Favorite salsa
    • Black beans
    • Green pepper
    • Onion
  • Lentil Sausage Mix (approximately 30 minutes)
    • Lentils
    • Hatfield ground sweet Italian sausage
    • Rice
    • Chicken stock
  • Frozen Pizza
    • Sometimes you need a quick, easy dinner! No Shame!
  • Steaks Bryan (approximately 30 minutes)
    • Steak cuts of your choice
    • Goat cheese
    • Lemon juice
    • Butter
    • Side vegetable as desired
      • I recommend asparagus or brussels sprouts!
    • Roast (20-minute prep, approximately 2 hours to cook)
      • Your favorite roast cut
      • Carrots
      • Potatoes
      • Butter
      • Olive oil
      • Fresh herbs as desired
        • Sage, thyme, and bay leaf work well!
    • Pork Chops (approximately 30 minutes
      • Pork chops
      • Side dishes as desired
        • Apple sauce and wild grain rice go great with pork chops
    • Spaghetti (approximately 30 minutes)
      • Pasta of choice
      • Marina sauce
      • Powdered parmesan cheese
      • Meat if desired

Keep in mind some of these meals may include the same items. Don’t purchase extra for each meal; only buy what you will need to feed everyone for the week! You will have a better idea of how much of each item you need than anyone else.

Pantry Items

Although the lists for each meal include some pantry items that you need, it’s essential to consider them as a separate section because there are a few things that you may need for various meals that we don’t often think of because they are usually already available in the kitchen. You probably won’t need to buy them every time you go shopping, but you should add them to your list if you are running low!

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Oil
    • Olive oil and vegetable oil
  • Spices
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Sage
    • Thyme
    • Basil
    • Bay leave
    • Oregano
    • Cumin
    • Cinnamon
    • Seasoned salt


I’m going to be brutally honest with you here. Drinks are a giant budget killer and are often filled with unnecessary sugars. If health and budget are top priorities, you should probably skip the drinks and stick to water.

However, we all like a treat sometimes, so if you want to get a few tasty beverages, I won’t hold it against you. There are thousands of varieties, so it’s up to you to decide which ones you want!

Make Grocery Shopping Easier

Grocery shopping is a hated chore, but we need to do it to feed ourselves. Here are some tips to help make your weekly grocery shop a little easier!

Make a Shopping List

This entire post is designed to help you make a list for your whole week of groceries. Making your grocery shopping list ahead of time will help you stick to what you need and avoid impulse purchases.

Meal Plan

It’s nearly impossible to make a grocery list if you don’t know what you will make throughout the week. Creating a weekly meal plan will help you develop your shopping list and make deciding what to eat each day a lot easier.

Use an App

Many supermarkets offer apps to help you pre-plan your grocery shopping adventure. Shopping list apps can help you keep track of pantry items, identify what is in stock, and never worry about forgetting your list at home.

Order Groceries Online

Online grocery shopping has exploded in popularity in recent years. If you loathe the grocery store, consider ordering from your grocery store’s app, which likely offers curbside pickup, or a third-party app like Instacart, which offers grocery delivery.

Get a Cookbook

Deciding what to make can be challenging. Online recipes only help if you already have something in mind. If you struggle with meal planning because you don’t even know where to start, consider investing in a simple cookbook.

Ultimate Bundles offers a yearly meal planning bundle that includes tons of recipes, which helped me find fun, new ideas for the kitchen (a few of the ideas on this list may have been from that bundle!).

When you find dishes you love, add them to your recipe book for quick reference!

Grocery Shopping Doesn’t Need to Be Stressful

Grocery shopping is a big, never-ending chore, but you can make it easier and save time by creating an inclusive list and planning your weekly meals before you go. Hopefully, this epic list gave you some ideas that will help save you time and money at the grocery store but also allow you to make delicious meals for your family.

Eat well!