Grocery List Ideas for Meal Planning

Grocery List Ideas for Meal Planning

Publish Date June 12, 2023

You’ve seen them plenty of times in the grocery store – those super-organized types who zip from aisle to aisle, checking items off their lists and making it through their shopping in record time. And when they get home, they have all the items they need to feed the family for a week (or more). You too can become one of those people! Believe it or not, it all begins with the simple task of making a basic grocery list.

It’s best to always have a grocery list ready so you don’t forget important items. As soon as you realize you’re running low on something, add it to the shopping list. If you prefer using pen and paper to jot down your grocery list ideas, post a sheet of blank paper in a handy place where the whole family can access it, like on the fridge or bulletin board. If you’re a fan of doing things digitally, use the Kroger app to add food items (and other essentials) to your List as they run low. With your list of foods and Kroger’s in-store mapping feature, you can plan an efficient grocery run that’ll get you in and out in no time. Or, save even more time by easily moving your List items to your cart and choosing Pickup or Delivery.

Though grocery shopping looks different for every family, here are a few meal-planning staples that are likely to appear on the list:

Pantry Staples

Bread (white or whole wheat)



Cooking Oil

Pasta & Sauce


Herbs & Spices

Salad Dressing & Condiments



Flour & baking essentials

Refrigerator Basics






Fresh Fruit

Fresh Vegetables


Fresh salad kit


Freezer Extras

Frozen Vegetables


Breaded Chicken Strips

Fish & Shrimp

Frozen Fruit

Ice Cream

Bulk Chicken or Ground Beef

Extra bread

Pre-made Frozen Breakfast

Leftovers from the week

Better-for-You Shopping List

A well-planned, healthy grocery list can help you stick to a more nutritious eating plan. Whether you’re following a weight loss meal plan or want to add more heart healthy foods to your diet, a thought-out list helps you avoid any last-minute, impulse purchases that might add up to a bigger shopping bill and some not-as-healthy choices. You can start your healthy grocery list with some of these everyday nutritious foods. For your healthier shopping list, we’ve hand selected our favorite Better-for-You recipes.

Meal Planning Ideas

Save time and money by using a weekly meal planner. Download our meal plan template and grocery list template (or use the List feature in the Kroger app, as mentioned above) to help keep things organized. Start by choosing recipes that use pantry staples you already have. Take a little time during the weekend to write down the meals you’ll need to make for the week ahead, and list out the ingredients for each so you can see which foods you already have, and which foods to stock up on. As an added bonus, this planning and prep work will help you reduce food waste, too!

You can cook large batches of food at the beginning of the week and pre-pack meals for each day or freeze items for easier cooking later. Keep things fun by adding theme days to your routine, such as Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday and so on. For more meal prep ideas, check out our Meal Planning Solutions and 5 Days of Meals. For easy meal ideas inspiration, we gathered our favorite recipes in one place!

To save even more, keep an eye open for our Weekly Ad or our Locked in Low Prices. Sticking to your list—and your meal plan—will make grocery shopping simpler and more affordable. Grab a pen (or your phone) and get started now!