Shopping for a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming, and it certainly helps to know where to go. We have compiled a list of our go-to spots to get the routine and specialty items that we use regularly. Since some of these stores may not be located in your area, we’ve also included some general tips to help you get the most out of your neighborhood grocery store.
Some grocery stores are more dedicated than others to stocking organic, natural foods with quality ingredients. These stores make it much easier to shop because you’re less likely to encounter products with artificial colors, flavors and unpronounceable preservatives.
Having access to healthy foods is so important to us that we have based our home choices on places that were close to our favorite stores. When Stacy was starting out in her career as a journalist—and didn’t have the luxury of choice —she spent a few years living in a place that didn’t have quality grocery stores nearby so she understands what it is like to live in a food desert. If you happen to live in an area that doesn’t offer such stores, take heart; there are still ways to navigate to decent food options.
Our Favorite Stores
HEB – HEB stores are a Texas chain that is constantly expanding. The stores often reflect the surrounding neighborhood, as far as selection, and newer stores tend to have a better variety of options. Many of the stores feature sections dedicated to natural and organic grocery and beauty items. The produce sections are usually really large and well organized with wide aisles filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Central Market – Central Market grocery stores, dubbed “Foodie Paradise,” are owned by HEB. There is usually no more than one located in a city, usually in upscale neighborhoods. The stores are great destinations for traveling veggies because of their hot foods departments, which usually feature a create-your-own sandwich station, soup and salad bar and fresh sushi. You can explore the aisles and browse a vast array of natural and organic items like cereal, spaghetti sauces, beverages, olive oils and seasonings.
Whole Foods – Whole Foods is a place we affectionately call “Whole Paycheck.” While for the most part it is quite possible to easily run up a $60 bill with just a few items, there are a lot of treasures to be found at decent prices. The store has items on sale weekly and also publishes a coupon booklet that will save you even more. Like Central Market, this grocery store features a veggie-friendly hot foods department, and sandwich, soup and salad bar.
Sprouts – Sprouts is like a Whole Foods for the people. It is a smaller store, but is found in more suburban areas. The prices are very reasonable, especially for produce. They often have organic vegetables like greens and apples at much lower prices than competitors’ stores. They also have vegan-friendly bread. My absolute favorite feature of the store is double-ad Wednesdays where both sales ads for the past and upcoming week are in effect for an overlapping day.
Trader Joe’s – This is a quirky store with a friendly staff that is eager to let you sample anything in the store before you buy it. We like to hit up Trader Joe’s for their great prices on canned coconut milk, lentils, seasonings and spices, packaged nuts and rice milk. They also have really tasty pineapple juice, in cans or in the refrigerated section.
All the best,