My Low-Calorie Grocery List

Is it weird that I sort of love grocery shopping? My mom thinks it’s a form of “nesting” but I sincerely enjoy making lists and stocking my pantry and fridge with items I love. This time of year, it’s all about getting back on track with health and fitness. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my calories over the last year and have learned a few tricks in the process. The following low-calorie grocery list is my go-to for filling my kitchen with low-calorie noms.

  1. Guacamole
    Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Guacamole
    (or Homemade Greek Yogurt Guacamole – recipe here)

    Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Guacamole
    I go through about 2 cups of guacamole a week. No kidding. For guacamole grilled cheeses (like this one from Closet Cooking), chicken tacos, or avocado (guacamole) on toast – this greek yogurt and guacamole mix is so satisfying yet remarkably healthy at just 30 calories per 2 tablespoons.

  2. Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese

    If you’re anything like me, you know you can’t commit to any New Year’s Resolution that doesn’t involve cheese. I’ve tried the fat-free cheddah and while it works in a pinch, it’s not quite cheese. Reduced Fat or 2% shredded cheese is the way to go – on tacos, sloppy janes (turkey sloppy joes), quesadillas or chili. The one pictured rings in at just 40 calories an ounce.

  3. Old Thyme 647 Bread

    Old Thyme 647 Bread

    For the aforementioned grilled cheese and guacamole on toast – you’ll need a low-calorie bread. If you can’t find this one (40 calories a slice), the Pepperidge Farm Light Style Bread is a good alternative at just 45 calories a slice.

  4. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

    An absolute classic. This protein is the basis for most of my low-calorie meals – BBQ Chicken Sliders, Salsa Chicken Tacos, and Sriracha Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

  5. Old El Paso Taco Shells

    Old El Paso Taco Shells
    Did I mention tacos? Okay yes, I’ve already mentioned them 3 times but tacos are a GREAT way to lose weight and still eat a satisfying meal. These taco shells are 3 for 150 calories – a VERY low-cal alternative to flour tortillas or bread.

  6. Sriracha

    I know the rest of the country may have gotten sick of this trendy chile sauce but I’m still in love. I like it in my slow cooker chicken, on eggs, avocado toast and even on popcorn. I mean, have you TRIED sriracha on popcorn? Get on that. Seriously.

  7. Cholula Hot Sauce

    Cholula Hot Sauce
    This is my go-to, standard hot sauce of choice. It’s zero calories and beats out most of the taco sauces I’ve tried in taste.

  8. Shishito Peppers

    Blistered Shishito Peppers
    I first discovered these at my favorite tapas restaurant here in Northern Virginia (Barcelona – TRY IT!) They may be hard to find at some grocery stores but I’ve been able to find them at both Trader Joe’s and Wegmans. At just 15 calories per 7 peppers, these make a delicious salty appetizer or side to any meal.

    I sautee them with a little olive oil and kosher salt (it sticks better than sea salt). Sometimes I’ll throw in some charred cherry or grape tomatoes to mix it up.

  9. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

    There are a few specific brands I buy, but the ones from your local farmers market are best. These are a standard go-to for me for avocado on toast, omelets, sauteed with shishito peppers, or in a variety of curries or stir-frys.

  10. Bananas

    I’m gonna be honest. Most weekdays, I don’t have time for a full-on breakfast. Bananas are a great way to start your day and are easy to take on-the-go. Plus, they’re all-natural unlike most of the breakfast bars you’ll find in the cereal aisle. Averaging just 100 calories per nanner, these are a great addition to any breakfast.

  11. Calafia Farms Almond Milk

    Califia Farms Almond Milk
    At this point, you’ve probably already heard that dairy causes acne. Given that I can’t sacrifice my cheese, I decided to seek alternatives for my daily coffee. My vegan sisters recommended this brand of almond milk and it does the trick. Plus, it’s great for smoothies and even for homemade hot cocoa (almond milk + chocolate chips). It’s sold at most grocery stores in my area and only 18 calories per 1/2 cup. I find I only need about a tablespoon for my coffee.

  12. Frozen blueberries/strawberries/mixed berries

    I love a good smoothie or yogurt bowl but unfortunately, buying fresh berries every week is really wasteful. There’s no way I can go through them all before they go bad so I go the frozen route. I love these mixed with almond milk for a tasty smoothie or with greek yogurt topped with sliced almonds, banana, and honey for a powerhouse breakfast.

  13. Chobani or Fage non-fat greek yogurt

    Chobani Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
    Some people don’t like plain greek yogurt but I personally love it. It’s not too different from sour cream and can be mixed into a lot of recipes. It’s chock full of probiotics and only 60 calories per 1/2 cup. I like to mix it with avocado for a lower calorie spread, with frozen berries and bananas for a smoothie bowl, or sriracha for a zesty sauce on rice bowls (got that idea from Cava).

  14. Baby carrots + garlic hummus

    This is another great recommendation from my sister, Beth. It’s healthy, salty and low-calorie at just 4 calories per carrot and 50 calories per serving of hummus.

  15. Baked Tostitos Scoops + Fresh Salsa

    Baked Tostitos Scoops
    When the carrots and hummus just don’t cut it, I need to satisfy my chip cravings. These baked scoops are some of the lowest-calorie (yet still satisfying) chips I’ve found. At 120 calories per 16 chips, they’re still not great. But I’ve found that just putting a handful in a bowl with a side of salsa is enough to satisfy my savory cravings at snack time. And really…there’s worse snacks out there.

I wanted to refrain from putting too many sweets on here but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you – these little gems are perfect to satisfy your mid-afternoon candy cravings.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds

I used to keep these at my desk at work. Although almonds aren’t a low-calorie food, they’re quite filling. Snack on 5-10 of these babies for just under 100 calories. Overall, they’re a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings without going overboard.

That’s it folks – 15 items/ pairings for your weekly grocery list. I’m not trying to pretend I’m a nutritionist or that these things are all amazing for you – but if you’re trying to cut calories in 2018, this may be a good way to start. These are literally my go-to items that I’ve bought over and over again.

What are your favorite healthy or low-calorie items to pick up at the store?


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