Vegan Grocery List for Beginners

Looking for a vegan grocery list for beginners to get you started? This list contains the most common plant-based and vegan items at the store – plus, I included some tips for shopping on a budget!

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I know, I know! Going vegan can seem so overwhelming at first. The what-you-can-and-cannot-eat seems like a mystery. What about the first time you step into a grocery store after deciding to go vegan? Phew.

It may seem like nothing is vegan, or vegan food is super hard to find. Especially when you have never really read labels or primarily ate a diet of meat, eggs, and cheese. I get it! I’ve been there – I went vegan in 2016 and felt totally lost at first. (After you get some ideas for grocery shopping here, check out my Top 12 Tips for Going Vegan and this 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!)

I’m going to go over exactly what you can buy at the store – and you might be shocked that the list is pretty dang long!

Produce section in a grocery store with a text overlay reading "printable list"

Printable Shopping List

If you want the printable list to bring with you next time you go grocery shopping, complete the form below and I’ll send it to your email!

This vegan grocery list includes staples and easily accessible items found at almost every store.

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
  • Melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon)
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Limes

Recipes: Fall Fruit Salad, Vegan Apple Crisp, Vegan Banana Bread

Vegetables

  • Greens (spinach, collard greens, lettuce)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes (sweet potatoes, russets, Yukon gold, etc)
  • Asparagus
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes

Recipes: Carrot Dogs, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Vegetable Fried Rice, Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Canned Goods

  • Beans (kidney, black beans, pinto, chickpeas, etc)
  • Chickpeas
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Canned fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Vegan soups (some of the Amy’s and Well Yes! soups are vegan – but read labels!)
  • Coconut milk

Recipes: 3-Bean Vegan Chili, Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Vegan Nachos, Buffalo Chickpea Wraps

Dry Goods

  • Pasta
  • Lentils
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Split peas
  • Oats
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Bread
  • Tortillas

Recipes: Vegan Split Pea Soup, One-Pot Creamy Spinach Pasta, Maple Pecan Overnight Oats

Baking

  • Flour
  • Organic sugar (some sugar is processed with bone char – organic sugar is always processed in a way that is vegan. This includes powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.)
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life, Simple Truth Allergy-Friendly)

Recipes: Vegan Brownies, Magic Cookie Bars, Double Chocolate Muffins, Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

Frozen Food

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Vegan waffles (some aren’t vegan, read label)
  • French fries
  • Diced potatoes
  • Non-dairy ice cream (So Delicious and Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy line)
  • Vegan pizza (Daiya, some Amy’s)
  • Vegan freezer meals (Gardein, Sweet Earth)

Recipes: Instant Pot Corn Chowder, Vegetable Pot Pie Soup

Condiments, Oils, and Sauces

  • Olive oil
  • Cooking oil
  • Vinegar
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Pasta sauce (some contain meat or dairy, read label)
  • Vegan mayo (Vegenaise, Just Mayo, Best Foods/Hellman’s vegan version)
  • Vegan BBQ sauce (some contain honey)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Hot sauce (some contain dairy)

Recipes: Baked BBQ Tofu, Vegan Ranch Dressing, Vegan Coleslaw

Non-Dairy

  • Dairy-free milk: Oat, almond, cashew, coconut, soy, etc.
  • Vegan creamer: Silk has both soy and almond creamers, Nutpods, SoDelicious, Califia
  • Vegan yogurt: Silk, SoDelicious, Ripple, Non-dairy Chobani, Kite Hill
  • Vegan cheese: SoDelicious, VioLife, Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Chao. Note that some will say lactose-free but are not vegan.
  • Vegan cream cheese: Tofutti, Kite Hill, GoVeggie

Recipes: Cashew Cream Cheese, Easy Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits, Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Protein

  • Tofu (my favorite way to make it)
  • Tempeh
  • “Beef” (Gardein, MorningStar, Impossible Burger, Beyond Meat)
  • Veggie/plant-based burgers (Beyond, Impossible, Dr. Praeger’s, Gardein, MorningStar)
  • Vegan bacon (Lightlife, Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon)
  • Vegan sausage (Lightlife, Gardein, Field Roast, Beyond Meat)
  • “Chick’n” (Gardein, MorningStar)

Recipes: Tempeh Sausage, Impossible Burger Meatloaf, No-Seafood Boil

What to Avoid

Here is a list of ingredients to keep an eye out for when reading labels:

  • Casein
  • Gelatin
  • Lactose
  • Isinglass
  • Whey
  • Beeswax and Honey
  • Sugar processed with bone char (buy organic when possible)
  • Carmine
  • Lard
  • Other animal-derived ingredients: milk, cream, beef, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, etc.

5 Tips for Shopping on a Budget

If you’re vegan on a budget, I have some money-saving tips for you!

  1. Buy the vegan meats sparingly – they can be pretty pricey. Instead, stick to beans and tofu for your main protein sources.
  2. Frozen fruits and vegetables tend to be much cheaper than their fresh counterparts (depending on sales and the season.) And they are still just as nutritious!
  3. Dried beans are cheaper than canned beans. If you have an Instant Pot, they cook up pretty quickly.
  4. Meal planning can save you time and money!
  5. Go to each of your local grocery stores and make note of the prices of your most commonly purchased items. You might be surprised at the price differences. I typically shop at 2 or 3 different stores.

For the printable vegan grocery list, sign up below and I’ll send it to your email!

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