20 Essential grocery store items from Mr. Travel Fitness aka MicVinny

20 Essential Grocery Store Items To Buy While Traveling

Who has time to purchase grocery store items during a trip?

Ummmm you do!

(seriously…you do)

No matter how busy your life is while traveling, you need to make time for essential grocery store items.

The best way to live a healthy lifestyle while traveling is to control your own food.

So, what’s the safest way to control your own food?

It’s taking a trip to the grocery store and getting what your body really needs!

Shopping at a grocery store prevents you from becoming a victim of catered lunches, restaurants and fast food joints .

Always insure that you have healthy food by utilizing these essential grocery store items.

The Typical Traveler’s Situation

In this article I’m going to assume that the only thing you have in your hotel room is a mini-refrigerator and microwave.

It may not sound like much but that’s all you the amenities you need in order to prepare and store quality food during your trip.


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As a person that wants to look and feel good during your trip, you should emphasize eating vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and clean carb sources.

Vegetables

When I was first learning how to be an international business developer, it was hard to find fresh vegetables to eat.

You typical had to clean, chop and organize the vegetables yourself after purchasing them. That was too much hassle when you traveled so you typically settled for frozen or canned vegetables.

It’s amazing how society can change over time!

In the majority of grocery stores across America, you can now find fresh veggies already washed, chopped and prepped for instant consummation.

#1 Steam Vegetable Bags

Look for bags of broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, etc. stored in steamable bags. If your hotel room has a microwave, steam bags make eating vegetables so much easier.

#2 Salad Bags

You can find salad bags for all occasions:

  • Spinach salads
  • Romaine lettuce bags
  • Spring mix salads
  • Cole slaw kit
  • Swiss chard
  • Etc.

Get creative and expand your salads beyond just iceberg lettuce.

#3 Veggie Snacks

Besides the steamer bags you can still find vegetables stored in small mini plastic bags, storage containers and snack trays.

Find snacks that fit your taste buds:

  • Baby carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas
  • Edamame
  • Etc.

Lean Protein

Most grocery stores contain a deli section in which they will precook foods for you.

Deli counter
Score!

 

Here’s what I recommend:

#4 Rotisserie Chicken

Cheap, simple and delicious.

Since you will be eating a whole chicken just be aware that you’ll be eating more fat than normal.

That’s fine, just cut back on some of your carbs for the day.

#5 Lunch Meat

This might come to a surprise, but lunch meat can be very handy while traveling.

I’m not talking that cheap refrigerator aisle stuff. I’m talking about the slabs you can get from behind the deli counter.

Go for the more premium quality looking lunch meats. You want a high protein, low fat ratio.

If the texture is more like bologna than the original animal it came from, don’t buy it!

The less processed the better.

Examples:

  • Turkey breast
  • Chicken breast
  • Roast beef
  • London Broil
  • Ham

Don’t go for sugar-coated stuff like honey brine or glazed variations.

Remember, you’re still trying to make due with the best choice available to you.

If the grocery store has no deli section, then you would get prepackaged lunch meat from the grocery aisle.

#6 Deli Cheese

Cheese makes for a good “high protein, high fat” food source.

The key is to purchase quality cheese. Don’t settle for the semisoft overly processed varieties (American cheese, Velveeta).

Go for hard cheeses with better protein/fat/carb ratios like:

  • Swiss cheese
  • Muenster
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Provolone

Grocery Aisle Proteins

#7 Vacuumed Sealed Tuna

Sunkist and Bumblebee started the trend and others caught on. You can find vacuum sealed bags of seasoned tuna in the center aisle.

You can easily add this to salads for instant meals.

There are also some bags in which the tuna is in its steak form, which makes a heartier dinning experience.

Starkist Tuna pouch in a vacuum sealed bag

#8 Canned Albacore Tuna

You should always look for albacore tuna due to its higher protein content. If you’re watching your calories, select the tuna canned in water.

If you’re bulking up, look for tuna in olive oil.

For a special treat you could always mix a can of tuna with a vacuumed sealed bag of seasoned tuna.

This is the easiest way to season lots of tuna without needing to buy (or bring) your own seasonings.

#9 Vacuumed Sealed Salmon
#10 Canned Salmon

Just like tuna, you can find salmon in bags and canned. I find that the vacuumed sealed bags are more travel friendly & less funky.

Canned salmon typically requires lots of extra seasonings & spices to make it edible.

#11 Milk

Whole, skim, soy, almond or whatever.

If your goal is to gain some weight, don’t be afraid of drinking 1% or higher fat milk.

#12 Greek Yogurt

If you want a cheap post workout meal, I highly suggest you add Greek yogurt.

Even the kind with “fruit” is ok due to you needing quick simple sugars in your body after a workout.

When eating Greek yogurt at any other time, just go with the plain/non-fat versions with some real fruit mixed in.

#13 Canned Beans

Beans are a good protein and carbohydrate source. Nowadays you can find seasoned beans that just require you to heat and serve.

I’m not talking baked beans either!

I’m talking the healthier beans like garbanzo, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc.

If the grocery store has an international section, there’s a good chance you’ll find some awesome vegetarian bean creations.

Examples:

  • Dahl
  • Lentil soups
  • Chili
  • Curry

Carbohydrate/Starch Sources

#14 White Potatoes

three potatoes

#15 Sweet Potatoes

Use that microwave and heat these bad boys up. Very easy and efficient carb sources while traveling.

Don’t ruin it by adding butter and sugar! Salt and pepper is all you need.

It’s called a sweet potato for a reason!

#16 Fruit

This should be how you indulge your sweet tooth while traveling. You can buy small pieces of fruit for quick and easy convenience like apples, pears, peaches, oranges, bananas, etc.

You can also purchase tropical fruits already sliced up and keep them in your refrigerator.

Don’t be tempted by the candy and desserts of the road.

Just stick to fruit like nature intended.

Healthy Fat Sources

#17 Nuts

In the nut aisle you’ll find several options for nuts. The best option is to go as natural as possible.

Every now and then you can try one of the seasoned spiced versions of nuts.

They do have several delicious flavors. The trick is to not go overboard.

Remember nuts are very dense and high in fat.

Despite their little size, too many nuts equate to lots of calories.

Keep count of your servings!

Storage Containers

#18 Tupperware

Tupperware is one of the most overlooked inexpensive grocery store items that people don’t buy (or bring) when traveling.

Every thing that we bought above can easily be stored in your hotel room inside a Tupperware container.

Tupperware saves you lots of time by having your meals and snacks organized.

Plus, remember you can always take them home with you once your trip is over.

#19 Zip Lock bags

Zip lock bags travel easier and are smaller than Tupperware containers.

Place your snack portions (nuts and veggies) in these bags and have yourself a ready to go meal!

They also give you something to put leftovers in if you did have to go out for the occasional meal on your trip.

#20 Water Bottle or Jug

I’m a fan of getting a bigger water bottle/jug than purchasing a case of several smaller bottles. It’s cheaper and you get more water for your buck.

Do whatever fits your traveling environment requires. This may be last on the list, but staying hydrated is always important during your trip.


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