When our Target first started selling groceries, I’m not gonna lie – I wasn’t an early adopter. Eggs and strawberries just didn’t seem right in the same sturdy red cart with new socks for my son, a cell phone charger, and a pair of sandals that caught my eye walking towards electronics. BUT soon I realized that it’s the best sort of amazing….that I can buy hummus and decorative pillows and frozen blueberries and pajamas all in one fell swoop, usually with 1 – 3 kids in tow, begging me to visit the dollar bin. So I created this guide to healthy grocery shopping at Target (you know you’re going anyway, might as well stock the fridge and pantry too……)
The fact of the matter is, there are now lots of healthy food items available at many Targets, and you’re missing out if you don’t spin through the grocery section next time you’re in there buying essentials like lampshades and eyeliner and flip flops and hand towels. But I digress. Let’s spin through a few finds from a recent trip, shall we?! (Note: In some cases I listed prices, in others I didn’t, which is mainly because I caught the prices in some photos but not others. #shoddyreporting I know. But also, prices are subject to change and may vary by region anyway, so I’m guessing you know not to read this as the bible of Target food pricing.)
Frozen fish $9.99 – $13.49:
The prices are pretty reasonable on wild-caught Alaskan cod, yellowfin tuna, and even sockeye salmon. If you think frozen fish isn’t for you, know that many times it’s even fresher than what you buy at the fish counter, having been frozen shortly after being caught. I don’t buy or eat a ton of fish, with the exception of occasional salmon, but if your family does, FYI Target’s got your back.
Organic grassfed beef, 5.99/lb and organic chicken, $8.49/lb: I don’t eat meat myself, but I buy it occasionally to make for my husband and daughters who do like it. I was pretty impressed they even had organic and grassfed beef! The price for organic chicken is comparable to other groceries.
Orgain Organic Protein Powder, $22.99:
I usually buy this at Costco, where it’s cheaper (the container we buy there is $30 something for double the size of this one) but Target is definitely closer and more convenient for day to day runs, and so this would come in handy in a pinch (although what kind of pinch would require specific chocolate protein powder immediately, I’m not sure…)
Cacao powder, $5.99:
If you’re not familiar, cacao (ka-cow) powder is the raw form of cocoa, meaning it is not heated during processing and therefore maintains more antioxidants and nutrients. It’s great blended into smoothies to give rich chocolate-y flavor. It used to be that I could only find this at Whole Foods, so yay for Target expanding their offerings!
This is a pretty good ingredient list, although ideally I try to look for just chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, and salt. Overall good taste on this one though! They have other flavors and brands too, like Lantana brand spicy yellow lentil flavor. Mmmm.
Lots of fruit!
My kids are big fans of the cuties clementine oranges, for smoothies, snacks, and lunches, and $3.99 is a pretty good price compared to others I’ve seen. They also have fresh berries, lemons, limes, oranges, bananas, pomegranate arils/seeds, apples, and grapes.
Some stand-outs here are the spiralized veggie noodles (zucchini and butternut squash), stir-fry mixes, riced cauliflower, peppers, organic romaine, clamshell salad greens, carrots, big bags of kale for juicing or smoothies, and even herbs (cilantro and mint). Also found some organic red and russet potatoes.
Whether you like regular, organic, or even pasture-raised, you can have your pick here. I’ve been buying Vital Farms brand a lot lately so I was glad to see them in the mix! Amy’s frozen burritos:
Any and all of your Amy’s frozen burritos needs can now be met at Target! Our freezer always has a stash of these for last minute lunches or snacks. Family favorites are the red “cheddar cheese” and the blue “non-dairy” and “black bean” ones. I think they’re usually less expensive than this at my local Krogers, but FYI.
Organic whole milk was on sale for $2.99 the day I was there, good deal. There are tons of non-dairy options too, including cashew, coconut, soy, and even pea protein based! (Pea milk, which my family was initially not mature enough to say without laughing.) We like unsweetened almond milk, and I buy whichever brand has no added sugar and is cheapest that week.
Nut Butters and honey:
(Does that title remind anyone else of those Nut and Honey/”nuttin’ honey” cereal commercials from the 80s or 90s?! No? Then pretend I never mentioned it.) I always look for nut butters that have just the nut listed, plus maybe salt. The Simply Balanced brand of organic peanut butter has only organic roasted peanuts, and Smucker’s brand is also good. We don’t buy peanut butter much since my son has an allergy, but Target has lots of other nut butter options. We like this almond butter second best (my fave is Kirkland brand at Costco). Bonus: some almond butters say “may contain peanuts” and Target’s does not yay). AND they even have a chocolate almond butter flavor that I am going to have to try soon….
Bread crumbs: I wish they hadn’t added sugar, but overall this ingredient list is better than some I have seen.
Pasta: I really love the red lentil and chickpea pastas that are available these days, but our Target didn’t have any of those (yet?!) They do have whole wheat and gluten free options, including this corn and rice blend spaghetti (which I have never tried but could be good choice if you need or want GF).
Coffee: This is one of my favorites and I can find on sale there for $4.99. Not super cheap but also not crazy like some of the organic, fair trade versions other places.
Dates: I love dates for naturally sweetening cookies, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. They’re also chewy and sweet stuffed with nut butter as a snack (almost like a mini candy bar?! Try adding a chocolate chip or two :))
Snacks: Here’s a few I like to buy when I hit up the snack aisle. The chips do have oil, but are still better than some others that have oil plus long complicated ingredient lists. I make a big batch of homemade salsa most weeks, and these tortilla chips are perfect for scooping it up. I also love the Mary’s crackers dipped in hummus or with cheese (but they’re kinda pricey for a small box of crackers so I don’t buy all the time). My youngest is usually with me and begs for Goldfish, so those typically end up in the cart too…
Spices: If you need to spice things up, Target has got your back (for anywhere from $2 – $6).
Grains: The bagged, pre-cooked grains that are available now can be an amazing time saver! Making a batch of most grains will set you back anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes, so I grab these now and then to mix with veggies and sunflower seeds for a side, to sprinkle on a salad or bowl, or to use as filler for veggie burgers. Options I found at Target include wild rice, quinoa and farro.
Beans, tomatoes, and salsa. I should probably invest stock in black beans, chickpeas (and lentils while we’re at it). Even if I still have some at home, I usually grab a few cans just so I never run out. #vegetarianproblems Target has a basic selection of these, plus tomatoes and salsa. (‘m not entirely sure why I grouped these 3 together but at least it saves us two extra paragraphs here.)
Oils: You can find a wide range, organic and non, sprays or regular. I like to have olive and coconut oil on hand. One jar of coconut oil can last us a long time, but sometimes I like to add that coconut flavor to stir fries, smoothies, or raw dessert treats.
Pancake mixes: I don’t love the taste of the Birch Benders brand, but maybe you will?! They have several flavor and flour combos. It’s a quick breakfast at any rate. On the other hand, all three kids like the Kodiak Cakes brand “Power Cakes”, and I appreciate that they have 14+ grams of protein per serving (more if you add egg).
Nuts and dried fruit: I haven’t tried this Blueberry Nut mix, but it looks good and lists only almonds, dried, sweetened blueberries (which means some added sugar), walnuts and pecans as ingredients. We also love the Wonderful brand of pistachios and almonds, and the Bare toasted coconut chips.
Aaaand, that’s a wrap! Once you’ve made it through all this, the bad news is that you will undoubtedly be distracted on your way to the register by throw pillows for the family room, brightly colored insulated water bottles that you are certain will up your water intake, a sale on scented candles, and oh, yes, you totally need a new mop. So stay focused and get out of there – you’ve got groceries to unload!