Grocery Shopping Tips
While eating healthfully doesn’t have to be complicated, there are some steps involved. The basis of any healthy diet is having the right ingredients on hand, and that starts with grocery shopping. Heading to the grocery store prepared can not only support your health goals but also help save you time and money. Read on for some of our best tips!
Grocery Shopping Tips to Support Your Health:
We all go grocery shopping, so utilizing the following tips can help you do so more effectively while supporting both your health and your wallet.
1 – Have a plan. Aimlessly strolling the aisles can waste time and be unproductive. Before heading out, make a list of what you plan to buy and stick to it. This list should be at least loosely based on the meals you plan to make for the week, and it can help save you money and stick to a healthy, balanced diet. You can read and watch our tips for meal prepping here and here!
2 – Don’t go hungry! Empty stomachs are notorious for playing tricks on your mind to convince you that you need treats and less healthy snack foods when you really intended to buy vegetables. The solution? Eat a snack (or a meal!) beforehand. This will help you to not shop with your eyes and impulsively grab things, but instead to stick to your list and make better choices.
Have Some of These PB + J Energy Bites In the Freezer and Grab Them Before Heading To the Store. #HungerPurchasesAverted!
3 – Shop the perimeter. Most of the wholesome foods that are going to nourish your body are on the perimeter of a store, such as fresh produce, meats, and eggs. Start there, but feel free to make your way to the aisles for other healthful foods like frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, whole grains, and healthy oils (such as these).
4 – Read the labels. This applies to all foods that have a label, even ones that you may already believe are healthy. Nutrition labels provide so much good and necessary information about what is in a food item and can help guide you in making the best choices for you and your family. You can read all about what to look for on a nutrition label and what the terms mean in this post.
5 – Acknowledge, but avoid temptation. Aka: don’t buy the treats. Recognize that you will be face to face with many delicious-sounding snacks and desserts nearly every time you venture out to the store and be prepared. For most people, the saying “out of sight, out of mind” holds true, meaning that if you don’t have these tempting foods at home you won’t eat them! While treats can absolutely still fit into a healthy and balanced diet, they are easy to get out of hand, so keep moderation in mind when shopping.
6 – Buy the rainbow. This applies to shopping for produce. Place an array of colors and varieties in your shopping cart, which will not only make for a beautiful meal but also provide you with the widest variety of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Look for produce that is on sale, which will not only save you money but can also be fun since it gives you the opportunity to try new and different things and experiment with different flavors for you and your family. Learn more about seasonal options in our Winter Produce and Spring Produce articles!
7 – Consider Convenience. If you’re pressed for time during the day or night, convenience items like pre-grilled chicken, frozen or pre-chopped vegetables will save you time and make you more likely to actually eat them instead of reaching for fast food that will end up costing more money (and costs you your health)!
8 – Look for bargains. This not only involves buying things on sale and using coupons, but also includes eating seasonally, buying in bulk, buying generic brands, and purchasing from different stores based on who sells it for cheapest.
When properly planned for, grocery shopping should be a fun outing that supports your health and gives you more experience down the aisles and in the kitchen.
Be thinking about what barriers you may be having with grocery shopping and keep these tips in mind for more successful trips in your future!