Grocery Shopping 101
The first step to good nutrition begins with your trip to the grocery store! Think about it: If you don’t have healthy ingredients, how are you going to make a healthy meal? When you go to the grocery store, you most likely have every intention of buying healthy ingredients, but sometimes the treats from the chip and cookie aisle will sneak their way into your cart. So, how do you ensure your next trip to the grocery store is a nutritional home run?
- Make a list
- Don’t Shop Hungry
- Shop the Perimeter
- Shop Mid-Week
The Healthiest Grocery Shopping Tips
- Make a list. The next time you are preparing to go grocery shopping, make a list ahead of time. Plan out your meals for the next few days, and create your list from those. Sure, it may take a few extra minutes, but this will save you time, frustration, and additional trips to the store in case you forget any items. Having a list in front of you will also allow you to look over your nutritional values. Are you getting enough vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy?
- Don’t Shop Hungry. If you’ve ever shopped hungry, you know how risky that can be! When you’re hungry, everything looks appetizing. You may never normally buy a candy bar, but when your stomach is growling at you, you might grab one without a second thought. When you shop after you have eaten, and don’t have hunger pangs, you will make much wiser decisions nutrition-wise. Your waistline and wallet will thank you!
- Shop the Perimeter. While shopping, try to stick to the edges of the store. Think about where the dairy, freshly-baked bread, produce, seafood, and meats are located – typically the edges. Think about where the chips, cookies, crackers, and cake mixes are – typically the inner aisles. Only shop from your planned-out list, and if you don’t need anything from the inner aisles, save yourself the temptation and don't venture through them!
- Shop Mid-Week. Most people tend to leave their grocery shopping for Saturday or Sunday. Try making your grocery trip in the middle of the week in the morning! Perishable foods will be the freshest first thing in the morning! Stores also tend to be less crowded during this time, meaning less time spent fighting impulse decisions and long checkout lines!
The next time you grocery shop, keep these tips in mind. You’ll be navigating the grocery store like a pro in no time!