Lets face it. The grocery store can easily steer you off track when it comes to your health and nutritional goals (not to mention budget goals!). Even the most disciplined of us can be tempted to take part in those must-have deals!
Here are some tips to help you avoid temptation and navigate the grocery store!
- 1. Plan your meals: Before you head to the store, take some time to plan out your meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Be sure to “shop” in your kitchen first, to see which items you have on hand already.
- Make a list….and stick to it:Based off your meal plan for the week, add the foods you need to a list. Then take the list with you to your shopping trip – and STICK TO IT when you shop!! Stores are purposely designed to entice you to buy more than you intended.
- Shop the perimeter:In general, fresh food like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, and fish, is kept on the perimeter of the store, while processed and packaged foods are stocked in the interior aisles. Therefore, avoid middle aisles, if at all possible!
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry! (or hangry!): As you plan your trip, make sure it is at a time when you are properly hydrated and full. As a general rule, never shop when you’re hungry. Cravings can lead to impulse shopping and over-spending!
- Shop frequently (2 to 3 times per week):That big trip once a week may seem like it saves you time and money, but a few short trips throughout the week can actually make your life easier and healthier.
Frequent trips ensure you get the freshest produce and reduce the likelihood of having food in your fridge go to waste. Throwing away rotten food is the same thing as throwing away money!
- When choosing produce, be selective:Choose ripe fruits and vegetables that are in season, if at all possible.Buy whole spices and grind them yourself for optimum freshness and flavor.
- Read ingredient labels:Avoid foods with artificial ingredients or any ingredients you can’t pronounce.