Grocery Shopping may feel like an overwhelming task, but we’ll provide eight tips from our Registered Dietitians to make sure that you choose foods that support your nutrition goals and won’t break the bank.
Before you go grocery shopping, do an inventory check of your pantry, fridge, and freezer, to see what items you are running low on or don’t have. It’s OK to stock up on extra items you use more often. But buying more than you need can take up valuable fridge space and lead to more waste.
Before you go to the store, think about all the meals you will prepare over the coming week and make a list of the ingredients. This will ensure that you only buy what you need to avoid buying less healthy items and stay within your budget.
Stores advertise “door crashers or loss leaders” on the flyers’ front and Back Page of flyers. This is where you want to look because some of these items are sold at a deep discount. Meat and poultry, eggs, dairy, and in-season produce are often sold below cost.
One great tip is downloading a Flyer App such as Flipp, which scans all local flyers for the best prices. You can search for any food you want, and the app will find the nearest location and the best price for you.
For example, getting chicken on sale for $4 a pound versus $8 a pound will save you a lot of money.
Everything looks tastier when you’re hungry, which can cause you to ditch your healthy shopping goals and fill your cart with junk food. Eat a balanced snack before you shop. This tip will save you calories and money.
Check the Nutritional Facts before you put them into your cart. This will provide you with the number of calories and macronutrients per serving.
Always look at the list of ingredients because they can tell you a lot about the food aside from how many calories it contains. Ingredients in food are listed on the label in descending order by weight. For example, if you see sugar is listed first, it’s safe to say that a large percentage of this food item is sugar.
Online shopping makes it easier to stick a list because it limits impulse shopping and allows you to keep a running total of your order before you check out.
It also saves you time walking up and down the isles to find what you need, and you skip lineups at the checkout. Some stores even offer home delivery.
The grocery store perimeter is where you will find healthy, less processed foods. Think fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, dairy products, eggs, and meats/seafood/poultry.
Avoiding some of the center aisles reduces temptation, but some healthy foods in the center should be in your diets, such as nuts, brown rice, and herbs and spices.
Most grocery stores have plenty of pre-made or ready-to-eat foods such as; cut fruit and vegetables, packaged salad mixes, Greek yogurt parfaits, mini cans of tuna, and grilled chicken. This will cost more than when you prepare them at home, but the additional expense is worth it if it means that you’re sticking to your goals. It’s worth mentioning that ready-to-eat items are also a cheaper alternative to fast food.
By following these tips, you’ll save time, and money and be set up for success in reaching your health and wellness goals.