When we are grocery shopping, we can easily get off track of our list and grab some items that we don’t really need, or items that don’t fit into our calorie budget. This happens to me often, especially if I bring the kids to the store with me!
#1 My number one tip, is make your grocery list! This may seem like a ‘no-brainer’ but it is something that often goes astray. Your list will at least give you a guide on what you really need versus what you see and think that you need. This will not only save you money, but also help you plan your meals for the week.
#2 Don’t shop hungry! When you are hungry, your brain sends signals telling you to grab food, any kind of food. Hunger does not discriminate what to eat, your body just wants you to eat something! This can lead to poor choices in the store, and also spontaneous urges to purchase a bag of high sodium, high fat chips or candy at checkout.
#3 Start with the produce. Aim to put more produce in your basket. Set a goal to make at least half of your grocery purchase from the produce section – this can include fresh produce and frozen produce.
#4 Make produce convenient for your family. If it makes it easier for you to buy fruit already cut or veggies packaged in ‘grill packs’, then get it that way. There is nothing wrong with buying lettuce or fresh veggies in the bag. Often times we bring home items that we have to spend time prepping, and we end up having to throw it out because we are too busy to prep it. Make it easier on yourself and buy it prepped and ready to grab.
#5 Save time using fresh, less processed meats and prepared items. Processed meat, such as bologna and sausage, and packaged frozen meals can often be tempting and appear easy grab and go items. However, fresh, uncooked, unseasoned meat can be a healthier choice, not only because you can add your signature flavor, but also because it doesn’t contain the preservatives and sodium that may be added for flavor and freshness of the processed item. Often times, the fresh meat, like fish or chicken, can be prepared more quickly than a frozen item, such as a frozen lasagna.