Grocery shopping used to be my least favorite part of the week. I hated how long it took, that I always forgot something and that I felt like I was spending more money than necessary. If you can …
Grocery shopping used to be my least favorite part of the week. I hated how long it took, that I always forgot something and that I felt like I was spending more money than necessary. If you can relate to this, keep reading for my best tips on how to get in and out of the grocery store quickly, buy exactly what you need, and stay within your budget.
Have you ever thought about the layout of the grocery store? Now that you’re thinking about it, you’ve probably noticed that almost all grocery stores have the same layout. When you walk in, you’re in the produce section. If you follow the outside of the store, you’ll find fruits and vegetables, meats, the deli, fish, cheese, eggs, dairy, and other refrigerated and frozen foods.
The middle isles always look the same too. Closest to the produce section is the aisle with gluten-free foods, organic foods, and other allergy-friendly, processed food options. Closest to the freezers and dairy is the refrigerated and frozen aisle with gluten-free, dairy-free foods, and other allergy-friendly and organic foods. The majority of the middle food aisles contain highly processed foods that it’s very easy to buy too much of.
So now that you know how grocery stores are organized, how can you best navigate them to buy as many nutrient-dense foods as possible? Here are my three favorite tips to regain control of your grocery shopping experience.
The first tip I have is to buy the majority of your foods from the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is where you will find whole foods, foods from plants and animals that come from the earth. Whole foods are food sources that are not processed or stripped of nutrients. This will not only help you only buy what is necessary because these foods will spoil more quickly, but will increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources. Aim to limit the number of foods you buy from the middle aisles to foods like cooking oils, nut butter, beans, etc., and be aware of how many highly processed foods you add to your cart.
Being prepared really helps us have a smooth shopping experience. Nothing is worse than getting to the store and realizing you didn’t make a list. When this happens to me, I always end up spending more money, because I either overbuy during that trip, or have to make another trip back to the store the next day. Plan out your meals for the week ahead of time. Add all the ingredients you need to your list, and stick to it. I like to make my list in the reminders app on my phone so I always have it with me and can add to it throughout the week as I run out of items.
The biggest key to sticking to your grocery list is making sure you eat before you go shopping! All strategy aside, if I go into the store while I’m hungry, I end up buying double the amount of snacks and anything that sounds good at the moment. We cannot make decisions well when we’re hungry and this often leads to buying foods that don’t translate well into meals at home. If nothing else, eat before you go!
What are your favorite tips for a smooth grocery shopping experience? Share this article and your favorite tips with a friend, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like further assistance in making healthy choices.
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