Grocery shopping is a necessity but with so many other obligations, it can often feel like a burden. Supermarkets can at times feel overwhelming, like a maze of products.
Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to think about first: will my family eat what I cook? Is it organic? Is it GMO free? Take some of the stress out of shopping.
The best strategy for smart shopping is to develop knowledge, awareness, and routine. Work from lists, shop with purpose and the experience will become more enjoyable. Also, if you can, choose a time to shop when stores are less crowded. Some areas of the country now offer online shopping and delivery services. These are great options if you have a busy schedule or feel more in control shopping virtually.
TIPS for more effective shopping:
- Start with a comprehensive weekly list. Keep your basic building blocks list up to date so you know what staples need to be replenished. Have a budget and a plan.
- Mostly, you will do better around the perimeter. But still be alert: some stores now flood the perimeter with processed foods as well.
- Be aware of health claims. Foods that need health claims are usually not healthy.
- Choose some convenience foods that don’t detract from health such as frozen vegetables or canned beans.
- If your local store employs a dietitian, book time to learn about the products carried in the store.
- Learn to read labels and ignore claims.
- Know how your splurges fit into your budget. Not all healthy food is expensive, but some is, so plan ahead if you are restocking a more expensive item.
- Get out of the supermarket. Sometimes, especially in the warmer months, it’s less expensive and definitely more enjoyable to find produce at a local farmers market.
- Find a store with good bulk bins. You can save money and waste by buying bulk. Grains, nuts and seeds are usually the most common items to buy in bulk.
- Buy and freeze. For example, purchase the best quality fish when it’s available on sale and freeze portions for later use.