Get Smarter With These Grocery Shopping Tips
I’ve fallen victim to grocery shopping traps, blowing my budget and health goals one too many times.
Strategically placed budget-busters. Overpriced “diet” products. The temptation of packaged sugar bombs at checkout when you’re stressing about your subtotal ticking higher and higher with each “beep.”
But trust me, you don’t have to choose between spending an arm and a leg on groceries and meeting your health goals.
Grocery shopping seems like one of those simple, get-in get-out errands to check off the list, but it can actually be overwhelming, like a maze of products — especially when you’re shopping to maintain your ideal diet and meet your health goals. Following your clean eating grocery list and grocery shopping on a budget can quickly go out the window.
That’s why you need a plan.
Healthy Eating on a Budget
The best strategy for smart shopping is to develop knowledge, awareness, and routine, and I’ll share my specific tips below, along with a grocery shopping list template.
I like to sit down with a cup of coffee and dedicate a few minutes to plan healthy meals for the week so I’m confident and prepared when I get to the grocery store. Make sure to work from your list and shop with purpose to make the experience more enjoyable as you manage your grocery budget. Write your health goals and your budget at the top, and try to reduce stress that leads to impulse buys.
If you’re feeling nervous wondering if it’s safe to go grocery shopping in 2020, consider online grocery shopping or choosing a time to shop when stores are less crowded. Rushing is a very easy way to end up with extra items — or to forget a few you really need.
Grocery Shopping List Template
This grocery shopping list template is the KEY to healthy eating on a budget. To plan healthy meals for the week, you’ll choose a few key ingredients from each category and build your dinner meal plan. From there, you can create your list.
10 Grocery Shopping Tips: Learning To Shop the Right Way
- 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.