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Healthful Supermarket Tips

Credit:

Pamela Budhoo, Nutritionist, Health Influencer, Writer/Contributor for Effective Lifestyle

Grocery shopping can feel quite bothersome and stressful. With the many food choices and brands offered in today’s market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The task of food shopping can feel especially daunting when you walk into a supermarket without a plan of what you will be purchasing. Here are a few tips to make trips to the grocery store less stressful.

1. Plan Ahead

Make a shopping list of what you will be buying. It’s helpful to plan out your meals for the week ahead of time. This will ensure you jot down any ingredients you’ll need to make that dish. Meal planning and buying all your ingredients ahead of time will cut down on unnecessary trips to the supermarket. It will also save you time by keeping you from marching up and down the aisles. Stick to the shopping list and you will be in and out of the store in no time.

2. Eat before You Shop

Before heading out to the grocery store, EAT. Make sure you aren’t hungry when food shopping. Hunger can cause you to reach for items you do not need. You’re more likely to make impulse purchases when hungry.

3. Shop the Perimeter First

The “fresh” food tends to be displayed around the perimeter of the store. Shop around the outside first. Here, you will find fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy. Steer clear of some middle aisles as this is where you’ll find loads of processed foods. Quite a few healthful options are in the center aisles. Canned beans/veggies, brown rice, oatmeal, herbs and spices, nuts and nut butters can all be found in the middle. Weekly shopping trips usually involve purchasing fresh foods which are all in the perimeter of the store. Try to have the bulk of your items come from here.

4. Choose a Variety of Fruits/Veg

While in the produce section, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose a cart filled with coloring fruits and veggies. Sticking to what you know is great but try adding a different fruit and vegetable to the mix every week. If you normally purchase regular potatoes, try swapping it with sweet potatoes. Instead of iceberg lettuce, try a different leafy green like spinach or kale.

5. Eat in Season

Purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in season can be less expensive. The items will also taste better and are usually more nutritious.

6. Purchase Frozen and Canned Options

Frozen fruits and vegetables are great alternatives when they’re not in season. Frozen fruits/vegetables are picked at their peak and contains nearly the same nutritional value as its fresh counterpart. Buying frozen options will ensure you always have access to fruits and veggies. Canned options are also great to have on hand. Canned veggies are easy to grab and toss in soups. When buying canned fruits or vegetables, ensure that there is no added salt.

7. Shop at Different Stores

If you normally shop at one store all the time, try changing it up. Different stores will have different food options. Farmers markets are great for having in season local produce. Shopping at a variety of stores can also save you money. You might find a better deal here than you did there. Don’t be afraid to use coupons as well to maximize savings.

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