Tips for grocery shopping success

I don’t know about you, but I love going grocery shopping! I enjoy taking my time walking through every aisle, fantasizing about what I’m going to prepare with the food I buy and making smart food choices.  healthy-grocery-shopping-L

Whether or not we enjoy going  grocery shopping, good nutrition starts with smart choices in the grocery store. Follow these 5 grocery store tips for healthy eating:

1) Plan ahead

Make a weekly meal plan and build a shopping list based on your menu. At the grocery store, be sure to stick to your list to avoid buying things you don’t need to save money.

2) Don’t shop hungry

I’m sure we’ve all done it, but shopping hungry is one of the worst things we can do if we want to try to make smart, healthy choices at the grocery store. Grocery shopping while hungry results in a shopping cart full of items not on our list, impulsive purchases and unhealthy choices. Grab a healthy snack before heading to the grocery store, such as a fruit or a handful of nuts. You should also try to avoid grocery shopping while rushed or tired.

3)  Shop around the perimeter of the store, starting with the produce section

Processed foods are typically located in the various aisles of the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish and meat are always around the perimeter of the store, which is where your visit to the grocery store should be centered around. The best place to start your shopping trip is with fresh fruits and vegetables. For the best value, buy local and seasonal produce.

4) Read food labels

Do not choose products based on label claims, which are often false and misleading (and an obvious marketing ploy). Always read nutrition facts tables to know what ingredients they are made of and what the nutrient content is. Avoid foods that contain artificial ingredients and excessive additives. A rule of thumb: if a processed item has an ingredient you are unfamiliar with or cannot pronounce, don’t buy it!

5) Don’t get suckered by sales

Shopping based on what’s on sale and not what you need will usually lead to buying things you don’t need and wasting rather than saving money. Sales can be great if the items on sale are items you use regardless.

Hope these tips help your shopping experience become more pleasant, focused, and healthy! 🙂


References and resources:

Healthy Families BC- Shopping Sense

Government of Canada- Guide to Food Labeling and Advertising 

Understanding Food Labels