6 Secrets for Mastering the Art of Food Shopping

Mastering the Art of Food Shopping


Do you find food shopping time consuming and perhaps frustrating?

Here are a 6 secrets to keep in mind for effective (and efficient) shopping for healthy food.
  1. Make a list before you go to the store. We all know this is a good idea, but how often do you actually do that? To make this easier, I keep a shopping list pad on my refrigerator and add items as I notice I need to replace or purchase for a specific recipe. Plan out the meals for the week, so you review the menus,  remember to add the grains, veggies, salad items, and ingredients for side dishes. As you find exciting new recipes you want to try, add those ingredients to the list.
  2. Leave the saboteurs at home. If your spouse or children want to deviate from the list (and it results in stress and arguments), go to the store alone. This will not only save time and money, but peace within your household.
  3. Never go to the store hungry. We all know what happens when we do that: We are tempted to reach for unhealthy items and over spend. If all fails and you must go to the store hungry, find a healthy snack or some veggies (such as carrots) and munch as you shop. Just make sure you remember to pay at the check out for whatever you pick up!
  4. Shop the entire store, not just the perimeter. Along the perimeter is some great healthy food, but the interior of the store holds many great goodies (grains, canned foods,  baking items, and frozen foods). When I shop one of my favorite local grocery store, I always check the “manager’s specials” aisle. You never know what may be marked down for quick sale. You can find great buys when the manufacturers change packaging. There is no difference in the ingredients or preparation method; just the outside packaging is different.
  5. Read the labels, so you know what you are buying. You may feel you need to be a PhD to understand labels, but remember to keep it simple. Watch out for less sodium, preservatives, and added sugar and watch for more fiber and nutrients. For personal items (such as deodorant and skin products), watch for preservatives that can be harmful and cause skin reactions. As we get older,  it is not unusual to have less tolerance for anything with parabens (a common preservative in more items than you think).
  6. Spend less. While we may think eating healthy is expensive, you can actually save money by paying more attention to what you are purchasing. Buy fruits and vegetables in season. Check out store brands, which are typically as good as name brands. If you have room, consider buying some items in bulk. Paying in cash will enlighten you on just how much you are spending.
Take a few of these secrets and apply them to this week’s shopping trip and see how your experience changes.

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