Once you have created meal plans and shopping lists, making healthy choices at the store should be easier. Focus on your list and do your best to stick to it. No time to prepare a shopping list? Try to come up with a few meal ideas in your head before entering the store to get an idea of all of the items you will need to purchase. As you become more familiar with your local grocery store, you will feel more comfortable and confident in your shopping routine.
- Eat a meal or snack before you go shopping. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach can result in impulse shopping and more unhealthy food choices.
- Try to focus on shopping the perimeter of the store, where there are fewer processed, packaged foods.
- Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Buying canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can save money, but watch for added fat, sugar or sodium.
- Some foods are good buys year round. Bananas, carrots, potatoes and apples are low-cost options. Use beans to save money on protein foods.
- Buy common products in bulk to save money (e.g. rice, beans, cooking oil and frozen vegetables). Be sure you have enough storage space and that you will be able to use the items before they expire.
- Convenience food items and single serving items generally cost more. Use your meal plan to prepare your meals at home. Make your own frozen meals and single size servings to save money.
- Have spare time on the weekend? Take your family out to a farmer’s market to purchase some fresh, local produce. Look online to find a market near you.