What I am about to say may shock some of you – I hate going to the grocery store. Because I’m a dietitian, most people assume I enjoy it. I think I did at one time, but that was a long time ago. Now, I prefer it when my groceries are delivered to me. Once they hit home, I’ll gladly cook food all day long.
That said, sometimes doing the food shopping yourself is the only way to get your food. Sending another family member could result in a higher food bill, and items you didn’t want, or need.
I’ve learned over the years how to make my trips as simple and successful as possible. I’m sharing some simple tips to remember when grocery shopping.
Before You Leave the House:
- Plan to go when it’s the least crowded – not Saturday afternoon. More people means more time, distractions and frustrations
- Make a list, bring it, and stick to it
- Eat before you leave the house. Going to the grocery store hungry can result in impulsive buying and make everything in the store look good.
- Shop alone, when possible. The more people, the more opinions on what to buy.
At The Grocery Store
- Stick to your shopping list – it will save you time and money.
- Skip aisles that do not contain food on your list. Wandering down aisles aimlessly can lead to unnecessary spending and impulse buying.
- Maintain some level of flexibility. If you planned to buy fresh produce, but it didn’t look appealing, it’s okay to buy frozen or canned. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh produce. Canned are higher in sodium, but can be rinsed and used in place of fresh or frozen. Look for fruits without added sugar and low- or reduced-sodium vegetables without added sauces.
- Read labels when necessary. Check the serving size, nutrition facts, and ingredients list to help you make healthy choices. Use the percent daily value to compare products.
- Pick the shortest checkout line, or opt for self-checkout, especially if the candy for sale at the checkout line tempts you. If you’re stuck in a long line, pick up a magazine or use your phone to catch-up on social media.
While these tips won’t make you love grocery shopping, they will certainly help make the trips easier and quicker. You can use the extra time to prepare healthy meals for the week ahead.