8 tips for a successful grocery shopping trip
Going to the grocery store can be overwhelming due to countless options and temptations, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 8 ways to make sure your grocery shopping trip is successful.
This is always rule number one. When you are hungry, you are more likely to be temped to buy things that you did not intend to buy, and may opt for more calorie dense and quickly consumable junk food. Save yourself the temptation as well as some money and have a snack before you head to the grocery store.
This goes along with planning your meals in advance. If you have an idea of what you are going to eat for the next couple days, make a list so you 1 – can stay on track while shopping and 2 – don’t forget any necessary ingredients. Going to the store with a purpose is much better than aimlessly wandering around and buying whatever looks good at the time.
The first section of the grocery store is always the fresh produce. When buying fruits and vegetables, be realistic. Remember that fresh produce does go bad after about a week, so don’t overdo it. Starting your shopping trip with fresh fruits and vegetables in the wagon is a good reminder to stay on track throughout your trip.
When purchasing fruits and vegetables, fresh produce may not always be your best option based on your lifestyle. Whether you are always on the go, come home late from work and would rather make something quick, or just can’t always make it to the grocery store as much as you would like, frozen fruits and vegetables are a great option. A lot of times they even have a higher nutrient content than fresh fruits and vegetables due to the fact that they are processed immediately after harvesting. Nutrients lost during the freezing process are minimal and not much different than the losses that occur at home. Just make sure the frozen fruits and vegetables do not have any additives such as butter that would be high in fat.
When choosing protein, focus on lean meats or non-fat dairy products. Two good no-fat protein sources include 99% lean ground turkey and egg whites. Opt for items like low-fat cheeses and non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
Nutrition labels are your best friend when deciding what to eat. If a package is advertised as “high protein”, what does that really mean? Take a look at the nutrition label. If your “high protein” granola bar only has 10 grams of protein but has 12 grams of fat, is that really high protein? Yes, it is high-er protein than other granola bars, but that does not necessarily mean it is the best option.
“I had to buy three bags of Reece’s because it was 3 for $10.” No, you didn’t have to. Remember that it is okay to buy treats, but don’t get caught up buying three big bags of chocolate if you know you won’t be able to control yourself once you get home.
Grocery stores are all set up the same, with a strategy. All the whole foods are around the perimeter, and the processed foods in the center. Milk and eggs are places in the far back. The reason being for those people who “just stopped for milk and eggs”. They want you to walk through the entire store, specifically the more tempting aisles on your way to get those foods. If you’re the kind of person that would rather shop down every aisle, make sure you come with a list and stick to it so when you enter these high temptation aisles you don’t get sucked into the trap.
So next time you go to the grocery store, be sure to use these 8 tips in order to have the most successful shopping trip possible.
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written By: Kristin Mason BS Nutrition and Dietetics