Grocery shopping… some people love it, but if you’re like me the thought of going with two kiddos is terrifying. Lucky for me, my fabulous mother has taken on the grocery shopping responsibility  (I will allow you to be jealous of this one!)

Good nutrition starts with smart choices that begin in the grocery store. Cooking healthy meals is impossible without having the right ingredients in the kitchen.
Grocery shopping can definitely become a daunting task if the right strategies are not in place. Keep in mind grocery stores are businesses. Any any good business is designed to get you to buy more and more!
One way supermarkets accomplish this is by offering so many choices. The thought of reading every food label and calculating the best price becomes over whelming and you end up grabbing random items to get out of there. 
BUT there is hope. Fear not friends! With a little guidance, choosing healthy choices can be a cinch. Start with these five simple strategies and see if it makes a different in your shopping routine. 


5 Simple Steps to Succeed at Grocery Shopping

  1. Make a List. This may be the easiest and most impactful change you can make. So many people go into the grocery store without even an outline of what they intend to purchase. Having a list prevents you from missing ingredients and more importantly from buying things you simply do not need.  Having a list will help you reduce the time it takes to shop as well as help you save money.  Another tip would be to check your pantry ahead of time. There is nothing worse then having six shakers of cinnamon. 
  2. Don’t Shop Hangry. Going to the grocery store hungry is just a recipe for disaster. When we are hungry we tend to gravitate to foods that are high in sugar. Sugar gives us that quick, satisfying insulin spike which results in a crash later. This creates a vicious rollercoaster you don’t want to get on. We all have made poor food choices when we are starving. Avoid shopping hungry at all costs. Theres nothing worse then having to exercise extreme will power. 
  3. Stay on the Outside of the Store. Have you ever noticed that fresh, whole foods are found along the perimeter of the grocery store? My simple rule is to eat foods that come from the ground or have a mother! A practical tip would be to only shop the outside of the store. Avoiding venturing down the aisles will prevent snacks like cookies and chips from finding their way into your cart. 
  4. Know Your Dirty Dozen: Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website. There is tones of information on the “dirty dozen” or the twelve most contaminated fruits & vegetables. I completely understand that buying all organic is expensive and out of the budget for a lot of us. One compromise would be to try and purchase organic foods on the dirty dozen list. Typically, fruits and vegetables with a shell or a peel are fine to be non-organic. There is also nothing wrong with purchasing frozen fruits & veggies. Often frozen organic produce is cheaper then fresh. In my opinion,  going organic frozen over fresh non-organic most of the time is the best option.
  5. Only Purchase What You Need: This relates back to the importance of having a meal plan and a list created. If you can, plan your meals for the week and only purchase what you need to make those meals. This takes the guessing out of weekday dinners. When you are hungry and have no idea what to make for dinner you are more likely to grab fast food or foods that are less healthy then if you would have had a plan ahead of time. Limiting your list to what you need will also help you stay within budget. 

I hope this information was even a bit helpful for you! Now it’s your turn, I would love to hear your tips about what you have found helpful to keep you on track with healthy living. Comment below and let me know how you are make life simpler!