Everybody shops at the grocery store… but are you doing it the right way? If only grocery shopping were as easy as picking paper or plastic at the checkout counter.
Unfortunately for many people, there are quite a few struggles that arise when heading down those grocery store aisles. Luckily, if you take the proper procedures before grabbing your reusable bags and heading to the grocery store, your trip will be a breeze.
Mistake # 1: Shopping When Hungry
When people grocery shop on an empty stomach, they tend to impulse-buy, thanks to his or her growling stomach. If these impulsive buys were fruits and vegetables, I would recommend you never eat before going to the grocery store — but unfortunately, that’s not usually the case. Hungry shoppers typically make a beeline to the processed food aisle and throw nutritionally-void snacks into their carts. Not only are they making poor purchasing decisions based on nutrition, but they’re wasting money because these items were most likely not what they intended on buying. An easy way to overcome this hurdle is by having a balanced snack prior to your shopping trip. The perfect snack could include a hard-boiled egg, a slice of whole grain toast and a half a cup of blueberries or raspberries.
Mistake # 2: Being Unprepared
Heading to the store without a list is like going into battle without armor: you’re bound to get into trouble. By writing down the food items you need prior to making your trip to the store, you will be able to navigate the aisles better, faster and avoid making impulse purchases.
If you really are uncertain as to what you need at the grocery store, a great way to defeat this dilemma is by planning meals for the week ahead. While it may sound like a tedious process, it’s a surefire way that you won’t buy things that are not on your list. You will also wind up saving money because you will waste far less ingredients, by purchasing only the ones you truly need.
Mistake # 3: Label Confusion
High in fiber. A good source of calcium. Antioxidant rich. The claims made on food packages can be quite confusing and can trick people into buying products that are actually health imposters. What you need to do is flip that package around and read the ingredients label to make sure you are actually buying a healthy food item. If you’re purchasing a grain product, making sure it has at least three grams of fiber per serving — very important. Another good rule of thumb is to check to see if you can actually pronounce all of the ingredients’ names. If you can’t, then put that product back on the shelf and move on. Finding a product low in sugar is another must because sugar contributes to a whole host of health problems including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. By simply turning the box or package over, you will be stepping in the right direction towards good health and a less unhealthy trip to the grocery store.
Mistake # 4: Exploring the Center Aisles
The healthiest foods in the grocery store typically line the circumference of the supermarket. This is where you will find fresh produce as well as meat and seafood. When you enter the interior aisles of the store, toaster pastries, cereals, breads and other nutritionally-void products will most likely attack you. When ingested, these foods do nothing to enhance your health. So it’s smart to stick to the perimeter of the store mostly, only venturing in the aisles when you need to purchase olive oil, frozen fruits, vegetables and meat, tea or coffee and bottled water.
Mistake #5: Pleasing Your Kids
Trying to navigate the aisles can be a dreadful process, especially when you bring your kids with you. They may cause a tantrum because you’re not buying the specific product they want, or they may be hungry or sleepy, only making the practice of purchasing healthy food even more tedious. What you should try to do is have your kids help you make the grocery list so they feel as though they are part of the meal planning process. If your kids are a bit older, yet still like to make a scene at the store, you can split up the grocery list and give them each a cart so they can find the products on their designated list. In order to completely appease your children, you can promise them that they can each select one item — but only one treat — to take to the checkout counter.
Taking all of these preparation measures into account prior to your grocery trip, will not only help you navigate the aisles so as to select the healthiest products possible, but following these tips will also enable you to make the fastest supermarket outing as well.