Navigating the Grocery Store

Unplanned trips to the grocery store can end up taking extra time out of your day and costing more money.  Follow these four tips to make grocery shopping easier!
  1. Avoid shopping when hungry.   If you are hungry, it's easy to pick up extra food items and unhealthy snacks.  Try having a healthy snack like nuts or a piece of fruit before heading to the store.
  2. Make a list before you go.  Before you go to the grocery store, create a list of food items you need. Put the list in your bag so you don't forget to take it with you.  Try and stick to your list to help you save time and money at the grocery store.
  3. Plan meals ahead of time. When you are making your list, try to plan meals ahead of time.  Choose recipes that you can use food items in more than one dish.  For example, buy a larger can of tuna fish.  You can make sandwiches for lunch and a tuna casserole for dinner the following day!
  4. Shop the perimeter of the store.   When you get to the grocery store try to shop the outside aisles around the store.  Healthy food items, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are on the outside aisles.  Processed and unhealthy foods are usually found in the inside aisles.
Don't forget there are a ton of ways to shop healthy on a budget!
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season.  They are often cheaper and delicious!  For example, butternut squash and cauliflower are some vegetables that are in season during the fall.
  • Look for store brands and compare labels.  They usually have the same nutrients and ingredients but just different packaging.  For example, look for a known cereal brand find the same type of cereal in the store brand and compare prices.
  • Frozen and canned fruits and veggies are a great option.  They are filled with vitamins and nutrients but have a longer shelf life and are lower in cost than fresh fruits and veggies.  When you do purchase canned fruits and veggies remember to rinse them off.  This helps to get rid of added sugar in the fruits and salt in the veggies.
  • Look for weekly coupons and bonus cards!  Some grocery stores even give gas points with bonus cards.
  • Buy foods that are shelf stable in larger quantities.  Foods that are shelf stable will not go bad as quickly so they will keep longer.  Buying family sized packages can often save money.  Examples of shelf stable foods include canned beans and dried rice. 
Next time you go to the grocery store remember these tips to make your experience a breeze!  
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