Do You Know the Trick to Healthy Grocery Shopping?
It’s easy to shop healthy when you remember the perimeter rule
As if changing your eating habits didn’t seem challenging enough, you’re then faced with how to shop for healthy foods. Sometimes just stepping into a grocery store might be enough to send you into a panic attack. There are just so many options shelf after shelf that you want to start grabbing whatever looks good just to get out of there as fast as you can.
Plus, there are all of those food labels! You can go cross-eyed trying to make sense of the ingredients, nutrition facts, and catchphrases like “no GMOs” or “fat-free” or “low sodium” versus “less sodium, ” that are printed everywhere! Food labels alone are a topic for a whole other post; they can get a little confusing!
So what do you do when faced with grocery shopping while eating healthy? There are a few things to keep in mind that can help make a trip to the market not seem like such an enormous undertaking. One of the biggest pointers is to follow the perimeter rule, more on that in just a bit!
Before you head to the grocery store, keep these tips in mind to get in and out with healthy options In less time than it takes to decipher one of those pesky food labels:
Be Prepared — This is a tried and true step for accomplishing so many things; it’s just always good to have a plan. Before you step out of the door you need to know a few things first, mainly, what do you need and how much will it cost? Make a list of the foods you want to get at the store, and ensure your list is comprised of simple, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy options. Estimate how much your food will cost and head to the store with your list and cash in hand.
Peruse the Perimeter — Remember the whole thing about grocery stores are overwhelming because of all of the stuff lining the shelves? Don’t worry about it! You’re not even going to venture into that part of the store! Instead, head straight to the perimeter of the store and start gathering the items on your list; yep, that’s right, they’re all located in the perimeter.
Did that make you raise an eyebrow? The next time you go into the grocery store, pay close attention to how it is set up; you’ll find the produce, deli, dairy cases, and pre-packed meats all around the outer perimeter, and the shelves in the middle of the store are where you’ll find all of the processed stuff, for example, cookies, candy, cereal, chips, you get the idea. Now, it is true that certain staples like spices and specialty items like gluten-free are also more to the inside of the store, but you can handle it! When you need to purchase these items, learn where they are located in the store, simply add them to your list and then only go to those aisles. Plus, non-food items, like paper towels and toilet paper, baby wipes and diapers, are usually found towards the outer aisles, so you still don’t have to venture too far in to complete your shopping trip.
Stick To Your List — No matter where the items that you need are found, stick to your list! Make it a rule that you only purchase what is on your list and not so much as a stick of gum more. The more you enact this rule, the easier it will be to follow. Buying only what is on your list helps you stay on the healthy track with your eating, and it keeps your budget in check too!
Don’t Shop Hungry —
Going to the grocery store when you are hungry is like going to a shoe store right after you win the lottery; you’re going to end up buying a whole lot of things that you don’t need and probably don’t really want. Before you head to the store, have a light snack, or better yet, head to the store right after breakfast, lunch or dinner. When you shop on a full stomach, you’re much less likely to throw unwanted items into your cart, and you make better decisions about the items you are buying.
Pay with Cash — Remember step one when it said to head to the store with your list and cash in hand? The reason you want to know how much your shopping trip will cost you is you want to only bring the necessary amount of cash with you to the store. If you are able to do this, paying with cash is one extra way that you can ensure you only buy what you need. You won’t be able to add on last-minute items because you won’t have the money to pay for them. This is a great way to stick to a budget too!
Hopefully, these tips have made the idea of grocery shopping when you’re eating healthy a lot easier to handle. As long as you have a plan before you go, and you can stick to that plan, shopping for healthy foods becomes a lot less overwhelming. If you’re one of the many people who have adopted the convenience of a grocery store delivery or pick-up service, then most of these rules can still help you keep things in check. Make a list ahead of time, don’t add anything to your virtual cart that is not on your list, and do your online shopping after a meal so you’re not hungry.
No time for grocery shopping? Sensible Meals provides ready-to-go meals that are packed with all of the good food and nutrients that you need to make eating healthy simple! All you have to do is pick up your meals, or have them shipped for an even more convenient option, and store them in your freezer until you’re ready to eat! Can’t get enough of our awesome tips? Find even more by checking out the rest of our blog!