Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grocery Shopping Tips and Tricks

Grocery shopping can be an overwhelming experience when you're just starting a healthy lifestyle change or even when you're trying to maintain one.
Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The vast array of food options makes it difficult to know what you should actually pick, and grocery stores know this. They intentionally set up their displays to make shopping for the unhealthier stuff easier.

Why?

Cash monies, yo!

The big companies pay grocery stores to place their products in noticeable and easily accessible locations, which are mostly at eye level in the middle of the store.

Next time you go grocery shopping, keep the following rules in mind to conquer the task of grocery shopping:
  • Make a list! If you have a smart phone, you can get the Out Of Milk app to help you. Or you can just stick with the old fashioned method and write it on a piece of paper. Whichever you choose, try not to deviate from it.
  • Be an outsider: Sticking to the outsides of the store is your best bet. This is where you'll find the fresh produce and the meats. If you have to go into the middle of the store, try not to stroll down each aisle. Make a pointed expedition to pick up the things that you need. You're less likely to come across an item that triggers an impulse purchase this way.
  • Look up and down for the better choices. Eye level in a grocery store is almost always your worst option.
  • The more packaging it has, the worse the nutrition. Less packaging is much better!
  • Learn how to read the label and discern what an actual serving size looks like. Sometimes packaging can be tricky. A single serving of a Pop-tart is ONE of the pastries in a package, not two!
  • Less is more, the fewer ingredients the better.
  • Read the ingredients.  The first ingredient listed is the most predominant ingredient in the food. If you see high fructose corn syrup listed as the first ingredient on a package of peanut butter you might want to reconsider that particular choice.
Do you have any great grocery shopping tips? Let us know in a comment down below!