Hello all! Every other weekend, I gather up my husband and step-daughter and we go for our biweekly grocery run. I wanted to share with you today my basic plan of attack when wanting to stay healthy while shopping for food. It helps me save time, money, and helps me stick to my health goals.
My first tip is to have a list ready before heading out. I will try to meal plan at least a week in advance and then from that make a grocery list of the things that I need. This allows me to get the things that I need and I know they will be used up so I’m not wasting anything. Now there are times that my step-daughter, still being a young kid, will ask for something and then never eat it (like watermelon). Small things like that I can’t really get around. But for the most part I always have a list prepared and I’ll make this list over the course of a couple days so that I don’t end up forgetting something.
My second tip is to grab a snack before you go shopping, especially if you’re trying to stick to a diet. I’m not sure how other grocery stores are set up, but I know the one that I frequent has their “to-go” area right next to their produce section. I find it the hardest trying to stick to my diet when I smell that unmistakable aroma of fried chicken in a bag. So even if it’s a protein bar or a banana, I always make sure I have something in my stomach prior to leaving the house. I also take my water bottle with me and sip on that on the way there. Prior to this whole pandemic thing, I used to take my water bottle into the stores with me and would sip it as I shop. Along my fitness journey, I’ve found that quite often I will think that I’m hungry when really I just need to drink more water.
Shop the perimeter of the store. It is a universal set-up in grocery stores that the outer aisles of the store is where the bulk of the health foods are. The Giant that I go to, I always walk in the entrance that takes me right to the produce and then from there I will literally shop just the outside and around to the dairy and eggs section. Now some things, like my pasta and specialty sauces and such, I have to journey into the “unhealthy” bulk of the aisles. That’s where my list comes in handy. I’m not aimlessly looking for foods that will satisfy my taste buds. One thing I really love about my grocery store is that they have so many options (versus where I used to shop aka Walmart) for trying to eat healthy, like their gluten-free aisles. I seriously love my grocery store.
Now, I understand that we are in a pandemic and some of you may not feel that it’s safe going to a grocery store right now. I completely understand. A coworker recently turned me on to Instacart, which is basically a service that allows you to shop 300+ retailers and have your items delivered safely to your door with no contact. At the time this post is going live, I have yet to use it but I fully intend to. It’s still a personal preference that I do my own shopping still.