Grocery Shopping Tips: Staying On Track and On Budget
Many people believe that in order to eat healthy, you end up spending a lot of money. Well I am here to tell you that is not always the case. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can fit into everyones budget, when done right. So here are some dietitian approved tips for your next grocery trip:
Shop in season: This helps control cost due to the higher availability of the produce
Apples, beets, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, collard greens, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, lettuce, onions, oranges. parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash
Apricots, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, celery, cabbage, green onions, kale, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, squash, snow peas, strawberries, zucchini
Bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, butter beans, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, field peas, figs, grapes, green beans, honeydew, hot peppers, okra, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon, zucchini
Apples, beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, pumpkin, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, winter squash
Stock up on fruits and vegetables that are on sale. Be sure to store them in the freezer so you can use them before they go bad. You can also buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Just be sure there aren't any added sauces, sodium or sugar.
Make sure every time you go to the grocery store you have a list of items you need and you have set a budget. This will allow you to plan ahead to make healthier choices and avoid temptations. Try this sample grocery list to make sure you have each food group needed!
Going off of that theme, in order to avoid temptations and impulse buys, make sure you are shopping on a full stomach! It is true that it is much harder to make the proper choices when your stomach is grumbling and craving snack/convenience foods.
Shop the perimeter (mostly): by doing this you will have primarily fresh produce, lean meats/fish, dairy and whole grains in your cart. This rule was created to allow you to avoid processed foods and convenient snack foods that tend to be high in calories and low in nutritional value. HOWEVER, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Many whole grains and protein alternatives are found in the middle aisles such as whole grain oats and cereals, brown rice, dried beans and peas and much more!
Variety is key, especially when it comes to protein. By incorporating a variety of lean meats, poultry, fish as well as beans and nuts in your grocery cart, you will be consuming a greater variety of nutrients and intake of fiber. You will also save some money if you replace a few of your meat-centered meals with a plant-based protein.
Think about MyPlate when filling your cart. Ask yourself if you have enough produce to fill up half of your plates for the upcoming week. Also make sure you are getting your lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and whole grains each time you are grocery shopping. This will allow your meals to be well balanced and nutritious!
Leave a comment and let us know any thoughts you have on staying healthy and on budget at the grocery store.
Yours in health and well-being,