Grocery shopping is one of those tasks we must do, and grocery stores know this. They lay out the stores in a manner that entices you to buy foods you don’t really need. You can beat them at this game and have a kitchen filled with healthy foods for you and your family.
It starts with a plan and a list. Before head out the grocery store, plan the week’s meals. Know what entrees, side dishes, breakfasts and snacks you will want to make for the week and create a list of the ingredients you will need to purchase. As you plan, you will want to keep in mind the food pyramid, to ensure you are getting enough of the daily-recommended fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins. Remember too, that proteins do not always have to come in the form of meat. Beans, legumes and some nuts pack quite the punch with protein and they can be easier on your budget too.
Before you head out grocery shopping, grab a healthy snack or shop right after eating a full meal. Shopping on a full stomach is preferable to grocery shopping hungry. We tend to over buy when we are hungry and overlook the list. Buying just what you need, no more, no less will keep you on budget, and keep your basket packed with wholesome foods and not impulse buys like pudding cups.
Focus your shopping along the perimeter where you will find real food, and not the crappy processed chemically enhanced junk food found in the aisles. The perimeter is where you will find fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and meat and dairy products. If you must shop the aisles look for foods that have as few ingredients as possible. Look for juices that are 100% juice; avoid juices labeled artificially flavored. Walk away from the boxes with cartoon characters aimed at your kids and likely filled with additives. If you don’t have junk food in the house, your kids can’t eat it.
These basic principles will make shopping easier, and keep your family healthy.