Grocery Store Survival
We all know the grocery store can be a daunting place and sometimes even a weekly “chore”. I’m also pretty sure you know that if you don’t buy “junk food” and bring it home, you won’t eat it. But how do you resist when it all looks so delicious and is strategically placed to make you want to buy it? You need a plan. Here are some helpful tips:
1. Eat before you go shopping. If you are hungry, you will be more likely to make impulse buys and definitely more likely to buy the unhealthy options.
2. Make a list. It’s always good to have a plan before you walk into the store to keep you on track. Then you can go through the store with lazer focus, like you are on a scavenger hunt. You will be less likely to be distracted by junk food marketing when you have a plan.
*The scavenger hunt is a great way to get kids involved too.
3. Shop the perimeter. I think we can all agree that it’s healthier to eat whole foods and pretty much avoid anything that comes in a box. If you stay on the outskirts of the store, you be more likely to buy whole food and again less distracted by marketing because the boxed food is usually placed in the aisles.
4. Take photos of the inside of your cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer before you go to the store. This is a great back up plan if you don’t have time to make a list. It’s also good if you suddenly realize you might be out of an ingredient for that signature dish you wanted to make this week. Simply scroll through your phone pictures and know immediately if you have the ingredient. No worry. No wonder…Crisis averted and you saved yourself time and money because you don’t have to run back out if you didn’t grab the ingredient and you don’t have a duplicate either.
5. Make it an experience. This one comes from my husband. He makes an event of grocery shopping by going to the coffee section of the store and picking up an espresso. This way he can sip as he shops. If your store does not offer coffee/tea, you can plan ahead to pick up a coffee, tea, smoothie, etc. at a local Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. on the way to the store and still sip as you shop.
*We’ve also been known to break into spontaneous dancing while we shop. Why not? There is always music playing in the store and why shouldn’t shopping be a fun experience. 😉
6. Invest in insulated reusable bags. Besides the obvious help to the environment this provides, these bags have the added benefit of keeping your food cold or hot as needed. Additionally, these bags are far more sturdy and will hold more items at a time. This means you don’t need to take as many trips to and from the car as you will have fewer bags. And, you don’ t have to worry about a bag ripping and your precious tomato sauce being splattered all over the ground. They are truly worth the investment.
I hope you find these tips helpful and I’d love to hear how you survive the weekly trip to the supermarket. Stay healthy!