Grocery Shopping For Health

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Being healthy depends a lot on the food choices we make right? And it really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a banana is a far healthier snack choice than a few cookies, right? So why then do we struggle so hard to make the right choices? Why do we find our cupboards full of junk – not the nutritious food that we should be eating?

I’m not going to pretend to be perfect – my cupboards are full of nacho chips, cookies, butter tarts, etc. BUT… these are all ok… in moderation. The problem lies in the fact that learning to moderate is very hard and takes a lot of practice. I’ve been practicing for years and even I’m still perfect. That said, I have found some grocery shopping tricks along the way that has helped so that junk isn’t the ONLY thing in my cupboards:

  1. Make a Menu Plan
  2. – plan out what meals you will make for the week. It doesn’t have to be perfect and right down to the day, and you don’t need to really consider what other nutrients you ate that day or week – it really does all balance out in my opinion. Breakfast and lunch are easy for me because I’m a creature of habit and routine – I eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. My snacks and dinners are where I get my variety.

  3. Create A Grocery List
  4. – Now that you’ve made a menu plan, creating a shopping list is easier. My hubby has gone as far as to create a list of ingredients for each of his favourite meals. I then need to go through my cupboards with his ingredient list and cross off the things we already have, and add to my list the things we don’t.

    Now here comes the hard part….

  5. Go Shopping Alone
  6. – I warned you this was the hard part. I find that my kids, and hubby distract me from all of my good intentions. Even though my kids still can’t read yet, they can recognize junk food a mile away by the flashy colours, cute icons etc… (Why the healthy foods don’t market the same way I’ll never know…). My hubby loves the frozen meals and snacks – quick and easy, but loaded in sodium, preservatives and generally lacking in nutrients… ewww! So I try to go alone. I’ve been known to go during my work lunch hour and fill the office fridge/freezer with my purchases until home time. I’m also lucky enough to have a few grocery stores that open as early as 7 am on Saturday (this takes incredible motivation to do) and a few grocery stores are open 24 hours nearby. I often go after I’ve tucked my kids into bed & leave hubby happily bonding with his lazyboy. During my solo parenting weeks (my hubby travels a lot), I’ve been known to take the kids 2-3 times in a week to buy our food – they’re better on short trips and I try to get them involved in the process.

    This is the last step…

  7. Stick to Your Menu Plan
  8. – Now that you’ve figured out what you want to cook, and have all the ingredients you need, it’s time to stick to your plan. Cook those awesome meals! Chances are you’ll be less hungry for junk food and fast food after you’ve eaten all the good stuff!

Those are my tips – what’s worked for you?

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  1. What Shelley said – never shop when you are hungry.

  2. The menu plan and grocery list are absolutely essential. My other tip is to start in the veggie department and stock up while you are focused.

    1. Great tip Char! Yes! Veggies are a must!

  3. thanks for these tips ill try to remember to inact them next time im out grocery shopping, i usualy shop wth mom and our big issue is we just toss in what looks good then end up with a big bill

  4. biggest tip for me is to stick to the outer edges of the store… less temptation to buy “off plan” that way… and hey – if you splurge on veggies that just weren’t on your list, that’s not always a bad thing

    secondly – ALWAYS ALWAYS eat before I go… when you’re hungry – EVERYTHING looks good!