Shop Smarter for your Wallet & Your Health
Try these tips for a better shopping experience & food shopping won’t feel like such a chore anymore
Audrey Del Prete
I may sound weird saying this, but I actually enjoy grocery shopping, that is when I follow the best practices I’ve learned below. Try these tips for a better shopping experience and food shopping won’t feel like such a chore anymore.
Tips for smarter grocery shopping:
- Make a list — Whether you use paper and pen or make a list on your phone, the number one thing you can do prior to grocery shopping is to make a list with only your immediate needs and stick to it. This will help you to get in and out of the store rather than standing there thinking, what do I need? Don’t buy anything not on the list because you don’t need it! I use the app Any.do for all of my lists.
- Shop the outside aisles first — Stay on the outside of the grocery aisles as much as you can i.e. produce and meat sections. The inner aisles are filled with more expensive and more processed products. Sticking to the outside of the store aisles will save your budget and your health.
- Look for coupons — I know I sound old saying that, but it’s true! Coupons can really help. Look for them in the mail and/or digital coupons if you use the store’s app. It can save you a decent amount of money as long as you use them for things you are already buying. Don’t buy something you don’t really need just because you have a coupon for it. That will end up costing you more money in the end.
- Store rewards programs — If you shop at a major retailer, the store most likely has a customer rewards program that gives you automatic discounts on most items. Definitely sign up for it. You will save a lot each time you shop.
- BYOB — Bring your own bag. Most stores aren’t allowing it right now during the pandemic, but hopefully we will be able to bring our own bags again and that will save you anywhere from 10 cents to $1 depending on how many bags you purchase from the store. Better for your wallet and better for the environment. I keep my grocery totes in my car so I don’t forget them at home, but you must wash them regularly to prevent bacterial growth and cross-contamination.
- Timing is everything — Everyone and their mother goes grocery shopping on Sundays. So I avoid doing my shopping on Sundays at all costs or it is a miserable experience. Instead, I usually do my shopping at odd times like the middle of a week day or Friday or Saturday evenings. Experiment with your local store. Try going at different times and see what is best for you.
- Try new recipes — If you find recipes you are actually excited to make, your shopping, cooking, and eating experience will be that much better! Break out of your bland, boring go-to’s and try something new! You can find my favorites pinned here: https://pin.it/7IVuGZ3
- Compare prices — Instead of grabbing the first thing you see, take a minute and compare the brand prices. Is there really a difference between the store brand and the name brand? Buy it once and try it. If you really do notice a difference, you can always go back to your favorite brand.
- Read labels — Okay, this one will take you some more time, but if you are health conscious, it is definitely worth it and your new must-do habit. Your individual health goals will ultimately determine what you buy, but generally speaking, avoid products with High Fructose Corn Syrup and/or Trans Fat and instead pick up items with less than 6 ingredients or better yet, food with no labels at all! (You know, like fruits and vegetables).
- Give yourself enough time — I don’t like to feel rushed when I shop. Plan ahead to give yourself enough time to commute, shop, and then put the items away when you get home.
I hope these money-saving and health conscious tips help! If you’d like more advice about how to shop for a healthy diet, Always FIT Coaching’s health services can help you create a plan. Schedule your first, free consultation here.
Audrey Del Prete
As a social worker, health coach, and fitness instructor, I help busy working professionals who struggle with work/life balance and want to make time for healthy lifestyle changes. www.alwaysfitcoaching.com