Grocery shopping is one of those necessary things in life. Cooking at home and packing your lunch are great ways to save money and calories. This requires at least weekly shopping in order to be achieved. Here are a few tips to keep you focused when you’re navigating those grocery store aisles.
1. Make a list. It seems pretty simple, but making a list, and sticking to it is one of the best ways to stay on track when grocery shopping. Products are packaged in ways to appeal to the shopper, so if you go in without a plan, you’re more likely to be drawn to new products or higher calorie options. Additionally, if you’re anything like me, if things aren’t written down, I usually forget it. Not only does this keep your grocery calorie and dollar budget on track, but could prevent you from having to go back to the store again because you forgot a few things.
2. Make a plan. By sitting down at the beginning of the week and making a schedule of your meals for the week, not only does that make creating a grocery list easier, but it takes away the burden of having to think about what to make for dinner every night. You’ll be more prepared by having all the necessary items for your meals, and it will decrease the risk of choosing more convenient foods or take-out (aka higher calorie foods), as a last ditch effort to get dinner on the table.
3. Don’t go hungry. It’s been said time and time again: don’t go to the grocery store hungry. I’m sure all of us have done it at one point or another and it’s true, your defenses are lower for all those delicious tasting extras if you’re starving. Have a meal or snack before you begin so you can have a clear and satiated mind while filling up that cart.
4. Search for specials. As you’re making your menu for the week, check out what specials your local grocer has for the week. You can base some of your meal choices on these foods to save money and maybe even try a new recipe if it’s not something you usually buy. By choosing proteins, fruits and vegetables that are on sale, you not only increase the variety in your diet, but also save a few bucks which is always a good thing!