Yes, there is a right and a wrong way to get groceries. Surprised? I was, because I found out I was doing several things wrong. Getting your food for the week is an important way to control what you eat so that you can maintain a healthy weight and reach all of your other health goals. Fortunately, doing things right is pretty easy and you will love how great you feel when you shop using these tips. Good luck!
1. You Grab a Basket Instead of a Cart
You might not think this matters, but according to research, people who push a cart are more likely to select healthy foods than those with a basket over their arm. This is because you are uncomfortable carrying a basket loaded down with stuff, so you’re more likely to make impulsive choices and head to the checkout so you can put it down. On the other hand, if you have a cart, you can take the time to weigh your decisions and only put the best choices in.
2. You’re Hungry when You Go to the Store
I commit this sin all the time because if I’m not hungry, I have a harder time coming up with menu ideas. I’m doing it all wrong because when I’m starving, I’m more likely to grab junk food, and you are too. Even if you don’t have a full meal before cruising the aisles, experts say to nibble on something to tide you over so that hunger doesn’t spur you into filling your cart with Cheetos and Snickers.
3. You Buy More Healthy Food, but You Don’t Cut Back Elsewhere
This can really put a dent in your grocery budget. Kudos for making healthy choices! However, many people add that health food on top of what they usually buy. To save money and truly have a healthy diet, you’ve got to leave something behind. The key is to replace those items with your new healthier choices, not get both. You can do that, right?
4. You Avoid Reading Labels like the Plague
It can be eye opening to read the labels on your favorite foods. But, if you are truly committed to a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to check over the nutrition facts information on everything you buy. This is the only way to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals while also controlling your salt, sugar, fat and calorie intake. Read labels so you can maintain a healthy balance.
5. You Whip out Your Credit Card at the Checkout
When you pay with plastic, it doesn’t feel as hard as handing over your cash. However, studies show that people who pay with actual money are less likely to buy processed foods and more likely to choose nutritious items. At the same time, credit card users spend a lot more, on average, than people who pay cash. When you have to fork over your dollars, you are more careful with your food choices.
6. You Don’t Clip Coupons or Use a Loyalty Card
To me, this is just like tossing money in the trash. Clipping coupons only takes a few minutes and you can save a pretty good amount on things you’re going to buy anyway. Using your favorite grocery store’s loyalty card allows you to take advantage of members-only sale prices. Why wouldn’t you?
7. You Wing It without a List or a Plan
Before you go to the store, it’s a good idea to plan your meals and snacks for the week and then make a list accordingly. This ensures that you always have healthy foods on hand when you get hungry and saves you money from having to run back to the store all the time. It takes a bit of practice, but you’ll be an old hand in no time.
What rules have you been breaking? Will this information help you make the most of your trips to the supermarket? Do you have any others to add?