Surviving the Supermarket – Tips to Help You Make Better Purchases
The supermarket can be a formidable place for anyone trying to watch what they eat. There are tens of thousands of products in modern grocery stores, and it can be difficult to tell which provide quality nutrition and which are best to avoid.
Going to the grocery store may seem like a daunting task. With so many aisles and choices within them, it is understandable how prepackaged, processed foods end up in your grocery cart and ultimately make it into your home. Surviving the supermarket will be easy with these five simple grocery store tips that will turn into healthy grocery shopping habits!
Five Basic Tips to Make Better Choices at the Supermarket
1. Make a Game Plan
Have you ever gone to the store on an empty stomach? And before you even realized, all sorts of boxed foods and snacks were getting checked out at the register? Going to the store hungry can be dangerous, as you more than likely think everything sounds tasty. Before entering a grocery store, create a list of nutritious foods needed and try to not stray away from it too much. Having some sort of shopping structure will help diminish hungry impulses and keep the chips on the shelves.
2. Shop Around the Store's Perimeter
Instead of weaving in and out of the aisles, walk the store's square. The outskirts house fresh produce along with dairy products and lean protein sources. Let the perimeter journey be an adventure! With fruits and vegetables oftentimes in the very front of the store, let the colorful produce entice you. Do not be afraid to try new foods, either. Each week, attempt a new recipe with a fruit or vegetable you have never tried.
3. Get Comfortable with Food Labels
Okay, so you finally found the pasta sauce. But now there's multiple of each? How do you decide which one to choose? As a general key, stick with food products with less than five ingredients. If the ingredient is unfamiliar or tough to pronounce, try to stray away from that product. When looking at the nutrition facts, try to limit products high in saturated and trans fat as well as sugar and sodium content.
4. Don't Fear Generic Brands
Generally, each grocery stores have their own developed version of its name brand counterpart (Great Value at Walmart, Nice! at Target, etc.) Realistically, generic and name brand items are about the same. With generic brands oftentimes significantly cheaper, resorting to generic products can keep the wallet full. When seeking canned generic foods, be mindful of the sodium content. Rinsing off canned vegetables and beans before use can also keep sodium in check.
5. Check for Coupons and Ads
Like choosing generic brands, utilizing the supermarket's coupons and ads can be a big money saver. Although the weekly deals include foods of all nature, use your best judgment on which coupons should be used or not. A bag of chips for $1.49 may sound appealing, but do not let that take the spotlight over deals for fresh produce. Don't be afraid of discounted meat purchases, either. Although the expiration date may be near, their consumption is still safe. Just plan on cooking the meat at the beginning of the week or freezing it till its use.