A trip to the grocery store can often throw a wrench in our healthy-eating or money-saving plans. Here a few tips to get you through the trip without ending up with a cart full of food you don’t need.
1. Take inventory
Before you go, take inventory of what you have. I like to keep a list of what staples I have in my pantry so I don’t get to the grocery store and think “do I have chickpeas?” only to end up with 5 cans at home.
2. Plan ahead for the week
Plan ahead for the week. Meal planning can help you save time and money! If you plan out your meals for the week and make a grocery list according to those meals, you won’t be left at the store wandering around and throwing random items into your cart. Plan out a few breakfasts/lunches/dinners for the week and plan for leftovers too!
3. Eat beforehand
Eat a healthy snack before you leave home. There’s nothing worse on the wallet (or for your healthy meal plan) than hungry grocery shopping. When I go shopping while hungry, anything and everything that catches my eye will end up in my cart, even if I went in with a plan. Don’t go shopping hungry!
4. Leave the kids at home
If you can, leave your kids at home while you go to the grocery store. Not only can it be nice to have some alone time, but bringing kids along can also add you to add some “unwanted” items to your cart. If you do have to bring them along, try to keep them entertained while you shop so they don’t ask to get every colorful box of breakfast cereal they see.
5. Shop the perimeter
You’ve probably heard this one before. Generally, the perimeter of the grocery store is where the “less processed” foods are. Think produce, fresh seafood, eggs, etc. The aisles are usually filled with all of the packaged foods like breakfast cereals, snack foods, etc. Try to stay out of them as much as possible!