The decisions you make at the grocery store are one of the biggest factors that affect your overall health. With so many choices available, it can be hard to choose the most nutritious items that can benefit your health.
All of the choices in our grocery stores are no accident though. According to Insider.com, your local grocery is designed to make you spend money. That’s why you often find yourself leaving the grocery store with more than what was in your original plan.
So, below we will list out some tips to help you get in and out of the grocery store. These tips can help you make healthier choices and save you money in the long run!
Make a List Before You Shop
This is one of the most common mistakes people make before shopping at the grocery store. They think they know what they want and need, then they go into the store and get distracted by the vast amounts of items available. These distractions often lead to impulse buys.
Writing down all the items you need can help reduce impulse buys and help you shop in the aisles that are necessary for you.
Creating a list only takes a few minutes! It’s also satisfying to cross items off as you go and it helps reduce the likelihood of forgetting something. When in doubt list it out!
Don’t Shop Hungry
Shopping when you’re hungry can often lead to impulse buys, or even eating something while you’re in the store. These impulse buys often lead to us buying foods that aren’t the healthiest, or foods we wouldn’t usually buy.
Common impulse buys when shoppers are hungry:
- Candy bars,
- To go items from the kitchen on site, and
- Much more.
To help stop this behavior from happening, eat a snack or a full meal before you go. This will eliminate that hungry feeling and limit impulse buys fueled by a growling stomach.
Stick to the Perimeter
WebMD says, the perimeter of the grocery store is generally where the freshest and most nutritious foods are. Here you will find:
In the center of the grocery store you will find some of the unhealthiest options to buy. The center still has healthy items, but there are not as many as unhealthy options.
If you need to go into the center of the grocery store, stick to your list and move on. Also, if you really want to indulge on sweets, or various snacks, try buying those items last.
Buying those items last will help you see how much you are about to spend. This can help many people ask themselves if they really need that item and save them money.
Read Nutrition Labels
Many people often do not take the time to read nutrition labels. These labels contain all the information about the food you are buying.
On these labels you will find information about:
- Nutrition facts,
- Where the item was made,
- Allergy information, and
- Much more.
One of the best ways to purchase healthier items, is to purchase items with few ingredients and ones you can pronounce. Too often packaged foods contain unnecessary ingredients that can be bad for our health.
COVID-19 & Grocery Stores
Since the start of COVID-19 many grocery stores have changed their shopping hours and how they allow customers to shop in their stores.
Many grocery stores close earlier and leave certain hours of the day available for at risk, or elderly shoppers. Also, many grocery stores are making their aisles “one way”. This means shoppers can only go down store aisles in one direction.
They mark this with arrows on the ground and on information boards before you walk in. So, how you once were able to shop may now change forever.
Tough Items to Find in the Store?
Grocery shopping is a time consuming task as is. What can make this even more time consuming is when you cannot find an item you are looking for.
This can also be a tactic a grocery store uses to get shoppers to go through more aisles than they planned. Going through more aisles means there is a greater chance you will purchase more items.
So, what should you do if you are unable to find an item you are looking for. The best route is to talk with a store employee or a manager of the store. They are familiar with the store layout and probably have stocked the item you are looking for.
Store employees are often busy, or unavailable though. If this is the case, use your phone and Google the item you are looking for. Oftentimes websites like The Healthy Patron will have articles written about where you can find specific items in your local grocery store.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, ask a nearby shopper. There are times when this person will know the exact spot of the item you are looking for.
Save Some Time and Shop Online
If you’re extremely busy, or you simply do not want to go through the hassle of shopping in stores, order online! Ordering online can:
- Save time,
- Relieve stress, and
- Limit forgotten items.
Before shopping online though, be sure to still make a list! It can be even easier to make impulse buys when all you have to do is click a button to get what you want. Your list helps you keep a plan and save you time!
With COVID-19 happening across the globe our shopping experiences will continue to change. With these tips you can promote a healthy lifestyle and give yourself a more enjoyable shopping experience.