Grocery shopping. Some people love it, some people hate it, but it’s a necessary thing and, believe it or not, there is a correct way to shop.
There are lots of things to consider when you head to the store. Budget, diet, what you like and what you don’t. All too often we go to the grocery store and just buy what sounds good, and not always what we should be putting into our baskets. This results in yet another trip to the store, spending more money, and finding space for the food you really need in between the zebra cakes and gallon tub of cheese balls. So in case you suffer from any sort of grocery anxiety, here’s how to prepare the perfect grocery cart.
1. Always Be Sure To Include ‘Staples’ In Your Grocery Cart
Milk, eggs, bread, and fruits and veggies should always make it into your cart. Also a healthy protein should make the grade too. If you want a list on things that should definitely get a space on your grocery list you can check that out here.
2. Include Healthy Items That Work Well For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Foods like peppers, avocados, and greek yogurt are all healthy choices that can be worked into lots of different meals for any time of day. This way you get lots of variety out of what you buy so you don’t waste money, and these are also very healthy foods that will make your body happy.
3. Include A Healthy Protein
A skinless turkey or chicken breast, salmon, 90% lean beef, or beans and lentils for the vegetarians out there. It’s important to have a protein in your diet, but you want to make sure you’re getting that protein from a healthy source. Making a crock pot meal with one of these proteins can last you awhile and is an easy thing to prepare when you’re busy! So this food is great for wanting a healthy meal, when time isn’t on your side. A more comprehensive list of good proteins can be found here.
4. When It Comes To Getting Bread or Bakery Items
This may be where splurging takes place. It’s important to get bread or bakery items that have ‘whole wheat’ listed as the main ingredient and is less than 100 calories a slice. So while it may seem better to get the cheaper unhealthy bread, in the long run you’ll benefit way more with the healthy choice.
The same thing goes with pasta and rice. These two things are great to have in your grocery cart because they make delicious, easy, and healthy meals and don’t cost a pretty penny. Just make sure you get a whole grain pasta or a brown rice.
5. Skip Sugary Snacks and Cereal
I know those Lucky Charms look good, but swap that out for oatmeal you can spice up with brown sugar and fruit. Using the fruit and veggies you get to stand in the place of unhealthy snacks like fries or chips makes a huge difference for your health. Plus, having fruits and veggies allows you to combine them to make fun different snacks everyday.
6. Allow Yourself One Cheat Item (if any)
If you really need a little reward snack, get one. It’s important not to deprive yourself of everything that you love and want. However it should be noted that you won’t eat junk food if you don’t buy any junk food. So see if you can swap out your cheat snack for a healthier option.
Just make sure to be smart when you grocery shop. Eat before you go so you don’t over buy, make a carefully planned list of things you want to make meals with, and make sure to allow yourself a healthy budget to get the foods you need that are good for you. There are lots of places you can make sacrifices, but your nutrition shouldn’t be one.
Need help determining what to put into your grocery cart? Elite’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help! She will even go to the grocery store with you!
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.