Top 5 Healthy and Smart Grocery Shopping Tips

It can definitely be difficult to sift through the vast array of options offered at your local grocery store in order to find the foods that are going to provide you with the most nutrients and the best health benefits at a reasonable price. However, there are all kinds of ways to make this chore easier so that you can come out ahead with both your health and your budget. Here are just a few tips that will help you to improve your grocery shopping strategy.

  1. Shop the perimeter. Have you ever noticed that the freshest options in the grocery store are stocked around the perimeter? The next time you go to the store, skip the central aisles and walk all the way around the outside edge. You’ll find a selection of fresh breads, meats, eggs, dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, as opposed to the processed and frozen options stocked in every aisle. When you mainly shop these areas you’ll have access to the freshest products in the store.
  2. Skip natural, go organic. In case you didn’t know, there are strict government guidelines concerning the production and labeling of organic foods. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of products claiming to be natural. In fact, there is no legal definition of the term “natural”, which means a cereal labeled as such could feature only 5% of ingredients actually found in nature, just for example. So if you’re looking for healthier fare, take “natural” with a grain of salt and opt for organic instead.
  3. Watch for sale days. It can be hard to buy healthy food when you’re on a budget, which is why it’s a great idea to find out when sale days are. For example, you can ask when shipments for perishable items like meat, dairy, eggs, and fresh produce come in. Often, you’ll find these items on sale the day before a truck is expected. And if you choose wisely and use items quickly you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.
  4. Fooducate. There are plenty of mobile applications designed to help you get the best prices on items you buy frequently, or find healthy recipes to try. But Fooducate is a revolutionary app that not only tells you the relative health-factor of the foods you scan by giving them letter grades and listing potential downsides, but it also clues you in to healthier alternatives, some of which may be located on the same shelf as the item you just scanned! In short, it offers an education in food. Pair it up with RedLaser and you can find healthy options at the best price.
  5. Eat first. If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store hungry you no doubt understand what a mistake it can be. When your tummy is grumbling up and down every aisle, you know you’re going to wind up at the check stand wondering how all those high-calorie snacks ended up in your shopping cart. So make sure you’ve had your lunch, a snack, and some daily mini vitamins before you go. When you’re full and satisfied during your trip to the grocery store you’re a lot more likely to shop with your brain instead of your stomach and return home laden with healthier fare.