Smart Grocery Store Strategies

Healthy eating begins with healthy shopping at the grocery store.  Before you can make delicious and nutritious meals, you must learn how to shop wisely.

One of the smartest shopping strategies you can adopt is to begin shopping only the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where you will find the basic essentials in their most nutrient-dense forms including fresh produce, meats, seafood and dairy products. In other words, the perimeter is where you’ll find real healthy food while the aisles are full of unhealthy junk food. Avoiding the center aisles as much as possible keeps you from buying tempting processed foods that are rich in calories but poor in nutrition.

In addition to mainly shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, here are 10 more tips and tricks that will help you eat healthier foods all the time.

1. Never shop while you’re hungry.
2. Always create a menu plan and a detailed shopping list that you stick to. Organize your list by department in order to get out of the store as quickly as you can.
3. Look for free recipe cards that are posted in the fresh meats and produce sections. You can get great ideas for creative dishes using fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and fish that you’ve never tried before.
4. Choose organic items when they are available.
5. Avoid any food that has more than five ingredients.
6. Avoid any food that has one or more ingredients that you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce.
7. Avoid anything described as artificial.
8. Always choose whole-grain breads and cereals with lots of fiber.
9. Pick pre-packaged foods with the least amount of added sugar and salt.
10. Buy only 100 percent real juice.

Are you up for the challenge?  Keep these handy tips in mind the next time you head out to buy groceries and start making better choices one trip to the store at a time.

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