Going to the grocery store is a chore that not many enjoy. There are so many foods that you want to eat staring at you from the shelves, well within reach. You know that you shouldn’t buy them, but sometimes that package of cookies or that pie from the bakery slip into your cart. One of the biggest rules of grocery shopping is to never go on an empty stomach. Here are seven great rules of grocery shopping that can help you make better choices.
1. Make a list and stick to it. Don’t deviate from the list. Making a list makes your visit shorter and helps you to spend less than if you just browse. There are apps on your smartphone that will create a list for you as well.
2. Look at the separate departments as separate stores. Hit the fresh produce and meats first, then head inward.
3. If you know that fresh fruit will go to waste, buy frozen fruit or vegetables. They are flash-frozen which will help to lock in all the nutrients. Avoid fruits that are frozen in sugary syrup.
4. Always check your ingredients. Food writer Michael Pollan has a mantra, “Don’t buy anything with more than five ingredients.” Even if you find a food that boasts few ingredients, make sure they are fresh ingredients, not sugars and full fat milks.
5. When water is the first ingredient in the food, it is usually followed by a whole mess of preservatives and junk. This is because the water needs flavor, such as in salad dressings, and it needs something to hold everything together.
6. When shopping for grains look for whole grain, 100% whole wheat, or stone-ground grains.
7. Load up on spices. They are packed with antioxidants, low on sugar, and add great flavor. Use caution and check sodium levels as some spice mixes use more salt that anything else.