6 Tips On How To Grocery Shop Smart

This article has been featured on Skimble and I want to give all the credit to them on the their graphics.

The trick to saving money and losing weight is reading the grocery shopping tips. You need to first learn how to fill your shopping cart the right way. Your kitchen also acts as your gym so it’s important to make sure you shop smart and have the right foods to get healthy and reach your goals. The food you eat is the biggest impact on your health, your body weight, and your wallet. Let’s learn how to correctly use the grocery store while saving money, calories, and improving your time management—all without breaking a sweat! So if you are ready, read my grocery shopping tip.

You’ll want to get familiar with your local grocery stores. Compare prices and what your best options are. You may be bouncing back and forth from different stores for certain items, so don’t be lazy if you want to save money. If you have Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, or Aldi’s I would recommend trying those first because are usually the cheapest. Whole Foods is usually more expensive, but if you can’t find certain items at other stores, it may be your only option at times. Let’s start with some basic tips to help fill your cart the right way!

grocery shopping tips

Look out for these two labels while you browse around the grocery store: Organic and Non-GMO. Both suppliers and products carrying these labels have been put through a USDA approved screening process, so you can rest assured of what you’ll be putting in your body when consuming them.

grocery shopping tips

If something has the USDA Organic label on it, it means it’s produced without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, including no antibiotic nor growth hormones. If a food item has the Non-GMO label, it contains no genetically modified organisms such as those created to chemically resist or product pesticides. You can learn about GMO by heading over to Netflix and watch the documentary GMO OMG. You can often buy affordable Organic and/or Non-GMO labeled grocery store through Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and Whole Foods generic store brands.

With that, let’s learn about grocery shopping tips to help you eat healthy while saving money :

1. Start Outside and Work Your Way In

Start on the outer edges of the grocery store first and save the middle aisles until last. This means you’ll be starting in the produce and the bulk sections. Make sure to go all around these sections. Your clean eating starts here! Look for what’s in season, sales, and think “rainbow”. This is where you’ll find the natural, non-processed foods. Stock up well with these items first. The foods that are contained in the center aisles are mostly processed, so as a general rule, the less of your food that comes from the center aisles, the better. A lot of bulk items are cheap too; so don’t forget to check them out to compare prices!

If you want to save money on your produce, find a local farmer’s market near you. Farmer’s markets are often cheaper on produce, so if can, take advantage and support the locals! The goal of this plan is to get all your fruits and vegetables for $20 or less per week.

Six Shopping Tips

2. Scan the Top and Bottom Shelves

When it’s time to go to the center aisles, try to avoid selecting foods from the eye level shelf and focus more on the top or bottom shelves. Many of the larger food companies pay extra money to place their products on eye level shelves, which usually means that more unhealthy and processed foods will be there, and conversely more of the healthy options will be on the top and bottom shelves.

Six shopping tips

3. Read the Ingredients

Always take a look at the ingredients first, even before you look at the calories! Another general rule here is the shorter the list of ingredients, the better because a shorter list of ingredients will tend to have less chemicals overall and therefore be healthier. Look for ingredients that are whole foods—ingredients that you already know what they are without having to Google them. When comparing two items and you can’t decide which is better for you, pick the one that appears to be the least processed.

Six shopping tips

4. When it comes to Ingredients, Order is Important

When looking at the list of ingredients on a particular product, look at the order of the list. The first three ingredients listed are typically what they use the most of. If a list says sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or natural sweetener as the first few ingredients, put it back on the shelf!

Six shopping tips

5. Avoid Key Words

It always helps to know marketing strategies of certain key words. These key words are usually expensive because they know how to target an audience. Some key words are “gluten free”, “ sugar free”, “natural sweetener”, “fat free”, “no sugar added“, “paleo”, “less fat”, and so on… Learn the lingo because it can get tricky! For example, if a product says “less fat”, that may only a 1-2g less fat, but it can also mean that the product is more processed, contains more sodium or sugar, and cost more money. Another key word to be aware of is “multigrain”, which can mean much of nutritional value was stripped from the product, whereas “whole grain” means the entire grain kernel was used, which is better for you.

Six shopping tips

6. Avoid Packaged Products

Pre-packaged foods are generally not good for you and usually cost more money. Essentially, when packaged and processed, a lot of the nutrient value is stripped away from the foods. Avoid products that are packaged and just eat the real thing versions of that food. For example, instead of eating vegetable chips or drinking fruit juices you’re much better off eating real vegetables or whole fruits. Packaged foods are simply empty calories, lots of sugar, tons of sodium, and cost more money.

Six shopping tips

For more ideas on how to save money on your grocery bills, eat real foods, lose weight check out my E-Book “The Affordable Vegan Diet” or join my Lifestyle Program Membership.

This article has been featured on Skimble and I want to give all the credit to them on the their graphics.

Approved Foods:

The following is a list of the types of foods you should be including in your cart when you visit the grocery store:

VEGETABLES:

*   Broccoli
*   Green beans
*   Asparagus
*   Baby carrots (dip these in peanut butter or hummus for a quick snack; so good!)
*   Tomatoes
*   Cucumbers
*   Kale
*   Baby spinach
*   Onions
*   Red pepper
*   Mushrooms
*   Sweet potatoes
*   Frozen edamame, shelled

FRUITS:

*   Any fruits that are in season when you visit!
*  Try to avoid too many dried fruits as you can easily over eat these tasty snacks and consume too many sugars
*   Bananas
*   Blueberries
*   Strawberries
*   Apples
*   Raspberries
*   Mangoes
*   Cantaloupe
*   Honeydew
*   Nectarines
*   Avocados

NON-DAIRY:

*  Follow Your Heart brand Cheese
*  Miyokos Kitchen Artisan Vegan Cheese
*   Almond Breeze unsweetened original almond milk or unsweetened vanilla

PROTEIN:

*  Organic Tofu
*  Edamame
*  Organic Beans (Chickpea, Blackbeans, Lentils)
*  Mock meats (Gardein, Beyond Meat, Tofurky, or Trader Joe’s)
*   Seitan
*   Tempeh

GRAINS:

*   Oatmeal – steel cut or old fashioned (Gluten Free preferred)
*   Quinoa

NUTS/SEEDS:

*   Ground flax seed
*   Raw unsalted sunflower seeds
*   Pumpkin seeds
*   Walnuts
*   Roasted and unsalted almonds
*   Pistachios
*  Almond butter or peanut butter (look for brands that have one ingredient; peanut only or almond only)

Free Options:

*   Spicy Mustard
*   Salsa
*   Red wine vinegar (use it for dressing mixed with 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil)
*   Apple Cider Vinegar (use it for dressing mixed with 1/2 Tbs Olive Oil)
*  Lemon/Lime

SUGAR/SWEETENER:

*   Stevia
*   Pure maple syrup
*   Ground cinnamon
*   Medjool dates

Spices:

Check the list: Spices

Overall, this is a good list to start with and just some of the foods that I recommend to help get you on your way to a healthy and nutritious Lifestyle.  So, now that you know the tips and have an idea of what to look for, go grab your shopping carts and let’s get lean together!