Grocery Store Shopping Made Easy

Jillian Cox, CPT

B.S in Nutrition & Wellness

Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Consultant & Nutritionist

Don’t you think going to the grocery store can be overwhelming? The following may seem tedious but if you read my tips, your life will become easier, grocery shopping will be smoother, less stressful and you will save money!

IN ORDER TO MAKE A CHANGE, YOU HAVE GOT TO PUT THE WORK IN (eventually all will become second nature).

Pick a day of the week and stick to it. This helps the process. Before grocery shopping get a notebook, sit down and write down what you will be eating for the week. I look in the freezer to see what proteins & vegetables are available.

Create recipes based upon what is to expire first. Taking the time to lay out what you need actually helps save time. If I have ground turkey, I usually create recipes for the week with what I already have so I am not over buying. Trust me, if you take the time to do this, it is only going to make your week easier. You can then add on any snacks you want or ones you know you like. I feel that doing this gives you the ability to change up your meals because you are planning in advance. I know there are families who like to use white boards for weekly meals which is fun for kids but it also helps track 3 meals per day/ every day and helps with meal prepping. Meal prepping snacks for the week also helps if you are on the go!

I love keeping the grocery bill as low as possible and planning as mentioned above keeps that bill and my spending under control.

Everyone’s list can vary. We all have different dietary needs and different foods that we prefer. This list I have below is very simple, so I try to keep seasoning and everything else as simple as possible.

Another question that I get a lot is what’s the difference between frozen or fresh vegetables. Fresh has more nutrition value since they are usually picked at their peak. But frozen can be just as good. Especially, when it is not the right time for that vegetable to be in season, frozen is the way to go. Frozen is a great, healthy alternative to Fresh. When I was in college and shopping for one, I found that buying frozen vegetables was the most convenient and most cost effective. Frozen vegetables have a longer shelf life, no worries about throwing out rotted veggies and you don’t need to go shopping for them every week.

Steps:

  1. Plan what you’re eating for the week
  2. If you have an abundance of a certain food, try to incorporate that food in as many of your meals as possible.
  3. Keep all the “Must Haves” in your kitchen-Dairy & Non Dairy, Eggs, EVOO, Spices etc…
  4. Shopping List-Create one every week.

Tips for going to the grocery store:

  • Go alone (sometimes shopping with kids and others can be hard and they’ll want to put whatever they want in cart)
  • Do not go to grocery store hungry (you’ll tend to buy anything that looks yummy instead of sticking to the list)
  • Start with the outskirts of the store and then work your way down the aisles (the outskirts of the store have most of what you need, the interior has mostly processed foods)
  • Hit the produce/fresh isle first this should take up most of your cart! (stay tuned for some ways to make sure the produce doesn’t go bad)
  • Have a list and stick to it
  • Know what essentials you need (pasta, meat to put in freezer, etc)
  • READ the food label
  • Pay attention to added sugars
  • Stick to ingredients that you know
  • If you see flavored foods, see if you’re able to create them yourself. (example; strawberry yogurt, buy plain yogurt, add fresh strawberries. Yogurts that are flavored tend to be processed and artificial which can have more added sugars.)
  • Eat a carb, protein and some vegetable and fruits every meal (this helps you “eat the rainbow”)