The grocery store is your first step in building a healthy lifestyle and it should be the right one. Supermarkets are designed in such a way that you spend as much money as you can, often on high-margin products loaded with cheap ingredients and non-nutritive calories as major food manufacturers are far more concerned with their bottom lines than your waistline.
The key to any good offense is a solid defense. You may be a well-meaning shopper, but without a thoroughly planned attack, an innocent weekly grocery run can turn into an all-out assault on your health and your finances. Adopt these habits of highly effective shoppers and you’ll be well on your way to being a master of the modern-day market.
1-CASH IS THE KING
Credit and debit cards are more abstract forms of payment, so you don’t use them as carefully as you do cash that is why you are prone to spend more with cards than with cash. Be smart, and use cash only while shopping for the groceries.
2-WEDNESDAYS ARE BEST FOR SHOPPING
Most people leave their grocery shopping for Saturday or Sunday mornings when the supermarket looks more like a ravaged battlefield than a center of commerce. Well, you should consider making a midweek run so that you are able to get in and out of the grocery store quickly. Which means that you will spend less time in both aisle and in the check-out line.
3-TAKE YOUR CART FOR A STROLL
Pushing a shopping cart instead of carrying a basket may help you make smarter supermarket choices. If you’re lugging around a heavy basket, you’re not taking the time to read labels and reach for more nutritious foods.
4-SNACK BEFORE SHOPPING
It’s a no-brainer that an empty belly leads to increased food cravings, but hunger may also affect your decision-making skills more generally as hunger influence your ability to think rationally. You should Plan your market trips to fall right after meals, or fortify yourself by eating a handful of fiber-rich nuts just before shopping.
5-TURN ON YOUR GROCERY GPS
On your road trip to a new place, what would you do? The first thing is to take directions from your GPS so that you take all the turns right and reach your destination on time. Well, you should do the same when you are shopping in a supermarket it is because supermarkets are usually very complex. It is therefore recommended that you make a grocery list before starting your journey. This will definitely save you from impulse purchases.
6-SHOP IN SEASON
There are three persuasive reasons to shop in a season: it’s cheaper, it’s better, and it’s better for you. So mark your calendar and do shopping accordingly.
Map out the supermarkets both close to home and close to work. This will certainly improve your shopping and will help you spend more smartly.
8-KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEIGHT
One box of your favorite snack might cost $5 and another one $5.50. Certainly $5 looks cheaper but, you must take a closer look at the net weight. There is a very good chance that more expensive box would have more quantity thus making it cheaper in the end. It is a very useful habit to control your buying.
9-DO THE BULK
Discount clubs are great cost-saving alternatives, even if you have to pay a fee to join. It doesn’t make sense to buy everything in bulk so focus on items you use a lot of and that won’t spoil, like paper products and frozen foods.
10-AVOID QUICK TRIPS
You might not notice, but these quick short trips to the supermarket can actually be costly as you might end up picking few more than you would actually like. Keep a track of the things that you need and make notes accordingly. In the end, avoiding these short trips will also help you save gasoline cost.
Take longer looks at private label canned and packaged goods when possible. In many cases, they’re made by the same manufacturers, using the same ingredients, as your major-label brands. They almost always taste just as good, provide comparable nutritional content, and come at a fraction of the cost.
If you’re watching your weight, don’t step near the Whole Foods buffet. The whole Foods lists selections’ ingredients on the buffet’s ID labels doesn’t provide nutrition information for any of them. And yes, one of the items is macaroni and cheese—or “pasta and cheese” as they call it.
13-JUNK vs GOURMET
Ever notice that more-expensive products tend to come in fancier packages? The scientists theorize that attractive fonts and labels give people the perception that they are getting more value for the higher cost. Think about it: Would you like a piece of cake—or a piece of cake?
14-BEAUTIFUL IS NOT ALWAYS DELICIOUS
Sub-par conventional produce is bred to look waxy, glistening, and perfectly symmetrical, while prime fruits and vegetables are often irregularly shaped, with slight visual imperfections outside but a world of flavor waiting inside.
15-USE YOUR HANDS
You can learn more about a fruit or vegetable from picking it up than you can from staring it down. Heavy, sturdy fruits and vegetables with taut skin and peels are telltale signs of freshness.
16-HIGH AND LOW SHELVES
Always start by scanning the top and bottom shelves. If you do, we guarantee that you’ll find crackers with more fiber, fruit snacks with less sugar, and canned goods with less sodium than those on the costly middle shelves.
17-UNKNOWN BRANDS ARE HANDY
Not only can bigger manufacturers afford better real estate, but they often pay to keep smaller manufacturers off the shelf or in disadvantageous locations. Sadly, these lesser-known brands are often healthier and more affordable than their big-name counterparts. If you had a chance, choose the lesser known brands and you will never regret your decision.