‘Tis the season for New Years Resolutions to get made, and then broken—largely due to poor planning and overzealous expectations… And that can happen at the grocery store, especially if your resolutions are training/eating/lifestyle oriented. We have a new 7-Day free Healthy Habits Kickstart out right now and that will help, but I also wanted to talk about grocery shopping specifically, and the couple easy tips I live by to try to keep the crappy foods to a minimum.
Pre-plan your meals for the week (roughly).
Seriously, take 5 minutes and do this right now. I’m not a major fan of planning perfectly, because we all know that’s a fool’s errand, but having a rough idea of the dinners/lunches/breakfasts, and the amount of meat/eggs/produce that you need to get through can be super helpful at the grocery store, and can really help you avoid the “bought way too much,” or the “well, I need to go to the store, so let’s just get takeout,” common issues when things get busy. (It also can help avoid over-shopping, which I am also guilty of.)
Don’t ever shop hungry.
Cliche for a reason. Keep a small stash of almonds or something equally easy to snack on in your purse, car or backpack at all times so you don’t have an excuse for this!
Walk or ride if you can.
We try to do our grocery walks every 2 or 3 days so we a) sneak in an extra walk (more on that later!) and b) it’s hard to buy a bunch of junk food when you need to schlep it home. Plus, we’ve found that walking to the grocery store puts you in a healthy mindset.
Keep a standing order with your healthy favorites.
We have a regular order from Thrive—the online healthy food shopping and shipping source—because Thrive has the health foods that can be tough to find at the grocery store closest to us. It has great prices, and ships straight to your door (though sadly isn’t available in Canada yet). (You can get 25% off of your first order plus free shipping if you’re in the US using this link!) If you can’t use a service like Thrive, plenty of grocery stores now have online ordering options.
Start with a list.
I love just shopping in a grocery store with no rhyme or reason, but it almost always leads to a few impulse buys that end up uneaten because they’re ridiculous, or eaten too fast because they’re absolute garbage. You can always deviate from the list if the spirit moves you, but having one on hand makes life a lot easier, and your shopping a lot more efficient. Need an actual list to get you started? Click here to get the healthy habit email series and our handy grocery list PDF!
Don’t be afraid of frozen veggies.
OK, this is more of a food tip vs. grocery shopping, but seriously, frozen veggies are as nutritious as fresh, and a lot cheaper and more shelf stable. So if you often chuck rotted fruit or veggies, get mostly frozen instead.
Go at weird hours.
I’m a fan of the 8AM grocery shop. If you have to go straight to work, get a good cooler to store cold stuff, and buy those frozen veggies as backup ice packs for meat!