By Laura Slatalla, Recent ASU Nutrition Communication Student
If you’re like me, food shopping might not be your favorite thing to do. This is especially true if you’re busy will a million other things on your “To Do” list. So, I have my top 5 grocery shopping tips that I apply every time I go to the grocery story.
Plus, when I apply my grocery tips, I have more fun shopping for my favorite foods.
- Bring a List! Your shopping trip takes place before you even step into the store. Marketers have deliberately planned out how to make you spend the most and buy unnecessary items with product placement strategies, so come prepared. Come up with a weekly menu and make a detailed list, so that you don’t forget anything and don’t end up in a rut when it comes to making dinner every day. It will save you money and help you make healthier choices.
- Load up the cart with produce! It feels great to unload a cart full of fruits and vegetables onto the conveyer belt at the end of your trip. The fridge will be full of colorful produce and you’ll be more likely to snack on fruits and vegetables and include them in your meal.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. I used to walk up and down each isle of the store, but now I save the middle for last. Begin in the produce and move onto meat and dairy. All the fresher ingredients are along the edges, so you’ll avoid prepackaged meals that contain too much salt, sugar, and fat.
- Buy herbs and spices. Adding flavor to your dishes can be pricey, but it’s worth it in the long run. Having herbs and spices on hand will make you more likely to cook from scratch and use up that produce. Think about it- you’re paying for those spices in all those prepackaged meals at a higher price, so go ahead and spend a little extra on a new spice.
- Know what to buy frozen. As the week comes to an end we often start to run out of ingredients. Instead of grabbing take-out food on the way home from work, dip into your freezer supply of vegetables. Use them as a side for some chicken or pasta. Avoid frozen complete meals. You can make them yourself!
Before heading out to the grocery store for your food-shopping adventure, visit Fill Your Plate to get recipe ideas and to discover what’s in season. If you buy produce in season you’ll most likely purchase it at its optimum economical price; more quantity means less cost.