Streamline your Grocery Shopping Routine to Finally Get Healthy and Save Money
One of the first steps to eating healthy is having the healthy and delicious option in your house. Deciding what to buy and figuring out how to eat healthy on a budget can feel overwhelming. Here are 21 grocery shopping tips to get your home and kitchen ready for a healthier lifestyle!
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Before Grocery Shopping Tips
To have the healthiest kitchen and save the most money, you may want to do a few things before you shop. A plan, a grocery list, and a phone full of discounts goes a long way. Getting a little organized before you go can relieve stress and help you feel less overwhelmed. Here are a few grocery shopping tips to try before you grocery shop.
- Clean out your kitchen of all unhealthy foods and donate them. Only have healthy foods and especially healthy snacks in the house. If you want to avoid temptation, make sure you clean out the fridge and the pantry of all your temptations. Be sure yo clean out all your most tempting foods before you go to the store.
- One day a week, plan your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list according to your planned meals and planned snacks. Only get food from your list at the grocery store. If you follow a list, you’re less likely to make an unhealthy last-minute food choice.
- Not sure how to meal plan and grocery shop? Try a healthy meal plan app. For help preparing a HEALTHY meal plan and grocery list, you can visit several websites or apps like Mealime.com. The Mealime site and app helps you plan meals and include a grocery list. You can find a healthy grocery list developed by a dietitian at http://dietitiandeanna.com/grocery-lists/
- Take it a step further, after planning your meals once a week and following your grocery list; then pre-cook, pre-portion, and freeze food for the week. Then you will be ready to go the whole week and won’t worry about what you are going to eat all week long. You can even plan frozen meals, make all the meals on one day and freeze them for the rest of the month!
- If you want to save money, the next step after planning your grocery list, is to find ways to save money. The best strategy I have found is using coupon and rebate apps. These apps are completely FREE!!!! By using these apps, I was able to keep healthy foods in the house AND still save money. I don’t make it too complicated either. So I don’t get overwhelmed, I focus on only four discount apps. I just check these four apps before I shop for anything, not just groceries.
My Four Favorite Money Saving Apps
The first is Ibottta. You can shop online by clicking on the store selections and shopping at your favorite stores right from the app. You can shop in a brick and mortar store as well, and you can even add your grocery store rewards card to the app! Before you shop, you just pick the coupons in th app that you think you might use. These coupons are added to your rewards card, and your discount will be added to Ibotta when you swipe your card at checkout. If you don’t have a card, no worries. You still pick out your coupons on the app before shopping. Then you scan your receipt in the app to receive the rebate. It is so simple. To sign up for Ibotta with my referral code click the link below:
The second app I use is coupons.com. This works much like Ibotta. I simply select the coupons I want to use before I shop, and then I shop. When I swipe my Food Lion card, for example, the coupons are used automatically! Check it out at Coupons.com
I also use an app called swagbucks. For this app you get points for shopping at certain stores. These store selection is huge. I can buy groceries on amazon or a birthday present for my daughter at The American Girl store and earn points. You can also earn points by answering daily questions and taking surveys through the swagbucks app. You can use the points to get gift cards!!! And these are legit great gift cards. You can get $25 gift cards to Amazon, “Bath & Body Works”, Walmart and so much more! It is pretty amazing. Start getting swagbucks as my referral by clicking on the link below:
The final app I use doesn’t really have many grocery coupons, but I like to mention it when I mention my other apps. This is ebates. You can buy all kinds of products and save. Again, this app gives you discounts to a huge number of popular stores like Kohl’s, “Bed, Bath, and Beyond”, and of course, Amazon. The list goes on and on. Whenever I am about to buy somehting online, I check this app along with the other three apps to see if a coupon or rebate is available. You can download this app through my referral link by clicking on the Ebates button below.
I can not emphasize enough how huge these saving have been for my family. My friends are amazed at how many groceries I am able to buy for the amount of money spent. When I get that rebate, I feel like I am bringing in money for my family!
By using these apps, you can shop healthy and save money.
5. Okay, so you planned your week or month, you made a grocery list, and you have found all your discounts. Now you are ready to grocery shop. Hold on! Are you hungry? Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. If you are hungry, eat a healthy snack before grocery shopping.
Now you are ready to shop healthy and save money!
Grocery Shopping Tips: At the Store
6. Stick to THE Grocery List. Sticking to a grocery list can keep you from having the unhealthy foods in your house. If the unhealthy food is not there, then you cannot eat it. Vise versa, if only healthy food is in your house; then all you have to eat is healthy food.
7. Get your children involved by letting them pick a different fruit or vegetable to try each week at dinner. Have them pick a variety of colors.
8. Buy only the lower fat or lower calorie versions of foods. Check the labels on all the different brands of foods and select the brand that has the least calories per serving. Make sure you look at serving sizes when comparing the foods. Some foods will list a different serving size. For example, some cereals say 1/2 cup is a serving and some say 3/4 a cup. This could affect which one wins the lowest calorie award.
9. Make sure the majority of your grocery items be lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.
10. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store; avoid the center aisle. (The healthiest food are usually located along the perimeter.)
11. Stock up on frozen and canned fruits and vegetables like canned peaches and pears so that a healthy option is always on hand. Pick up several SteamFresh microwavable vegetables like BIRDS EYE STEAMFRESH VEGETABLES WHOLE GREEN BEANS 10.8 OZ PACK OF 3. These Steamfresh microwave frozen vegetables are so quick to fix for meals. Just put the bag in the microwave and follow the directions on the bag.
11. Don’t buy your most tempting foods. If you know that you will eat a whole carton of ice cream in two days or that you can’t stop munching on chips when they are in the house, then don’t buy them.
12. Do your grocery shopping with a time limit.
13. Save time and money during the week by buying foods in bulk like lean protein (chicken breast and ground turkey), pasta, rice, beans, pretzels and cooking a week’s worth on Sunday night. Then, pre-portion the chicken or other meat into deck of card sized portions and store in freezer. Divide other foods into portions after getting back from the grocery store. (Example: make zip lock bags of pretzels.)
14. Know your trigger foods. These are foods that you cannot stop eating once you start. Once you know your trigger foods, it is a good idea to avoid these foods when you first start your weight loss program. You can add these foods back into your life occasionally once you feel that you can handle them. Once you determine your trigger foods, avoid them
15. Also avoid sections in the store that are tempting. Examples would be the sweets or chips aisles for me
16. Don’t buy food just because you have a coupon. Use a coupon only for foods already on your list.
17. Don’t try free samples while you are in the grocery store. If you go shopping when you are not hungry you can better resist the samples.
18. Avoid buying sugary desserts. Eating sugar causes us to want to eat more so limit sugary foods. In other words, the sweeter the food, the more we want sweeter food. The less sweet the food, the less we desire sweets. For example, if you go a long time without sweets, then a piece of fruit will taste plenty sweet to you and a piece of chocolate cake may taste too sweet to you. But if you continue to eat sweet foods, a piece of fruit will not taste sweet enough and a piece of chocolate cake will be needed to feed your sweet tooth.
After Grocery Shopping Tips
Once you are home from your grocery trip, you can unpack in a a way that can help you eat healthier throughout the day.
19. While you are unloading the groceries, wash fruits, and pre-portion healthy snacks in small ziplock bags as part of your unloading routine. I keep pre-portions snacks in a lower side shelf of the fridge. I wash grapes, strawberries, blueberries, etc and put a small amount in little ziplock bags. Then I store these indvidual bags in this lower refrigerator shelf. This is the “kids grab and go” snack shelf. My children know that if they are hungry they can always grab anything from this shelf. I also include cheese squares and yogurt on this healthy snack shelf as well.
20. You can also have a similar healthy snack spot in your pantry. I bought a new shoe rack like the 24 Pockets – SimpleHouseware Crystal Clear Over the Door Hanging Shoe Organizer, Gray (64” x 19”)and hung the rack over the pantry door. I like the clear shoe racks so that my children can easily see what is inside. I keep healthy snacks like popcorn, cups of mandarin oranges, and whole-wheat crackers on the lower shoe compartments. These are snacks my children (and I) can easily grab anytime. I keep a small portion of their favorite not-so-healthy snacks in the higher shoe compartments. My children can’t reach these compartments and have to ask me if they can have these snacks.
21. Store foods out of site. If snacks are sitting on the counter, you are more likely to munch on them throughout the day. When you see them you will constantly crave them.
I hope you found some grocery shopping tips you can use in your home. Which grocery shopping tips did you find most helpful? What grocery shopping tips and tricks do you use when shopping?
You can find over 400 weight loss tips on the Mindfulness in Faith and Food website. If you would like to evaluate your own diet and determine which of these weight loss tips works best for you, please take the free DIY Diet self assessment and evaluation developed by a registered dieititian.
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