One of the pitfalls of eating healthy is actually getting prepped to have the right food at your disposal. Cue…the supermarket! A place full of wonder and possibility, but if you’re not careful, it can be the biggest saboteur of your healthy habits.
The strategies you put into place when you do your grocery shop can make or break what you do for the rest of the week. Here’s our top tips to help making healthier choices that bit easier.
Don’t go to the supermarket hungry. You’ll be drawn to buying energy dense, nutrient poor foods that can give you a quick boost of energy and not much else! Aim to go straight after a meal so you’re less inclined to make rogue choices.
- Have a shopping plan BEFORE you go. Sit down on the weekend and get some recipes together for lunches and dinners, or plan out some batch-cooked items that you can use in multiple ways throughout the week. If you go without a plan, you’ll be more likely to forget key items or need to go back multiple times during the week and research has shown that you’ll save money doing one big shop a week rather than multiple small shops.
- Shop the perimeter. Stock up on vegetables and fruit first (these should make up at least 1/2-1/3 of your shopping trolley), meats, breads, dairy and eggs. You will find that the perimeter has less processed foods and these are what we want to avoid consuming if we are aiming to improve our health. Only go up the aisles you need to for the non-negotiable things like toiletries, cleaning goods, legumes, wholegrain rices and pastas, tinned and frozen goods.
- Buy in bulk to get better deals. It might be a larger cost to outlay, but buying perishables or freezable items in large amounts will end up saving you big. Think meats and dried legumes/rices/pastas/cereals. If you’re money conscious – go for the generic brands. They are often the similar quality for only a fraction of the price
- Buying from farmers markets and co-ops takes out the middle man that can lead to price hikes at supermarkets. They are more likely to stock seasonal, local produce, meats, eggs and dairy and are more likely to be better quality.