So How Do You Survive a Trip to the Grocery Store and Actually Arrive Home with Food Your Proud Of?

Sometimes the grocery store can be overwhelming. I’m not gonna lie…walking through an isle of perfectly packaged foods is very tempting. Companies spend millions to make sure their package foods attract your attention.

 Never Go To the Grocery Store Hungry 

People say this all the time but never actually do it.  We’ve had huge grocery trips where we are starving after our trip to the store and end up picking up fast food on the way home, since it takes so long to put food away AND make something to eat.

People make bad decisions when they are rushed or hungry. Avoid this by planning ahead, eat before you go and give yourself time to shop. Allow time to look at labels and check ingredients, eventually it won’t take so long once you get familiar with the products.  You could even take a snack for the drive home like a banana or some trail mix to munch on. Don’t let your grumbling stomach decide what you put in your shopping cart any more.

Make a List of What You Need

This also sounds like a no brainer but not many people are actually doing it. When you are home, it makes sense to you what you need to buy at the store but once you get inside the store your brain gets overwhelmed with all the choices and it’s very easy to forget the essentials. There is nothing wrong with being spontaneous and purchasing new items when your at the store but you need a list of the essential items you HAVE to have.

Meal planning is pretty important unless you want to get home with half of the ingredients you need to make something delicious.  Just simply writing out what your eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday this week will help you organize your thoughts and figure out what you need to buy.

Learn to Read Labels

We don’t need to be afraid of all foods in a package but it’s wise to learn how to read a label. All products are required to list common allergens under the ingredients in bold print. Look for MAY CONTAIN: wheat, gluten, egg, soy or peanuts.  Whatever ingredient your trying to avoid.

I also always check for sugar, how many grams per serving? Roughly 4g of sugar is 1 teaspoon of sugar.  If an item says 12 grams of sugar per serving that means your eating 4 teaspoons of sugar for that one serving! It adds up quick.

I also scan the regular ingredients to see how many are listed. If an item has more than 5 ingredients, especially ones I don’t recognize I think twice before purchasing.  Knowledge is power so if your constantly seeing maltodextrin in your foods for example, hop online and see what your putting in your body.

Don’t Fear the Produce Section

Many people fear all those green leafy items on the produce wall because they have no idea what they are or what to do with them.  I want to encourage you to try one new item every week.  For a while we let our kids pick out a new produce item, then we looked the item up on Pinterest and found out how to cook it.  It’s ok to buy a fruit or vegetable you’ve never had before. If you absolutely hate it when you get home, no worries, just pick a different one the next week.  This is a great way to expand your current food choices and maybe find a few favorite!

So next time you have to run to the grocery store, grab a bite to eat first and scribble down the items you absolutely must get. Take some time to read a few labels and compare ingredients. Be spontaneous and try a few new veggies this week!


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