Eat Smart · Get Well

Dreaded Task of the Week: Food Shopping

by Jess Leeds, Healthy Monday

Every week, I set a grocery store budget for myself. And without fail, every week I break that budget, influenced by impulse purchases and the novelties displayed by the checkout line. To be honest, sometimes shopping for foods that are healthy and inexpensive isn’t the easiest thing to do. In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are a few tips for when you go food shopping to help you save some money and also guide healthy eating:

  1. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Take it from personal experience—when I am hungry and go shopping for food, I tend to purchase twice the amount of groceries than I actually need. Shop after lunch, dinner or a snack to spend less and stay focused.
  2. Plan ahead. Think of what you need, jot it down, and follow the list. It’ll help you stick to healthier foods and leads to less spending.
  3. Spend time in the produce section. Vegetables and fruit have a lot of vitamins and minerals in them—and the greater the variety of color that you purchase, the more different types of vitamins you will be consuming. Fresh produce is preferable, but you can also save a little bit of money and purchased canned vegetables and fruits.
  4. 4. Don’t skip meat and fish. Although it may be a bit expensive, it is recommended that we consume two servings of poultry, meat or fish per day. Try topping a fresh salad with chicken or salmon for a filling meal.
  5. 5. Try whole wheat and grain. It contains beneficial vitamins and minerals and takes longer to digest, making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. It also is full of antioxidants and is good for your heart.

The important thing when food shopping is to stay focused and to stick to your grocery list. If you need help, refer to the food pyramid for serving sizes and guidelines for nutritional eating.

Healthy Monday is a national movement of people and organizations who commit every Monday to the behaviors and actions that will end chronic preventable disease. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for tips, program updates and contests!