Looking for ways to decrease the prices on your grocery store bill, battle the bulge, and eat as healthy as possible? Check out these 25 awesome supermarket shopping tips!
1. Fewer ingredients = healthier food Think simple! additives and preservatives add calories and scary chemicals. Natural foods are normally clean, lower in calories and higher in healthy proteins, fibers, and fats.
2. “Good source of” may mean “bad for you” Ignore anything that’s not natural that says “good source.” Manufacturers add vitamins to something calorific and sugary; these vitamins are really not worth the calories.
3. Work the “edges.” The edges of the supermarket are where you find the healthiest food: dairy, produce, meats, and seafood. Everything in the middle is usually processed.
4. Look high and low Food vendors pay “slotting fees” to ensure that their most-profitable foods get placed in the most conspicuous spots: eye level. Grow for the cheaper and nutritionally superior items that are on the top and bottom of the shelves.
5. Beat the breakfast blues Put the bagel down! Good breakfast is high in protein and low in refined carbohydrates, so go for eggs instead of carbs like cereal, muffins, and bagels. Also, the price difference is incredible. By eating cereal over eggs, you’re spending three times as much money on a meal that’s not as healthy.
6. Buy frozen fruit in cold weather Fresh fruit is more expensive when it’s cold out and you have to eat it within three days. Go for frozen! One cup of frozen blueberries gives you just as much fiber as the raw variety and fewer calories. While fresh blueberries oer 18 percent more vitamin C, that difference isn’t worth the extra cost.
7. “Reduced fat” may make you fat Reduced fat can mean extra calories from sugar and higher sodium. How do you think they get it to taste good?
8. Check yourself out A study from the University of Arizona found that the more exposure a person has to temptation, the more likely he or she is to give in. That means you’re 25 percent more likely to buy a candy bar when you’re stuck in a line flanked by candy racks.
9. Shop on Wednesday nights Why Hump Day? According to Progressive Grocer, only 11 percent of shoppers go to the store on Wednesdays, and only 4 percent of customers shop after 9 p.m. So why? The less time you spend in the supermarket the less likely you are to fall to temptation?
10. “Natural” doesn’t mean squat Outside of meat and seafood, the word “Natural” is completely unregulated.
11. Bulk up when you can Costco and Sam’s Club are great for things like toilet paper and frozen chicken. A giant bag of Snickers and a pallet of Coke? Not really.
12. Don’t buy the hype Nearly half of food advertising dollars goes toward convenience foods, candy, soda, and dessert. Don’t make choices based on cute factor!
13. Choose chicken leg over breast The chicken breast is the healthiest cut of meat you can buy. But the dark-meat chicken leg is almost equally healthy, will save you 89 cents a pound.
14. Ask when the next shipment arrives Most restaurants receive shipments of fish or meat on certain days of the week. Ask when the shipment comes in, and buy on that day for the freshest product.
15. Look in unlikely places Walmart has traditionally been considered a price leader in groceries, but only recently has the retailer started taking produce seriously. Now the chain is a great place to buy organic produce and dairy. Farmers markets are still the best place for unique local foods and small-batch artisan products.
16. “Lightly sweetened” could mean “sugar overload” This is another term that’s completely unregulated. It means nothing.
17. Don’t fall for diet drinks Research has found that artificial sweeteners make you crave real sugar—so drinking diet soda makes resisting super-sweetened foods and drinks that much harder.
18. Buy real juice Buy fruit juice with 100 percent juice and no added sugar.
19. Don’t be 100 percent misled But tons of 100% juices are not 100% the juice being advertised. Make sure you read the label!
20. “Zero grams of trans fat” may include trans fat!Some products carry the “Zero grams of trans fat” claim when they do, in fact, contain trans fats. The FDA allows this claim as long as the food contains less than half a gram per serving. But serving size is whatever the food marketer wants it to be. So if the processor claims that, say, a serving is one cookie, you could easily get 3 full grams of trans fats by eating 6 “no trans fat” cookies. If you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on the ingredient statement, rest assured that it contains trans fat.
21. Compare the front label with the back Always read the ingredients list.
22. Steer clear of 100-calorie packs In a 2007 study, Brown University researchers found that people ate the same amount of cookies and chips regardless of whether they ate from a large, multiserving bag or single-serving packs. What’s stopping you from just eating a few more bags and thinking that’s ok?
23. Invest in smaller plates and bowls The average American plate has increased in diameter in the past 20 years—battle the bulge by buying (or using) smaller plates. Try 8- instead of 12-inch plates.
24. Consider canola oil Canola’s neutral flavor is great for cooking, and it has an even better ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat than extra virgin olive oil which costs 75% more.
25. Learn to love lentils
When going for grains, choose lentils over brown rice to save money. A pound-size bag has 11 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein in each of its 13 servings. It’s also one of the world’s richest sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps form oxygen-carrying red blood cells and promotes communication between nerves cells. You’ll gain all that good stuff, while saving an average of 41 cents per pound if you choose lentils over brown rice.
- What do you do to save money and stay healthy?
[Source: Yahoo! Health]