Grocery shopping can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but it doesn’t have to be! Women, especially, can take a few simple steps to help ensure that their grocery journey is as hassle-free, healthy, and efficient as possible. By utilizing a handful of supermarket hacks, savvy and health-conscious women can easily maximize the nutritional value of their diets while minimizing time and cost.
Here are a few of the top hacks healthy women always use while grocery shopping:
- Make A List and Stick To It
One of the best tips for efficient and healthy grocery shopping is to make a plan. Preparation is key when it comes to making sure that you stick to your health and financial goals. Before you step into the store, make sure to give yourself time to write out a list of the items that you need, such as specific ingredients for meals that you have in mind, snacks, and diverse fruits and vegetables. By sticking to that list, you can help yourself avoid impulse purchases and limit junk food from ending up in your cart.
- Choose Whole Foods
It’s important to focus on stocking your cart with whole foods like lean proteins, produce, dairy, whole grains, nuts, and seeds as opposed to processed, refined choices with added toxins, preservatives, and unhealthy sweeteners. By shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, you can better resist unhealthy options and incorporate more natural and unprocessed products into your diet.
- Buy in Bulk
Bulk buying can be a great way to save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping. Keep an eye out for certain staples (think: high-quality, minimally processed grains, beans, seeds, and nuts) that you can buy in bulk in order to save a little and stock up for the future.
- Shop The Frozen Section
Frozen vegetables tend to contain the same amount of nutrition as their fresh counterparts, but for a much lower cost. Items like edamame and spinach for smoothies, or pre-cut squash and peppers for quick stir-fries, can be a great way to keep your kitchen stocked and encourage healthy meal-planning.
- Avoid Pre-Packaged Foods
It’s no secret that pre-packaged foods may not always be the healthiest choice. From snack pouches with added sugar to frozen foods with high sodium content, not to mention the environmental waste associated with their plastic packaging, it can be beneficial to limit these items from your cart.
- Opt For Organic
Organic products have not been exposed to synthetic pesticides, have been grown without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and are produced without synthetic preservatives and hormones. In order to limit your body’s exposure to these harsh chemicals, replacing certain items with organic options can be a great way to help your body run better, plus increase your energy and avoid stomach issues.
- Buy Local
When possible, look for locally-grown and relatively accessible produce. Not only will you be able to reduce your carbon footprint, but you can also support your local economy. Additionally, local farmers often pack their produce with extra nutrition as it doesn’t have to travel far.
- Scan for Supplemental Foods
The grocery store is a great place to peek outside of the proverbial box for ingredients you may not use everyday, such as frozen fruits and dark leafy greens, supplemental teas and herbal brews, and the like.
By taking a few extra minutes to grocery shop with an open-minded perspective, savvy and health-conscious women can reap the benefits of an advanced shopping experience when it comes to crafting balanced, delicious meals.
- Think Beyond Grocery Merchants
Whether you’re happy to visit your local farmers’ market or join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, broader markets and merchants exist beyond the grocery store that may help you obtain the types of healthier, fresher products that you are looking for.
Farmers’ markets, in particular, offer locally grown, fresh produce, unprocessed meats and cheeses, and more artisanal food products at special discounted prices that grocery stores don’t have the capacity to carry. CSAs, on the other hand, are packaged food baskets administered by local farms that can help you save money and gain access to a more often sustainable system of farming and food production.
- Get In Touch With Local Farms
If you find that most supermarkets don’t carry exactly what you are looking for, chances are that there are farms and small producers near you that may have what you need. An excellent way to source organic and sustainable products for a better price is to get in contact with local farmers or suppliers directly.
Grocery shopping certainly doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. By following any of the hacks above, women can easily make sure that their shopping experience is as healthy and efficient as possible. Whether you want to make a list and stick to it, focus on buying in bulk or opting for organic when possible, grocery shopping is a great way to start living a healthier lifestyle and one that’s in line with your dietary and financial needs.