10 Grocery Tips for Healthy Shoppers

Here are some great tips to save calories, money, and time at the grocery store. Grocery shopping can be a challenge, but with this advice you can be on your way to a smaller waistline and bigger savings.

1. Plan Ahead

Go to the store with a shopping list and stick to it. Also check for coupons ahead of time and incorporate them into your list. Plan ahead for complete meals throughout the week.

2. Buy in Season

Blueberries are a cheap treat in the summer but practically an investment in the fall. Check your farmer's market for local ingredients, which are picked at the peak of their nutrition. Consider growing some of your own produce as well.

3. Purchase in Bulk

Use one main ingredient and dress it up differently. Turn ground turkey into chili, turkey burgers, and a topping for tacos. Buy produce by the bag, and remember that frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as the fresh kind—and they are cheaper.

Buy big containers of yogurt and add your own "fruit on the bottom" as well as big bags of snacks to make your own "100-calorie packs" for the week, rather than buying them prepared. Lean cuts of meat should be purchased when they are on sale. Freeze them for future use.

4. Spice it Up

The use of spices is also a great trick to save money. Lean chicken breasts can taste differently with unique spices. Also, using spices rather than fatty dressings and marinades will eliminate extra calories.

5. Check Ingredients

If you have a hard time reading the label or are overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients, there are probably better options available.

6. Choose Lean Protein

Fish, chicken, and turkey are much leaner than beef and pork products. When selecting ground beef, pick the leaner options.

7. Beware of Advertising

Be careful when choosing things that are low-fat or "no sugar added". Give the label a quick check to make sure the product isn't loaded with artificial sweeteners. A "low fat" label will often mean more sugar. Real food is best and remember to use portion control.

8. Think Whole Foods

The more processed the food, the higher the price. Nutrient-rich foods will help you stay full longer than the empty calories found in refined products. Also, drink a lot of water. Fruit juices and soda can add up on the grocery bill and in your calorie count.

9. Evaluate Portions

Use pricey meats as an accent, not the main event. Make half your plate vegetables.

10. Save the Leftovers

The individual frozen entrees and soups available for quick meals are expensive and high in sodium. You can save money and eat healthier by packing leftovers for lunches or quick dinners.

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About the Author

Kait Fortunato

Kait Fortunato is a dietitian living and eating her way through Washington, D.C. She enjoys marathon training and helping others meet their nutritional goals.

Kait Fortunato is a dietitian living and eating her way through Washington, D.C. She enjoys marathon training and helping others meet their nutritional goals.

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