Eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle start with smart grocery shopping. When you’re trying to change your eating habits, grocery shopping can suddenly become an overwhelming experience. These tips will simplify your shopping trip and serve as your guide to making healthy, informed decisions.

  1. Make a list. Create a shopping list around on how the store is arranged. Buy a variety of food groups including lean proteins (chicken fish and turkey), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil) and healthy carbohydrates (fruits, veggies, whole grains).
  2. Plan weekly menus and side dishes. A plan helps you get in, get what you need, and get out!
  3. Shop the store’s perimeter. The outer aisles often display whole, real, unprocessed foods while the inner aisles contain processed and refined foods.
  4. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables. If you need to buy canned vegetables, buy the No Added Salt versions.
  5. Read labels. Buy foods with recognizable ingredients. For example, look for peanut butter with only 1-3 ingredients: peanuts, oil and/or salt.
  6. Keep an eye out for sales and coupons. Buy the store brand if it’s cheaper.
  7. Shop when you aren’t hungry or rushed.
  8. Purchase items in bulk or as family packs. Freeze extra portions for later.
  9. Beware of health claims. The food industry spends thousands of dollars to entice us to buy their products. Don’t be fooled by fancy labels or displays, and research health claims before you head to the store.

Here’s an extra tip if you’re short on time: organize your list according to the aisles in the store. You’ll avoid the needless back and forth.

Remember: What goes in your cart has a good chance of going in your mouth. Don’t surround yourself with temptation. Happy shopping!

There are hundreds of grocery lists on Pinterest. Choose one that works for you or make it your own.