We all know how difficult it is to go grocery shopping, especially when we’re trying to stay fit. There are aisles upon aisles of temptation, encouraging us to stray from our diets and listen to our stomachs instead of our brains.
However, contrary to popular belief, healthy grocery shopping doesn’t mean you have to strictly stick to the organic food section. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. Curious to find out how to you can stick to your budget and eat healthy at the same time?
Today, Evolve Daily shares 7 Healthy Grocery Shopping Hacks:
1) Shop for fruits and vegetables at the local market.
Sure, it may not be as convenient, but one or two trips to the farmer’s market is all you need to keep an available stock of fruits and vegetables in your pantry. Not only is shopping for fruits and vegetables cheaper at the farmer’s market, they’re probably a lot fresher too!
Tip: Do your research and look for the nearest farmer’s market. The more convenient it is for you, the more you’ll be motivated to do your fruits and vegetables shopping there!
2) Go with generic brands.
Take your time at the grocery store and search for generic brands that are just as good as the more expensive branded items. Often times, many generic brands carry the same strict standards branded items do: GMO free, organic; just make sure you take the time to inspect the labels carefully!
Tip: Many grocery stores carry their own home brands. Your local grocery store surely has lots to offer, just be patient and inspect each label thoroughly!
3) Stick to the basics.
Although it may be tempting to throw that heirloom tomato or Philippine mango in your basket, sticking with the basics is a surefire way to stick to your budget. Go with local (or as close to home as you can) bananas, carrots, tomatoes, packaged spinach, apples and oranges instead. While they may not be as exciting, they’re equally packed with all the nutrients and vitamins you need!
Tip: Local items are easiest to source at the farmer’s market. See #1 and find out why you should buy your fruit and vegetables at the farmer’s market.
4) Stay away from gluten-free labels.
Just because your grocery item is labeled “gluten-free”, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily healthier. Chances are, most of these foods are filled with artificial ingredients and substitutes to replicate how it would normally taste. Plus, the gluten-free label also gives companies more leverage to charge higher prices. Fill your basket instead with fresh fruits, nuts and seeds!
Tip: Wondering what’s gluten-free and what’s not? Avoid processed food, any products containing wheat, barley, rye and the various ingredients that contain derivatives of these grains. An easy way to stay gluten-free is to stick to a diet of fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes.
5) Don’t be wasteful.
If you aren’t feeding an entire family, grocery shopping can be tricky. Most of the time, we don’t really need to buy an entire watermelon or a bag of potatoes, especially if it’s just for you and another person. Fortunately, some grocery stores offer smaller portions or individual pieces of vegetables or fruit. Although it may seem expensive, it’s definitely less wasteful!
Tip: Plan your menus in advance to see which items you need the most of. If you can’t buy fruit or vegetables by individual pieces, creating a menu around these items might help reduce waste.
6) Make your own juice.
We don’t have to tell you that making your own smoothies or juicing your own fruit beats buying a carton of sugar-laden juice at the supermarket. Not only can you control the ingredients that go into your drink, but you also save more money in the long run!
7) Grow your own.
Get down with Mother Nature and start your own mini herb and vegetable garden. Some plants like chilli, basil, and mint are relatively easy to grow and fuss free. All you need is time, a nice sunny spot for your plants to get enough sunlight and a little bit of effort to remember to water your plants. Before you know it, you’ll have a fresh source of herbs and a newfound decoration for your home!
Tip: You can buy some fully grown plants at your local nursery. Make sure to ask which plants need the most care and how often you need to water them.
Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult. All you have to do is make the right choices when you head to the grocery! Happy shopping!