What if we told you that smart shopping at the grocery store actually starts before you leave the house? In fact, this year you may not even need to leave the house. On-line shopping is a great option for anyone who has small children, is pressed for time, or has health concerns.
Important steps in making a shopping list
- Start by checking over your menu and preparing a list of ingredients and food items you need, including amounts.
- Second, take an inventory of what you have on hand.
- Keep pantry items such as dried or canned beans, spit peas and lentils, canned vegetables with no salt added, canned fruit in 100% fruit juice, nut butters, tuna, salmon and sardines on hand.
- Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats and whole-wheat pasta can also be included in a healthy meal plan and are essentials in the pantry.
- Consider stocking your freezer with non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, riced cauliflower, carrots and Brussels sprouts, and don’t forget the fruit such as berries and cherries.
Shopping from a list – whether online or in the store – will help you to avoid unhealthy impulse purchases, saving you time and money. It’s also a good idea to go grocery shopping after a meal or snack. It’ll be easier to stick to your list and can reduce your risk of having a low blood sugar if you are doing more walking than usual.
When reading food labels, pay attention to the total carbohydrate per serving – not just the amount of sugar when you are shopping for someone with diabetes. It’s always a great idea for the whole family to look for foods with the fewest ingredients and ingredients that you can pronounce
Tune in to episode 16 of the Fresh Focus Podcast for some suggestions about what to place in your cart and ways to have a more successful shopping experience.
Jackie Chisholm RDN, LDN, CDCES, NBC-HWC works for the Marion VA HCS.