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How to Grocery Shop Like an Expert

Does grocery shopping feel like an overwhelming chore to you? With the endless aisles, shelves, and different brands of the same food, how do you navigate a supermarket? How can you make sure you’re making the healthiest choice? In this post, we are going to teach you how to grocery shop like a dietitian in just 5 easy steps!

1. Plan your meals and go with a grocery list

We recommend grocery shopping around once a week, and always do it with a list! Write down what meals you will be having throughout the week, as well as what snacks you will need. Click here to download our FREE weekly meal planning template! Once you’ve generated your weekly meal plan, do a quick review of what you already have in stock to determine what you actually need to buy. If you’re feeling extra keen, you can also peruse the store’s special offers to see if anything you need may be on sale! From there, create your grocery list and make sure you take it to the grocery store with you. This list will give you direction and purpose while you are grocery shopping to make your shopping more efficient and minimize time spent wandering the aisles wondering what you need.

2. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store

As you may have noticed, the perimeter of the grocery store is normally where the whole, unprocessed foods are, such as: vegetables, fruit, dairy products (and alternatives), as well as meat/fish/poultry. As much as you can, avoid going into the aisles as this is where the highly processed food choices are kept. When you consult the grocery list you made in step #1, you may need to venture into these aisles for foods such as legumes, nuts/seeds, crackers, spices, herbs, etc. however you will only need to venture down a few aisles and you can stay focused on your goal - healthy eating!

3. Choose whole, unprocessed foods most often

Choosing unprocessed, whole foods is always going to be the healthier choice over processed or refined foods because whole foods don’t have anything added to them (like fat, sugar, salt) or stripped away from them (like fibre, vitamins, and minerals). For example, choose to make your own pasta sauce or soup rather than buying the premade products. When you use whole foods in your cooking at home, you can prepare and cook them with much less added fat, sugar, and salt. As in step #2, you’ll find these foods primarily in the perimeter of the grocery store.

4. Compare food choices by comparing their labels