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A happier, healthier you

11 Reasons to Shop With a Grocery List

by Yes Health

Planning your meals in advance each week is a great way to keep your nutrition on track. And what better way to stay organized than making a healthy shopping list? This easy exercise is pretty much guaranteed to save you time, money and even guilt (by avoiding those pesky impulse purchases).

Here are 11 reasons to shop with a grocery list:
  1. Writing things down helps to distinguish your needs from your wants. (In other words, it keeps you honest.) 
  2. You’re more likely to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store–where the real, whole foods live! Think vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, eggs and (in some cases) a bulk section with nuts, whole grains and legumes. You’ll also find full-fat, plain (unsweetened) dairy, real butter (bonus for grass-fed) and ghee, and maybe some probiotic-rich unsweetened kefir and raw sauerkraut too!
  3. It’s easy to get your kiddos involved. Dividing and conquering saves time and teaches them about making healthy food choices. 
  4. You can visualize your “healthy plate” while you shop. Veggies (frozen or fresh) should fill half the plate so definitely stock up! Next is fresh fruit and lean proteins (i.e. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, meat and fish), and finally, complex carbs (i.e. sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice).
  5. Buying enough to batch cook soups, stews and casseroles loaded with veggies and lean protein means having multiple easy meals to eat during the week and to freeze for later.
  6. It reminds you to keep healthy snacks on hand, like pre-boiled eggs (to save time) and nuts and seeds, which you can also add as toppings to soups, salads and oats.
  7. You’ll be forced to think ahead to what you can realistically make and eat in the upcoming week. Coach Elaine hates letting fresh produce go to waste, so she considers how much time she’ll have to cook (and her level of motivation) and plans accordingly. “If I know I’ll only have one night at home, I’ll buy ingredients for 1-2 dishes, make enough for leftovers and create the rest of my meals with items that are quick and easy to throw together,” she says.
  8. You’ll keep better track of the staples you have stocked in the freezer and pantry (vegetables, berries and easy protein sources like turkey burgers, frozen fish, canned beans and tuna) so you’ll always have healthy food at home.
  9. You’ll stay more mindful of your food choices and stick to your goals.
  10. Budgeting becomes easier and you’ll figure out which healthy conveninece items to splurge on, and which to skip. If you know the luxury of buying your veggies pre-cut increases the likelihood that you’ll eat them (rather than leaving them to wilt in the fridge), it might be worth the few extra bucks. Same with having pre-cooked meat on hand if it means you’ll eat more balanced meals throughout the week. 
  11. You’ll really get to know your eating habits and will be more quick to recognize when you’re in a rut and need to add some new foods to your list.

Next time you shop, use our list as a guide. (You can even print it out and take it with you!)

And here’s another healthy shopping list example from the American Diabetes Association.

 

 

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