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grocery shopping

Studies show that the longer you are in a grocery store the more money you are going to spend. Also, without an organized shopping list it’s very easy to purchase foods that might not be the best choice. Therefore, these tips will not only help you save time and money but will also make sure your cart is full of wholesome choices.

  1.   Keep a master list

The master list is the list of foods you buy every week: milk, bread, eggs, etc. It’s not a bad idea to keep this list saved to your phone or have copy in your glove compartment, so in case there’s a week where you don’t have time to add to this list at least you will have a guide for the basics that you need.

  1.   Have a running list of items you ran out of this week

You may want to consider keeping a list on your refrigerator for items that you have run out of or are about to run out of. These would be items that you don’t buy on a weekly basis and therefore would not be on the master list. Items like this could be food (examples, raisins or oatmeal) or household items (examples, mouthwash or soap). It’s best to add to this list as soon as you notice you are running low on something- that way when it’s time to make your grocery list you are not trying to remember everything you need.

  1.   Make sure you have all the ingredients you need for your meals

It’s always a good idea to read through the recipes you plan on using for the week, to make sure you have all the ingredients you need when it comes time to cook.

  1.   Scan for coupons and buy in season produce

See if any of the foods you are purchasing this week on are sale OR build your meals around sale items. Maybe pasta sauce and eggplant are on sale this week- perfect for eggplant parmesan!

You can also build your meals and snacks around in season produce. In season produce is not only cheaper it usually tastes better as well! Here is a list of in season produce:http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season

  1.   Organize your list by department

Now that you know all of the items that you need, it’s time to organize your list! For example, if the produce department is the first section you walk into, the first foods on your list should be fruits and vegetables. If the next department is meat/fish you should have whichever proteins you are buying listed next. Keeping foods organized by department helps reduce the amount of time you spend navigating the store. While organizing your list, make sure most of the foods are coming from the departments on the perimeter of the store. These foods tend to be healthier, whereas the foods located in the aisles of the store tend to be heavily processed.

  1.   Always stick to your list and never shop on an empty stomach

The whole point of making a shopping list is to make sure you are shopping efficiently- deviating from the list is counterproductive! An easy way to go off your list is by shopping hungry. All of a sudden those chocolate frosted donuts are looking pretty delicious and somehow end up in your chart even though they weren’t on your list!

Remember that the time you spend creating your grocery list is a good investment for your budget and more importantly your health!

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