Have you despaired of finding “healthy” foods at your local grocery store? We don’t all live near health food stores, but you can still find foods that will nourish your body, and often at lower prices than those stores. Let’s talk about some healthy grocery shopping tips to make your trip to the store easier.
With a little practice, you can learn to navigate your local grocery store to find foods that will fuel your body and fit your lifestyle. Here is how you start….
The Shopping Tips
Shop the perimeter of your store. One of the foundations of fueling your body well is eating plenty of whole (unprocessed) foods. This includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats (organic and pasture-raised or wild-caught when possible). These foods are generally located around the perimeter of the grocery store. Avoid the aisles of processed snacks, boxed or canned meals and junk food in favor of fresh produce and meat and you will be nourishing your body, no matter where you shop.
Avoid the Dirty Dozen. Most grocery stores carry at least a small selection of organic vegetables and fruits. Though more expensive than conventionally-grown produce, organic has the benefit of avoiding the toxic pesticides that are so prominent in our food supply. If your budget doesn’t allow purchasing only organic produce, use the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list to guide you in putting your money where it gives the greatest benefit. The produce on the Dirty Dozen list carries the heaviest load of pesticide residue. It is a valuable guide!
Purchase cheaper cuts of organic or grass-fed meat. Chicken thighs or leg quarters, skirt steaks and organ meats are usually lower in price and you may be surprised to find they are generally more nutrient-dense, which gives you double value for your money.
Watch for sales and stock your freezer. Beyond regular sales, there may be discount opportunities to purchase in bulk and stock your freezer. Ask around for local farmers that may sell directly to the public. This way you will spend less per serving and have food on hand when dinner time rolls around.
Choose nutrient-dense foods to make the most of your food budget. Load up on inexpensive foods that add more nutrients for your dollar as another way to maximize your food budget. Kale is arguably the most healthful of leafy greens, containing vitamins C, A, K and B6, along with potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Grab a bag or bunch of organic kale (Dirty Dozen list) to boost the value of your smoothies, salads, soups and side dishes. Sweet potatoes are loaded with potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and vitamins C, B6 and A. They are full of fiber, making them an inexpensive way to feel satiated while maximizing your nutrition.
You support the efficient operation of your car by keeping the tires inflated, changing the oil and oil filter regularly, and using the right octane level of gas. Do the same for your body. Not with oil and gas, of course, but with protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, Shift your patterns, and change your habits to pursue improved wellness.
Oh, and if you live in the Slidell area, I can give you some tips for local sources of savings. Reach out to me! Leave a comment below.