Are the little snack cakes calling your name at the end of the aisle? Is there a hole in your wallet after you buy all the “healthy” foods? Grocery shopping can be a headache especially if you are trying to stick with your diet and stay within budget. Gas prices continually rising just adds to the problem, subsequently increasing food prices. This makes shopping for those healthy foods that much more difficult. Here are a few grocery shopping tips to help save money while sticking to your diet.
Make a List.
First, pick a day to do all your shopping. Sit down, compile your recipes and create a menu for that week. Make a list coinciding with your planned menus and stick to that list when shopping. This allows for less impulse purchases racking up your bill and helps you stay on track throughout the week. Also, clip coupons from the newspaper and coupon websites to help you save even more.
Choose fruits and vegetables that are in-season. Not only will they be fresh, but they are also less expensive. For the spring season choose asparagus, spinach and berries.
Beware of Product Placement.
Do not give in to sales at the ends of the aisles. Most of the time they are processed, calorie-dense foods. If you do see a real deal, assess if it is something you truly need, otherwise stick to your list! Also, beware of samples for promotional products. One sample turns into two, which turns into three, which turns into a whole meal.
Make Your Own Snack Packs.
100 calorie packs are a great way to control portion sizes, however they can put a real damper on your grocery bill. Instead, buy snack size Ziploc bags and create your own snack packs with fresh veggies, fruits and nuts.
Eat Before You Shop.
It is extremely important to fuel up before you hit the grocery store. This allows you to focus and choose the healthier, inexpensive food items rather than the nutrient-poor, calorie-rich impulse purchases. Having a full stomach also prevents you from devouring the tempting samples at the end of every aisle.
Meat can be very costly, so why not go vegetarian at least once a week? Buy whole grains and seasonal produce to create a delicious meatless entrée.