Tuesday, April 16, 2019

5 Tips For Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget

Do you ever have the best intentions to eat healthily and find yourself still eating junk?! 

Grocery shopping is usually when healthy eating all falls down because you; buy the wrong foods, forget a critical ingredient to a healthy meal so end up ordering Uber eats, buy seemingly healthy snacks that turn out to be terrible for you and a whole other host of grocery store mishaps that affect your best intentions for healthy eating.

So there is no doubt that it is an integral part of your weekly routine to take the time to plan out your meals properly, write an all-inclusive grocery list and go out to source the right ingredients for your diet that week. In a world trying to make us fat and marketing messages that skew our perception on what health is, I have pulled together a few quick tips that make healthy grocery shopping easy!

1. Learn Labels 
It is a sad reality that you can not trust how a product is marketed to you! High fibre cereals are also laden with high fructose corn syrup; low fat yoghurt has higher levels of sugar, lean cuisines are full of preservatives and 'low-calorie' snacks full of cancer-causing aspartame. So always check out the back of the label before you buy a product and compare it to other items around it to find the healthiest choice. Which brings me to my next point...

2. Make the Right Decisions 
The brown rice is right next to the white rice. Just like nuts and seeds are sometimes within the chip aisle. All it takes is making the right choice between two alternatives to make significant changes within seemingly small decisions. To ensure this, preparation is key! Each week go onto Pinterest and pick out which healthy recipes you want to try, write down all of the ingredients you need and stick to only what is on that list.

3. Avoid Pre-Packaged Food 

For the most part, the easiest way to ensure you are eating healthy when it comes to buying groceries is spending the majority of time in the deli and veggie section while avoiding all the packaged food. My partner and I go as far as only going to the butcher and farmers markets for food then picking up other little things from Coles or Woolworths like coffee, dog food and cleaning supplies. Not only do you end up eating A LOT healthier when you are focussing primarily on your proteins and vegetables but you also end up saving a heap of money. Shopping at the fruit market is usually substantially cheaper than buying fresh produce at Coles, not to mention the quality of the crop is generally a lot better.

4. Quality over Quantity 
When it comes to shopping, go for quality over quantity. What this looks like is; - choosing smaller but better cuts of meat over larger yet lower quality cuts.
- using full-fat creams instead of low fat yet higher sugar alternatives, yet giving yourself a smaller portion.
- buy fresh produce from a farmers market or local fresh produce store so that your veggies are fresher and full of more nutrients.
- add in nuts and seeds to every dish to increase nutritional value, so you need to eat less but feel fuller for longer.

5. Junk Free Zones 

Make your home a junk free zone, which is incredibly easy to do if you are already staying away from pre-packaged foods as per the above previous recommendation. If you only have nuts, grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables and meat in the house you are guaranteed only to eat healthily. By bringing chips or chocolate into the home, however many times you tell yourself you're only going to eat it sparingly will inevitably see you fall off the fitness bandwagon. So avoid bringing pre-packaged food into the house, and you have already won half the battle.

When you are going grocery shopping, make a list (based on your well-prepared meal plan) and stick to what you have planned to buy. Spend most of the time in the fresh produce and meat aisles, avoiding all the endless rows of packaged food. 

Those are my biggest tips for healthy grocery shopping to ensure you eat healthier and save money in the process. I hope that you have found these helpful and can see that small achievable changes have big results.


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