Grocery Shop to Save Money and Calories

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Photo: Courtesy of xedos4

We all know that feeling when we open up the fridge at the
end of the week and stand with the door open, staring aimlessly into the vast,
empty appliance we depend on to supply us with food. Yes, it is that time of
the week again; time to go grocery shopping. Most of us dread stepping foot
into the crowded grocery store that may seem more like a maze as you squeeze
down isles looking for the slew of items you want to add to your jumbled cart.
Upon arriving in line to ring out, you search for the emptiest line but somehow
still have to wait longer than you wanted, and as the cashier rings up your
items you start doing math in you heard, frightened at how much you might be
spending. The whole thing is enough to make many people steer clear of any
grocery store and head towards the closest fast food place for a quick drive
thru meal. Grocery shopping however doesn’t have to be a hassle, you can save
money and improve your health by picking out the foods you eat and preparing
nutritious and low cost meals.

 While
watching the Today Show I
saw a segment about how to shop economically and nutritiously and learned some
great tips. First off, don’t go grocery shopping without making a list first.
Sit down and plan out your meals for the next week or two, flip through the
sale pages at what the best deals are and mark down what items you need and how
much. This will help prevent any impulse buying that may lead to unnecessary
purchases. Planning your meals also allows you to take advantage of eating
healthy. Instead of buying a sub and fries at the local sub shop, take 20-30
minutes to cook up a nutritious and delicious meal that can even be eaten the
rest of the week as leftovers. Another tip is to buy the store brands, they
often are just as nutritious and cost much less. Shop around the outside of the
store for the healthiest finds such as fresh produce, lean meats, and low fat
dairy. Avoid the inside isles where you find the majority of processed foods.
Surprisingly to me, I found out that the majority of people spend their money
buying beverages. Ditch the soda, juices and endless water bottles and invest
in a Brita and drink tap water. Don’t spend money buying expensive fruits and
vegetables that are out of season, frozen is often cheaper and has just as much
nutritional value. Finally, while buying individual servings and precut foods
may be easier, it is a lot more expensive. Take the few extra minutes to slice
up your veggies and sort snacks into individual sandwich bags without watching
your wallet shrink.

Hopefully
these tips can help ease your fear of grocery shopping and perhaps you may even
begin to love it once you see how much money and how many calories you can save
by ditching the drive thru and strolling the isles. Foods like rice, pasta,
chicken breast and ground meat that can be frozen are all great staple foods
that can last you a while and be used for many different meals. Check out
Eating Well’s Magazine article about Healthy-Budget
Friendly Recipes
that are under $3 per serving for some extra ideas! Good
luck!

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