“I just need to stop at the grocery store to grab a few things.” That’s what you said to yourself about an hour ago. Now you’re standing in an aisle stocked with chips, crisps, and dips and your shopping cart brimming full with them. You find yourself wondering, “how in the world did I get here?”.
According to consumer expert Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, supermarkets rely and encourage this type of behavior from us, the consumer. Below, I’ve listed my tips on how to get in and out of the supermarket with only what you NEED to buy…
Always Bring a List
Before you start writing your list, first check your fridge, freezer, pantry, and cupboards. Have an idea of the meals you want to cook that week and plan your list accordingly and do not buy items that are not on it. This should keep you from buying that 12 count box of donuts and that pint of ice cream. Having a list always keeps me on track and hopefully it will keep you on track as well.
Never Shop While Hungry
I’ve made this mistake more times than I can count. I have opened packets of chips and finished two or three long before I reach the checkout counter. I now know that I must NEVER shop on an empty stomach because of this. Even if it’s eating a quick snack in the car or having a full meal before setting out, I definitely put something in my stomach before I venture to the grocery store.
Read Nutrition Labels
ALWAYS check the servings size per container and the calories per serving. You may find that what you thought was a healthy snack really isn’t so healthy after all. Also, check for trans fats. I aim to buy products with either 0 or very little trans fats in them. Look for products with more protein than carbohydrates
Also good to note – the first few ingredients listed is what makes up the majority of whatever product you’re buying. So if the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, that’s probably not a good choice.
Know The Layout of The Store
This is easy enough if you shop at the same store every week. But even if you’re trying somewhere new, try walking through it first before you actually pick up any items. I’ve noticed that the outer aisles of most supermarkets have the healthiest and freshest products (ie. the produce section, dairy section). While the inner aisles hold the most processed packaged foods. Once you know your store’s layout you can avoid going into those aisles of temptation.