The more often you opt to make a healthy shopping list before you buy groceries, the easier it will be to eat properly and not only feel good but look good, too. There are a few problems with going grocery shopping without a list..
1. You won’t necessarily have enough food to get through the week (leaving openings for junk food / fast food nights).
2. You won’t necessarily have the right food for balanced meals.
3. You’ll probably do some impulse buying when you shop, resulting in unhealthy food choices and overspending.
Healthy Shopping List Preparation
Plan by the day. If you’re shopping for the next 7 days, make a meal plan first, covering the meals you’ll be having at home as well as meals you need to prepare for lunch for. Make the menu first, and then add items not already on hand to your healthy shopping list.
Use coupons and store flyers to help you save money. Shop based on ideas in the grocery advertisements for what’s on sale. Shop based on healthy foods that you enjoy, as well. This is more likely to keep you focused on the right foods at home. This will help you save money and looking at sale items may help you add more variety into your diet as well.
Plan for healthy snacks. If you are trying to avoid snacking and don’t buy any snacks at the grocery store, you might end up cheating and ordering take out or running to the local shop for nighttime snacks. Better to plan healthy shopping list snacks that you’ll enjoy and eat. Think fresh fruit, low cal snacks, and an occasional indulgence. Don’t try to swear off snacks and don’t try to swear off treats otherwise you’ll be less likely to stick to a healthy eating plan. If you buy low calorie but enjoyable healthy snacks, you’re less likely to feel deprived.
Stick to your healthy shopping list. Don’t fall victim to impulse buys. That’s why it’s a good idea to read the shopping flyer before you make your list. That way you won’t be tempted by unhealthy things that are on sale.
Consider your weekly schedule when you plan your healthy shopping list. If need be, choose one or two major cooking nights (or cook on a Sunday) for the majority of the meals during the week. That way you don’t wind up with a bunch of really ambitious meals to cook on busy weeknights when you have no time. Crockpot cooking, making double duty meals, and heating up leftovers from the extensive cooking nights really helps. Consider prepping a big salad every few days, for example, so that it’s ready for future meals (it often keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days).