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What Does Shop The Perimeter Mean? Perimeter Shopping Keeps You Healthy

Updated on May 28, 2015
Perimeter Shopping  - How to navigate a supermarket
Perimeter Shopping - How to navigate a supermarket

Perimeter Shopping

Ever heard of perimeter shopping? The next time you visit your local supermarket or grocery store, pay close attention to it’s layout.

Do you know how to navigate a supermarket to ensure the best health food hits your shopping trolley? Did you know that by shopping around the perimeter of the store, you can enjoy far greater health and nutrient rich foods and effectively be on the 'perimeter shopping diet' without even knowing it?

In addition, follow some key steps and you will not fall victim to the tricks and marketing cons of the big supermarkets and grocery stores around the world.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and Vegetables

Perimeter Shopping Diet

Think about it.

Visualise your supermarket.

Around the perimeter of each and every supermarket or grocery store we see:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Wholegrain foods and nuts
  • Milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Poultry, Meat and Fish
  • Eggs

Supermarkets and grocery stores are designed to trick us. There is no doubt about that. It is all advertising. The majority of what we buy we had no intention of ever buying. This is cleverly manipulative behaviour encouraged by supermarkets.

How many times have you headed to the store for a couple of products and returned home with many 'unnecessary' items?

At the end of the day, supermarkets and grocery stores make money from the sale of goods. The more we buy the better it is for them. The store layouts, and strategic advertising and markering is all designed to get us to buy more and therefore eat more food.

Shelf Layout

Take a look at the manner in which food is positioned on a shelf and you will see the sneaky tricks employed to get us (and the little children in our lives) to buy.

Highest Shelves: Often the gourmet items or not so common brands

Middle Shelves: Your eye level. The perfect position for the leading brands and best sellers

Lower Shelves: Perfect for little hands of our children

Supermarket Store Layout

Everything about a supermarket and grocery store is designed to stimulate shopping. Everything from the music they play to the layout of the products.

We all know about the strategic position of the lollies, candy, chocolates and magazines don't we? All located in arms reach at the checkouts. There are some ‘lolly-free’ checkouts but they are rare.

When we head to the supermarket to buy milk and bread, have you realised that they are in different locations even though they are some of the most common staples people buy. This is strategic. This means you need to by-pass other non-essential items to get what you need.

If you are not strong enough you will fall victim to their tricks.

Navigate the perimeter only and you will be 'safe'.

Supermarket aisles

The aisles are not all bad. You can purchase fanstatic canned products which always come in handy for last minute dinner creations. Canned beans or canned tomatoes for example.

Don’t forget the condiments. Spices, herbs and mustards are a great way to add a special touch to a meal.

Even cinnamon, a once thought of dessert condiment goes well with savoury foods too.

If you have a sweet tooth, opt for dark chocolate as a snack. The health benefits dark chocolate offers over the alternatives are incredible.

If it is oil you are after, buy macadamia nut oil. It is full of monounsaturated fats. Actually it has more than any other known oil and has higher smoke point than olive oil which means no trans fatty acid formation whilst you cook.

How to visit the supermarket or grocery store with success

1. Navigate the perimeter of the store

Fresh, healthier foods. Less of the sugary, processed, fat-laiden produce. Fill your trolley, basket or bag with seasonal fruits and vegetables. If apples are in season, buy apples. If berries or melons are in season, buy them. Typically their prices will be more favourable not to mention their flavour. Stock up on plenty of colourful vegetables (the rainbow of colours). You can always make nutritional juices from your fruits and vegetables also so don’t be afraid to stock up.

2. Plan Ahead

Planning is essential (where possible). Plan weekly meals and therefore all of the the required ingredients. This allows for a speedier shop and a cheaper shop as items can be purchased in bulk if they are to be used in multiple meals.

Gather coupons, discount vouchers and browse the weekly specials in catalogues to save extra money.

3. Shopping list

Prepare a shopping list. Sounds simple enough, however there is a way to make a shopping list work for you. Organise you shopping list into categories, or areas within the supermarket. Even better if you can organize it strategically as per the store layout. If your store entry point is at the fruits and vegetables, then they are first on your list…and so forth.

Without a shopping list and a plan of attack, you will end up running around the store from one end to the other and passing the 'naughty aisles' all too often.

4. Shop full

In other words, do not shop on an empty stomach.

Nothing is worse than being hungry and heading to the supermarket. Everything in sight you grab to eat. Everything and anything.

If you do not have time to eat, try to grab a piece of fruit, like an apple before you go, or have a drink of water with you and sip it (vapur bottles are brilliant for this – keeps hands free!) This will help keep the tummy grumbling to a minimum.

Best Before and Use By Dates

Regardless of where you shop or how you shop, an understanding of key date markings on food products is paramount. Here is your guide to the most commonly used dates.

Typically we visit a supermarket or grocery store weekly and for some people more often. Next time you visit, take a mental note of the location of the healthy food options. Walk around the perimeter of the store and consciously look at the fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and dairy products on offer, all the whilst glancing up the aisles to see all of the 'other' foods.

Navigating the perimeter of the supermarket or grocery store has never been easier.

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©

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