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Grocery Shopping the Smart Way

Updated on August 29, 2013
Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell is a Holistic Health Practitioner and President of 911 Body ResQ, an online store providing organic and non-GMO, supplements.

About the Author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author of One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan, one of Amazon's Top Gluten-Free and Weight Loss Diets. (You may read more about Abby at the bottom of this article.)

Do you ever wander around your supermarket aimlessly? Forgetting what you need? Being distracted by the sights and smells?

Well, you can now get your grocery shopping done quickly and efficiently. Follow along as we discuss shopping tips that will help you become a pro shopper at your favorite local market. Then you'll be free to enjoy the things you love to do like cooking and eating.

Grocery shopping the smart way!
Grocery shopping the smart way! | Source

Grocery Shopping Tip #1 - Don't Get Emotional

The layout of your supermarket is designed to put you in a better mood. Why would they care? As long as you are in a good mood, you will want to stay in their store shopping longer.

Usually you'll hit the fresh produce and bakery when you first walk into the store. The sights and smells will surely get you moving more slowly. Those beautifully waxed apples are pretty, but those mouth-watering chocolate cakes are not only eye pleasing. They absolutely smell like heaven! By rousing your senses and emotions, you may even forget what you really are shopping for.

After all, who gets excited about broccoli, tomatoes, or raw chicken? Immediate gratification is a subliminal message sent by your local supermarket. After all, it is a business and there to please you to mostly profit themselves. Don't get sucked in! Shopping aimlessly only wastes your time. Besides, those chocolate cakes will not help you reach your health or fitness goals.

Instead, stay unemotional while you're shopping. After entering the store, walk quickly pass the fresh produce and especially the bakery. After getting what you need from the back and middle of the store first, end with produce.

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Grocery Shopping Tip #2 - Keep a Shopping List

There's nothing worse than running out the door and writing your grocery list on the way to the supermarket. You're sure to forget some things and have to make another run later in the day or week.

Instead of racing through your refrigerator and cupboards, keep a grocery list on your refrigerator so you can add as you notice what you need. Then you can just rip the shopping list off the pad and take it with you when you do head out to the supermarket. If you don't like to clutter your refrigerator lists, you can also use phone apps like Cozi or Out of Milk to keep your shopping list.

Grocery shopping the efficient way is a big accomplishment and saves you time.
Grocery shopping the efficient way is a big accomplishment and saves you time. | Source

Grocery Shopping Tip #3 - Buy in Bundle

Having a well-stocked kitchen ensures that you always have on hand the right fixings for any meal. Also, be sure to purchase plenty of grocery items that your family uses on a daily basis such as milk, orange juice, eggs, oatmeal, cereal, or bread.

You may also be tempted to purchase the smallest food packages so that you can just unwrap, cook, and eat quickly. That will only set you off running to the supermarket more often. Instead, buy large packages and repackage them into smaller sizes. Freezer bags can be handy, especially for bulk meats. When it's time, you just have to pull out one of those freezer bags already portioned out.

Grocery Shopping Tip #4 - Prep for the Week

You can speed up meal preparation by having food items ready to cook. When you get home from the grocery store, wash and chop your vegetables. Place chopped carrots, celery sticks, and onions in separate zip-lock bags. Portion out walnuts and almonds in snack bags. To save you even more time, you can buy prepped food at your supermarket's salad bar. Having some of your foods all ready to cook can save you time.

Check Out Abby's Book for Help!

One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan
One Size Does NOT Fit All Diet Plan | Source

Grocery Shopping Tip #5 - Buddy Up

To keep you accountable, as well as make it fun, buddy up with a friend when you go grocery shopping. You may even decide to do the food prep together or even exchange meals.

Also, have your spouse and kids help you do the shopping, put everything away, and prep foods. It will also help them to build healthy shopping habits.

Summary

Heeding to a few grocery shopping tips will save you so much time. However, it will also help you succeed with any health or fitness goals you may have. Being efficient is the key to staying on track. Just to summarize, the following shopping tips will keep you on that smooth trail:

  1. Don't get emotional.
  2. Keep an ongoing shopping list.
  3. Buy in bundle.
  4. Prep for the week.
  5. Buddy up.

Most of all, have fun shopping!

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Helping those who desire it!
Helping those who desire it! | Source

About the author

Abby Campbell, BSc, SFN, SSN, CPT, is a leading professional fitness and nutrition expert, researcher, and published author. For the past 10 years, she has coached thousands of women locally and online to lose body fat and lead healthy lifestyles. Her clients have lost thousands of pounds, reclaimed health, and call her “Coach No Gimmick.” She is from Northern Virginia but now resides near Charlotte, North Carolina. Abby has been married for 20 years and has three grown daughters, one of which is autistic. She is a 19 year cancer survivor.

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    • Abby Campbell profile image
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      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      LOL! That's wonderful that you are so frugal. It definitely helps when shopping. :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      No, No and NO, to your first 3 questions. Proud to say that I am and always have been, a careful, thoughtful & frugal shopper.....not only with food, but everything! My, what a good girl am I.....eh?? LOL..UP+++

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Mark. Buddying up is advice for those who do have a difficult time sticking to the task at hand. However, prepping, cooking, and sharing dishes with your buddy can be great fun. Or, even exchanging meals (especially if you're single) can be nice so that you have different meals throughout the week. ;)

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Sue. I am with you there! In fact, I am the exact same way. Eating before grocery shopping is very wise advice. Thank you. :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good morning, Kathryn! Frugal will definitely make one shop more wisely. Besides, you are already that, so I have no worries about you being tempted. ;) LOL. Have a wonderful day!

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you, Ms. Dora. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Hi Victoria! That's great about buying meats in jumbo as it usually saves money and time. As far as the tempting pre-packaged foods... well... we all have our moments. A little treat here and there doesn't hurt. It's when we overindulge that gets us into trouble. Have a wonderful weekend! :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      So true, Chitrangada! Indulgence every so often is a nice treat. It's when we "over" indulge that gets us into trouble. A prepped list always helps. It keeps our minds focused on the task at hand rather than the temptations surrounding us. Have a wonderful day! :-)

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Thank you for commenting, freecamingaussie! And, YES! I am also amazed at what I see in others' shopping carts when I go shopping. Two of my teen daughters also work for a local grocery store and they tell me funny stories about how people shop... especially men! LOL.

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      LOL, Suzie! I know what you mean. If I take my husband with me shopping, certain "not so healthy things" magically appear in my cart. Great idea on prepping your foods to save you time. I also do the same. In fact, I'm really looking forward to doing some of that this weekend. Have a good weekend, Suzie! :-)

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 4 years ago from Italy

      I know some of the tips but to buddy up is not my ordinary shopping. I like this idea. I need to bring friends with me. Thanks and voted up!

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I'm fine if I shop when I've just eaten. If I go to the supermarket hungry I buy far too many things that I don't have time to eat before they go out of date.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby, actually, I think it will be easier for me to be "good" when I shop, I just mean that I will have to be careful about how much money I spend. I will need to be very frugal, while still shopping for healthy food.

      I agree, it's often tempting to indulge in food temptations when others are around!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Voted Up and Useful! Very good tips and reminders for those who already live by them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Good hub! I do keep on ongoing list on my fridge. I can't imagine NOT doing that. I'd be lost. I buy meats in jumbo to get them cheaper; I freeze them in portions. I'm not always good at avoiding those tempting packaged, processed foods, though! :-)

      Thanks for the tips!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A very interesting hub!

      Your tips are very useful. Most of us do feel tempted to buy things, which we do not require, at the supermarket. It is a good idea to prepare a list and follow it, while going for shopping. Easier said than done, many times we do indulge in unnecessary shopping, in spite of being systematic and thoughtful.

      Thanks for the interesting and useful tips! Voted up!

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      I enjoyed this as I worked in a supermarket for a year and was amazed at how many came in for one item and bought a basket Load of junk food . Voting you up.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Abby,

      Ah shopping I have come to be pretty shopping savvy and smart (I think!) the past few years when cost and budget have come into play more than ever. I go prepared with a list of foodie stuff and a "beauty list" possibles see what is on special and have a budget for both lists! I often prepare up meals for freezing for the week to try keep me free for writing and general stuff but as I love spending time in my new country kitchen since moving to my partners, it is no hardship. Thanks for all the tips which really make sense and work as long as partners don't come too and have the tendency to drop things in the cart they spy! LOL

      Voted up, useful, interesting, shared!!

    • Abby Campbell profile image
      Author

      Abby Campbell 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good evening, Kathryn. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It's funny that you say that you will have to be more disciplined when you are alone. I think I would be the opposite in that I'd be more disciplined if I were alone. My husband and kids can really tempt me into some wild treats. LOL. Also, thank you for sharing. :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I plan my grocery trips out pretty well, but pretty soon (when I'm alone) I'll have to be more disciplined. I like your tips!

      I love the idea of prepping food. I do it to an extent. I like to buy the large packs of chicken, and separate it into bags, just enough in each for one meal.

      Voted up, and sharing here and on social networks.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

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