Since the holidays are now over and the New Year has kicked into full swing, one of the most common goals is making better food choices and eating more healthy. As a busy mom, however, I understand that sometimes convenience outweighs smart choices and that’s how we can get sucked back into those bad habits. Believe me, I know first hand.
No matter what your goal is, whether you plan on cooking more at home, eating more salads or just avoiding the drive through altogether - I’m here to help. I’ve compiled a short list of tips to help you continue to make good choices for yourself and your family without breaking the bank.
- Write a shopping list. If you know what you are going shopping for, you are less likely to make impulsive purchases. Plan ahead, clip coupons and check the sales ads for your favorite stores. Write down the prices of your favorite items and comparison shop. I typically shop at least three stores a week to get the best deals. Tip: only do your grocery shopping when you’ve already eaten!
- Stay on the outer aisles. Have you noticed that most grocery stores have all their fresh fruit, produce, bulk items and generally healthier stuff on the outer regions of the store layout. If you go down the aisles that’s where most of the processed foods that are boxed or canned are found. Try to stick to the outer circle for the majority of your trip, only going down the aisles for the necessary items on your list. Some folks shop by going up and down each aisle, but that is also how impulse buys happen.
- Find local Farmer’s Markets. In a few months the local farmer’s markets will be opening up, take advantage of some fresh local produce while also getting to know your local farmers. You’re likely to score some excellent deals while making it a learning experience for your kids.
- Stick to your budget. When I shop I usually allocate a certain dollar amount for groceries, and I’ll only bring that amount in cash. I use my calculator on my phone and add each item while shopping and sticking to my list. If I come up under budget, then I’ll grab a few extra items I may decide on purchasing. This is always a guarantee to not overspend and you really get to know your prices on all products.