Do you avoid the grocery store like it’s the plague? Or maybe you get that anxious feeling when it’s time to head into the supermarket! If so, you’re not alone. You probably wont be surprised to hear that a clean eating lifestyle requires some planning ahead, grocery shopping and commitment on all parties involved. It doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. As a matter of fact, grocery shopping is an important step in cultivating a healthy relationship with your food.
All food has an energy force, some (whole, fresh foods) more than others (processed food). By taking the time to examine and pick out the foods that you will be nourishing yourself naturally with, creates a healthy dynamic between you and the foods that will be giving you life!
Follow my 5 tips to help you whiz through the isles and then fly through checkout in under 30 minutes.
#1 Plan 3-4 Meals For Your Week
Pick 3-4 dinner recipes for the week and use these ingredients as the base for planning your weekly meals. By choosing 3-4 dinner recipes that are versatile, you are not putting pressure on yourself to make something different every single day.
Once the crux of your grocery list is set (see tip #2), add your weekly staples and you are ready to go! For instance, here are some weekly staples of mine:
- Salads: spinach, mixed greens, arugula, cucumber, sprouts, avocado, beets
- Smoothies: bananas, pineapple, mixed berries, dates, nut milk, nut butter and *superfoods (cacao nibs, bee pollen, camu camu powder, maca powder, chia seeds, coconut oil and hemp hearts). Check out The Anatomy of a Perfect Smoothie for more information on smoothie making & ingredients.
- Superfoods: I don’t buy superfoods on a weekly basis. I try to stock up every few weeks keeping in mind sales, as these can get pricey at times.
#2 Organize Your Grocery List
Organize your grocery list in a way that lumps all produce, bulk & dry goods and fridge & freezer into their own sections. This will shave off tons of time by keeping you from running back and forth through different grocery sections as you grab your ingredients.
Here is an example of a template I use and share with my clients to keep them focused and organized. Register below to download a free, printable template to use the next time you’re at the grocery store!
#3 Plan Your Grocery Shopping Window
Depending on your life responsibilities and work schedule, you may not always have the luxury of shopping when no one is at the grocery store. However, later evenings and early weekend mornings tend to be more quiet than midday on the weekend.
Carve out a chunk of time that allows you to make grocery shopping a weekly priority. Whatever you choose that fits best into your schedule, just make sure it’s after some sort of snack or meal. I think it’s safe to say that you know not to head to the grocery store hungry….salivation, distraction and lack of self control (especially with ALL that wonderful, colour food in site) will lead you to make impulsive decision.
#4 Keep Your Eye on the Prize!
A couple years ago, nutritionists came up with the philosophy that sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store is one of the safest ways to stay away from ‘junk and processed’ foods. Unfortunately, these times have changed,
The perimeter rule is now dead!
The supermarkets and food makers figured out that people were obeying the perimeter rule. So what do you think they did? They started infiltrating the once ‘safe space’ with foods that they promote as healthy. These include power bars, granola bars and breakfast bars. Essentially, adult candy bars!
That said, KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE! Stick to your grocery list and don’t be swayed by fancy marketing tricking you into buying things that you don’t need or temporarily want.
#5 Ch Ch Ch Checkout
This might be the most frustrating part of grocery shopping. If you’re lucky enough to have the flexibility to grocery shop during non peak hours, you will likely experience minimal line ups. Unfortunately, not all of us have that luxury. Regardless of when you shop, here are some tips on how to make checkout as efficient as possible.
- Leave your recyclable grocery bags in a section of the grocery cart that is easily accessible. Don’t throw it to the bottom and pile all your food on top (I used to do that). Your bags should be the first thing on the conveyer belt before any food to (1) let the cashier know you don’t need bags (2) to start packing those bags immediately as the food begins to scan.
- Make sure your fragile food is left to scan towards the end (eggs, berries, greens or anything that is not pre-packaged) to mitigate any squashing, breaking and squishing.
- Don’t be afraid of self checkout! There are usually supermarket reps around to help, take control of your shopping experience if checkout lineups are frustratingly long.
I’d love to hear your superhero supermarket strategies, share in the comments below! What else do you do to save time and make your grocery shopping experience pleasurable and efficient?