We all have bad eating habits. Whether it is sneaking that extra coffee in the morning or munching out on fast food every so often, we all do it. Most of us feel guilty about it too. Here are a few tips and tricks to help alleviate the guilt by eating healthy meals most of the time. One of the easiest ways to eat healthy foods is having good grocery shopping practices.
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Don’t shop when you are hungry
Everyone knows you don’t shop when you’re hungry. Often people buy something pre-made and ready to eat simply because that is what appeals to them when they are hungry. Most of the time these choices are less healthy for you and more expensive as well. If you get into the habit of shopping at a specific time each week you will find this issue will vanish quickly.
Make an itemized grocery list
If you plan your meals (or at least dinners) for the entire week, shopping becomes very simple and you rarely splurge or go over budget. As well, you should have less impulse purchases. Knowing what you plan to eat for the week takes out the uncertainty and impulse shopping. It also ensures you throw away less spoiled food each week.
Stay away from the aisles
Most of the healthy foods are around the periphery of the store. Your fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy are almost always in these locations and are much better than most of the processed foods, snacks, sugars, additives, etc. on the shelves. They are usually less expensive as well. It will make you a better cook and will also be much more healthy for you.
Know your grocery store’s delivery schedules
If you want the freshest foods, find out when your regular store gets their deliveries and plan your shopping trips accordingly. You get fresher foods and better selections. A good local farmer’s market is also a very good choice for seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Leftovers for lunch
Yes, this will save you the most money and keep you healthier. Spending money on a fast-food lunch is both expensive and very bad for your body. In addition, many of you would have to go out, wait in line and then rush to eat in time to make it back to work. Poor eating habits like this can make it difficult to stay on track and be healthy.
Stick to it
We all have cravings and enjoy the ease of simply buying whatever we want pre-made. However, staying on track with your menu plans and good shopping habits does become easier over time, leaving you with more money in your pocket, more energy and better health.
Buy in bulk
If you get the opportunity, buy bulk foods and then portion them when you get home. This is a very effective way to make your shopping dollars last longer. Meats are are great example of saving money when you portion them before freezing. Using a vacuum sealer as well can reduce costs from spoiled or freezer burned meats.
Just following a few of these simple tricks will help you get on track to healthier eating and saving money. Once you get in the habit, you’ll find it easier every time and eventually it will become second nature. You will feel less guilty on those rare occasions when you go out for lunch or dinner, as they will become special events instead of a lack of alternatives.