Simple Food Shopping Tips from a Personal Trainer

Do you remember years ago when your family would go food shopping every few weeks. Parents would stock up and when you ran out, you didn't have it until the next food shopping trip.  Soda was for special parties. Candy was for the movies. Snack for lunch would be an apple or small box of pretzel sticks. Did I date myself too badly? I am 43 and proud of it so I shall continue...

Now we are entering our mega superstores multiple times a week and filling our carts with brightly colored boxes. Fruit snacks, flaming chips and cookies with candy pieces have become common. Have you noticed pre-made box meals are in almost every isle. Kids have more snacks in their lunch box than food.

We tend to be a society where more is better and supermarkets are no exception.  Americans love a full cart. We feel good when we get home unpacking, kids faces are beaming.   Each time you go into the store, you face buying items you don't need but you had plenty of room in your cart. I know, you went in to buy milk for the house and chips for your child's class party but you just had to have that box of iced cinnamon rolls and  you know your spouse loves nutter butters so let me just pick that up. Stop going so often. Look around your house, make a list and stick to it. You don't really have the time to make a list? Sure you do, you just loosened up multiple hours a week by not shopping so often.  I just saved you money as well.

As a personal trainer, the best supermarket tip I provide is to shop the exterior of your store: Produce, deli, organics, meats, and dairy. Be smart in frozen. Avoid the interior as much as possible. Staying in these sections will help you meet all of your nutritional needs while being visually satisfying. I would rather have a snack of nuts with fresh cheese and apple slices instead of blue rubbery fruit snacks. Milk is in the back corner of stores for a reason,to get you to walk into an isle and buy more brightly colored boxes. Walk the exterior if you must stop in for milk.  

I hear people say eating healthy food is too expensive. Yes, sometiems I get sticker shock myself but lets take a quick look.  These prices come right from the supermarket.

doritos 10.5oz                             3.00                                  strawberries                      2.50
m&m candy cookies                 3.00                                   whipped cream                1.50 
skinny cow candy (really?)       3.50                                   apples(2.5 lbs)                 2.50
pizza rolls                                     3.00                                  cheddar cheese(8oz)      2.00 
chewy snack bars                      2.50                                  bagel chips from bakery  1.00                           
                                                     $15.00                               grapes (1lb)                       2.00
                                                                                                 yogurt (2)                            1.00   
                                                                                                 head of lettuce                   1.00                       
                                                                                                 turkey breast deli (1/4lb)  1.50


It is not more expensive. It is how you choose to prioritize your snack budget.
Second column looks pretty tasty to me and I hit every food group. 

The next time you go shopping, please keep this simple comparison in mind. Do not allow the supermarket to control your time or your food choices.  

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