The grocery store can seem like a maze sometimes, especially once you get outside the perimeters into the aisles with the processed foods. If you’re like me and find the advice to stick only to the perimeter of the market unrealistic for your lifestyle, then follow the 10 tips I follow to be a mindful shopper:
- Plan your meals and make your shopping list before you go to the grocery store. Planning your trip beforehand will help you stay on track and not go over budget. A cool app for this is the Paprika Recipe Manager App, which lets you enter your own recipes, plan your meals, and make a shopping list.
- Become familiar with food labels. There’s no better way to become a smart shopper than to become aware of what’s in your food and understand what the food label means. In general, it’s best to skip the marketing messages on the front of packaged foods and go straight for the nutrition label and ingredients list. Need help understanding what the food label means? Take along your Smartphone and use the Fooducate app to scan a food’s barcode and better understand whether the food is a good choice
- When choosing fruits and vegetables, know which types to buy organic and which are safe to buy conventionally grown. According the Environmental Working Group, you should buy the organic options of the “Dirty Dozen” – these are fruits and vegetables with the highest concentrations of pesticides, such as apples and strawberries – and feel free to buy the conventionally-grown version of the “Clean Fifteen,” which includes bananas. There is also a free phone app here to help you while you’re grocery shopping.
- When in the pasta and bread aisles, choose 100% whole grains. Note that “multigrain”is not the same as “whole grain.” Choose items with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient.