My daughter likes to grocery shop with me. Actually, I think she just like the opportunity to be wheeled around a store that has an unbelievable amount of food all within arms-reach of her. In fact, if I am not careful, she has been known to toss a few “extras” into the cart without my noticing it.
So, it’s a good thing I always compare what’s in my cart with what’s on my list. Not only can I be certain that I will have the supplies I need for my week, but I generally save money by not purchasing items I haven’t specifically planned for. It wasn’t until I noticed what was in the shopping carts of other fellow shoppers that made me feel good about this decision.
The next time you go grocery shopping find someone shopping with a list and compare carts with someone who doesn’t have a list. You may be surprised to see foods that are higher in fats, salts, sugars and processed preservatives in the one without a list. Why? Well, it’s because the store knows these products are appealing, easily sold and provides them with a pretty profit because of their low wholesale cost.
Instead of falling prey to less-than-worthy foods, consider the following tips to arm yourself with a strategy that will do your family and your waistline some good.
- Walk past end-of-the-aisle displays or food samples - they're usually higher in fat.
- Beware of products at eye level. High-fat, high-profit items are often placed here to encourage impulse buying.
- Stick to the perimeter of the store. The outside aisles contain the healthiest items, such as breads, meats, dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Don't buy high-fat treats "for the kids." If you want to wander, do so without guilt.
- Check your supermarket for free nutrition pamphlets and services. Some grocery stores now have their own in-house nutrition expert.
Oh, there is one last thing. Don’t forget to take your grocery list! You’ll be glad you did. : )
As always – Live Your Life Well,
John Aaron Villarreal
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