8 Supermarket Shopping Tips That Support Healthier Eating

Supermarket shopping, particularly over the weekend, can be quite a challenge if you’ve already subscribed to the healthy eating movement. There are always plenty of free samples being handed out, and who can miss all the new food products on display to entice weekend shoppers?

You need to have a resolve made of steel to resist all those temptations, which is probably why a growing number of folks these days prefer a food delivery service instead.

If you still choose to go to the supermarket to shop for your daily needs but want to emerge from that trip as healthy as you came in (and only with the items that are good for you), here are eight shopping tips to help you out.

1.     Create your menu for the week.

A menu will provide “direction” for your shopping trip. It will help you narrow down the list of ingredients that you really have to buy.

2.     Know the exact items you want and need.

You probably think this tip is as simple as knowing the brand and size of the products you want, but the truth is that “knowing” involves so much more. Do conduct a background check on the items you’re considering to buy and establish why they need to be a specific brand, size, and price.

Having this background info will help you stick to the items that are truly beneficial to you. Most of the time, it’s so easy to deviate from the list because of the countless options available. However, if you have more details about the items that you have chosen to purchase, you’ll be less inclined to consider “recommended” alternatives.

3.     Eat first before shopping.

This is very important because being properly nourished for the task will allow you to go about it very efficiently. You’ll be less likely to yield to the lure of the free samples and decision-making will be easier.

It’s worth noting too that when you’re full while shopping, you’ll prevent your mind from wandering off toward treats (such as the latest TV dinners or the meal boxes that you can eat at home once you’re done with the groceries) that are not included in your shopping list.

4.     Only buy what you need.

Avoid buying more than necessary. Determine the exact amount of food products that your menu recipes need. You want to make sure that you’re sticking to the right portions for serving in order to maintain your health. Buy only what you need and you can avoid overeating, prevent things from going bad (which is a high likelihood with fresh produce), and go way over your budget.

grocery shopping

5.     Find out the specific days when fresh stocks are delivered.

All you really have to do is ask, according to food distribution companies in the UAE. The freshest stocks of produce are always healthier and you want to be among those who get the first pick.

6.     Keep an eye out for items that you can buy in the future.

Just because you’re sticking to food products that your weekly menu needs doesn’t mean that you should avoid checking out other products. Keep an eye out for those produce and other food products that you can use for future menus.

Say, pumpkins are in season, but you don’t have a single pumpkin recipe in the weekly menu you’ve created; just make a note of those beautiful-looking pumpkins and the different seasonings available in the supermarket. When you have a note reminding you about those ingredients, you’ll be able to work them into your new weekly menu.

7.     Buy the ingredients that you always use for your meals in bulk.

These are usually oats, rice, beans, nuts, seeds, and spices. Healthy eating frequently includes these ingredients and they keep for a long time, so it’s completely fine to buy more of them when you head to the supermarket.

There’s also the side advantage of saving more money from buying these ingredients in bulk. Supermarkets usually offer a good deal for these; either they’re available at discounted prices, or you get a little extra for the standard retail price.

8.     Do include a “treat” on your shopping list.

One of the keys to successful healthy eating is the inclusion of treats. You never want to feel deprived even when you’re following a special diet to improve your health. Allow yourself something that you don’t necessarily need but would enjoy eating, like the special gluten-free brownie mix.

Being successful with eating healthy is all about working with or implementing the right tactics. Hopefully, these smart supermarket-shopping tips help you not only in making healthy eating easier, but also in saving you money and time.

Hisham Aljamil

Managing Director, Bidvest Middle East Hisham's corporate career started in the UAE in late 1988; he worked for firms such as R.J. Reynolds, Danone Group, and Richemont Group across several countries in the GCC. He climbed up the ladder in roles and responsibilities to manage regions and businesses in the Middle East. In 2003, after 15 years of business experience, he took a leap of faith towards starting up something on his own. At almost 10 years in, the business has grown to cover 3 major markets with a turnover exceeding US$60 million. Hisham's vision is to continue his regional expansion to the rest of the Middle East markets.

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