Supermarket Sweep: tips for stress-free, healthy shopping

The supermarket can be a daunting place when you’re trying to eat well; wall to ceiling shelves of processed foods, enticing offers and multi-buy deals. However with a few easy to follow tips and a bit of willpower you can navigate the supermarket with ease and come away with a trolley full of healthy foods, without spending over the odds.

1) Plan your meals


Planning is key when visiting the supermarket. Otherwise it’s far too easy to be tempted by whatever’s on offer, leaving you with a trolley full of snacks and nothing of any substance. Take some time out the day you’re going shopping to have a look through your cupboards, assess what you need, what meals you’re going to eat for the week and write your shopping list accordingly.

While this may seem like a bit of a chore, you’re much more likely to stick to a healthy diet if you’ve only brought the things you need and don’t have any temptation in the house.

2) Shop online


If you really hate food shopping and/or are sticking to a strict budget, shopping online can be a great solution as you can shop around and take your time. All leading supermarkets display their offers clearly and you can easily keep track of how much you’re spending. Many offer cheaper or free delivery at certain times, so you can shop from the comfort of your own home without even spending any more than you would have.

3) Don’t shop hungry!


Many of us have to do the food shopping after a long day at work, when you’re generally tired and hungry. Try to eat a healthy snack or meal before you go so you’re not as tempted by those half price biscuits and crisps!

4) Stick to the supermarket perimeters


Generally, the healthiest/freshest food in supermarkets is around the edges. That’s your fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, fish and delicatessen foods that form the foundations of a healthy diet. While you may need to venture in to some of the aisles for store cupboard staples like grains, tinned veg, pulses, nuts and seeds, try to resist the lure of the snack food aisles.

5) Check the dates


This is particularly crucial for all your fresh foods that you may not get chance to eat before they go off. Ignore best before dates and instead go by the Use By dates that indicate when a food will go off. Often if you look to the products at the back/ bottom of the display, they will have a longer shelf life. Of course you can sometimes bag a bargain when products have reached their shelf life – perfect for last minute meals or if possible, freezing to eat at a later date.

Do you plan your meals before you go food shopping? What are your top shopping tips?

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