Today I’m going to teach you how to grocery shop. Sounds silly, right? But honestly, until very, very recently, the grocery store was completely overwhelming to me, leaving me defeated, off plan, buying lots of things I didn’t need, and not enough of the things I do need. I flat out just didn’t know how to grocery shop.
To be successful in eating healthy, meal planning, and staying on track, knowing your way around the grocery store is absolutely essential. During my own transformation journey, I’ve learned a thing or two about the supermarket that have made all the difference, and today I’m sharing my secrets with you! Without further adieu, my top tricks + tips to making the most of your grocery buying experience!
First Step Is Preparing Your Grocery List
The easiest way to shop is to keep it simple. I focus on snagging foods that make up my daily macronutrients—carbs, fats, and protein. I’m a creature of habit, and I generally buy the same 2-3 proteins, 4-5 carbs, and 2-4 fats. You’ll be able to prep a variety of different yummy meals with these same items since they mix and match so easily based on your macro needs. For recipes and meal ideas, I use The Transform App.
I’ll be talking more about this in later posts, but to shop right, you absolutely NEED to have a list in hand. Wandering around the store hoping to just stumble across things you need will only land you with a cart of crap you didn’t need to begin with. Learn from my mistake!
Quick Tips for Grocery Store Success
My number one tip for going to the grocery store?! DON’T! This has been an absolute game-changer for me. Instead of risking throwing something in my cart that just “sounds good” or walking aisles on an empty stomach, I plan my meals for the week, make a specific list of needs, then hop online and only order exactly what I need for the week. Our local store does charge about $5 for this service, but since we switched to this method, we have actually saved HUNDREDS of dollars because we are no longer buying random snacks, treats, and other things, we just plain don’t need. This is my favorite tip to fatten up your wallet while slimming down your waistline. And here’s a bonus: With all the time you’ll save not wandering around the grocery store, you’ll have extra time to fit in a killer work out. I call that a win-win-win!
Swing by the bulk bin section
This is a great place to find grains, snacks, and nuts in big barrels. Every item has its own scoop, letting you scoop out exactly what you need and nothing more. Buying in bulk means you’re not spending money on food you and your family might not eat, and it’s a great tip for keeping your budget and transformation goals aligned and on track!
Pick up pre-cut and ready-to-prepare fresh veggies
These are great for all of us busy people! Sometimes you can’t avoid the chopping that goes into your meal prep, but when you can find some of those items ready to go straight from the container, it will help make your life just a little bit easier. I am all about convenience and simplicity, so having pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies is well worth the increased price tag that comes with it for the Powell Pack.
Meats packed in bulk will save you money
I know I just mentioned bulk, but I wanted to emphasize bulk meat packs because they’re typically lower in price and can be split up for two or more different meals when you buy them this way. Sprouts is a great place to get meat, some of which is sourced locally, much of which is organic, and most of the time at a lower price. Chris and I will usually buy our meat in bulk and then cook it all up and split it between various meals throughout the week. So while it may seem like a lot while you’re purchasing it, trust me—those selections will go far for you and your family during the week.
Let them do the work
Next to ordering online, this has been the biggest life-changing revelation for Chris and me when it comes to grocery shopping. Guys, did you know that at many stores, the meat department will actually grill your meat for you while you shop?! All you have to do is ask! While making a specific request can be uncomfortable, this is one that is definitely worth your time and effort. At our store, we pick out the chicken or steak we want, let the meat department know how we want it prepared (lightly seasoned, no added oils), and they get to grilling while we finish our shopping! It’s AMAZING, and it takes our meal prep game to a whole new level.
Try buying produce that is in season
Buying produce that’s in season is fresher with a higher nutritional value, it tastes better, and it’s ultimately cheaper. For a list of what produce is in season and when, go here.
Hunger is the enemy of good decisions
Say it with me now, “DO NOT GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY!” Sorry for shouting at you guys, but this is a non-negotiable! Going to the store hungry is what lands you right in those chips and cookie aisles that you normally wouldn’t even think twice about when you shop on a full stomach. In fact, just run by those aisles! Don’t even go down them if you struggle with junk food temptations because you can’t eat something you don’t have, right? But don’t spend too much time worrying either.
When picking out items such as peanut butter, salsa, beef jerky, protein bars, cottage cheese, yogurt, canned beans, etc., I suggest you look for items that fit your macronutrient needs first (how much protein, carbs, and fat per serving). Second, look for items that are on sale. There are usually at least one or two brands on sale each week.
Guys, if there’s anything I can teach you to put you on the right path to complete transformation (body + mind), it’s the importance of being prepared. Having the right techniques when attacking the grocery store is absolutely part of being completely prepared… it’s been vital in my own transformation!
What tips + tricks do you have for supermarket success? What helps you stay on track while shopping? I am always on the hunt for new helpful ideas!