Hey yo! I get a lot of questions about grocery shopping, so I figured I would share with you my top tips on how to navigate a grocery store, save money, and maximize (or minimize!) your time there.
Tip # 1: Choose your produce wisely and cost effectively.
Not everything has to be organic! That can get expensive, and with these crazy times, we need to find ways to save even in the smallest amounts. My general rule of thumb is that if you aren’t eating or using the skins (think bananas, avocados, lemons and limes, oranges, etc) then it is fine to purchase it conventionally. I like to stick buying organic for things like apples, grapes, berries, carrots…you get the gist. Over time, this can save you some serious coin, because the markup can be pretty significant.
Tip #2: Know what is organic and what is conventional.
Organic produce: Must have the number “9” in front of the 4-digit PLU (making it 5 digits)
Non-organic/conventional: Has a 4-digit PLU starting with the number 4.
Shoppers are always moving things around in the grocery store. Picking things up and dropping them back in the wrong place… Pay attention to that sticker that should be on every single produce item.
Tip #3: Buy local and seasonal.
So here is the deal with this. Buying fruits and vegetables out of season fresh is just going to be more expensive and most likely less nutritious. In this case if you want something that is typically out of season, you will want to buy it frozen. Freezing foods preserves nutrients and is cheaper.
As for buying local, it is always good to support your local farmers, but it will also give you the most nutritious food. The reason why is because as foods are picked, they begin to lose nutrients. The longer it takes to get to you, the less nutrients it will have.
Here is an example: there are apples from a neighboring state to you! Awesome! Once they are picked they only take a few hours or so to get to your market. Those same apples from another country (or far off state) take so much longer to get to your market (several days to a week or so). By that time, they are a little sad since they have been losing nutrients for days. Buy local. More nutrients for you, more sustainability for the planet!
Tip #4: Stick around the perimeter of the grocery store where most things are fresh.
This is key to healthy shopping. The items on the perimeter of the store are usually the things that are unaltered and/or have one ingredient. Fresh food is typically the healthiest! And when you do go to the middle of the store…
Tip #5: Read the ingredients, then the nutrition facts.
I really cannot stress this enough. So many people start with the nutrition facts (the part that shows you the fat, calories, protein, etc), and this is not the most important part. Something can easily be low fat, low calorie, low sodium, …but what are they putting in that item to make it palatable? Most likely more chemicals and junk. Also, just because something is labeled organic, gluten-free, vegan, healthy, all natural, no preservatives, no refined sugars etc. DOES NOT MEAN IT IS HEALTHY! These are all traps by the food industry. It is so important to know what the ingredients are and what they do in the food. Ya gerl is ranting a little, but I just really don’t want you to get played peeps! I truly care about your health 🙂
I’m thinking there is so much more that I want to share about food labels… anyone interested in that being my next post? Comment below!!