May 8, 2013
Go-to Grocery Guide

The grocery store can be intimidating! But most meal plans require some degree of grocery shopping to be sustainable. And you can make it easier to shop! Just keep these things in focus to more successfully navigate your store:

Shop the perimeter vs. aisles: what you have heard is (mostly) true. The foods you find around the outside of the store are what the bulk of most healthy meal plans are comprised of. Fruits, veggies, meats/proteins, dairy and starches. In other words, most foods in their whole and basic form. Always a good start with a balanced diet.

Exceptions to the perimeter: some whole-grain, high-fiber grains like cereal, tortillas, oats, etc., canned without salt beans and veggies, special dietary concerns (like gluten-free), some low-fat cheeses and yogurts plus a handful of frozen meats, veggies, fruits and sauces/dressings can be a part of a balanced diet and usually are found in the aisles. Processed foods tend to be in the aisles, so stay aware & always shop go in with a plan!


-  Go with a list… or at least some meal and snack ideas. A list can help you stay more focused on the foods you actually need for the week (vs. those that just look tempting). You can also maintain some flexibility for what's on sale by just planning meal types.

Meal planning and creating grocery lists can help you save time and money at the store, and keep tempting foods out of the house! A little more out of sight, a little more out of mind!


-  Don’t be scared of the bulk section! Especially if more of a natural, whole-foods-based meal plan is in your goals. Bulk sections tend to carry beans, lentils, grains such as rice or cereal, flours, nuts or seeds and more.

Bulk can save you money (less packaging, processing, advertising, etc. usually means less money to you the consumer) and additives. Example: unsalted and roasted almonds in bulk, vs. packaged roasted with salt and sugar added.


Try online, or supplement your shopping with some online purchases. Time can be a big hindrance to physically going to the store. Online does all the work of collecting and sending your food to you. There are even local and organic options in some cities!

Tip: buy the staples online. Most online grocers will save your previous shopping lists, so you can just ‘resubmit’ to stock up on the same foods you use on a regular basis


So remember, focus on the perimeter, having a list & a plan, exploring the bulk section and supplementing with online grocery shopping your staple items to shop healthfully and with more ease!

If you would like to learn more tips and what to look for while shopping in the grocery store make sure to check out our video by clicking here. 

Written by Erika Brown

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