When adopting a healthy lifestyle, stocking your fridge and pantry with wholesome, nourishing foods is the best place to start. These tips for healthy grocery shopping will help to get you started.
1. Think SLOW food.
That stands for Seasonal - Locally grown - Organic (if possible) - Whole (un-refined) foods. These are the foods that serve your families health best.
2. Shop at your local farmer’s market.
This is where you’ll find the best quality, in season fresh produce. Best of all you can often try before you buy and this is a great way to get kids interested in and trying new foods.
3. If shopping at the supermarket, spend most of your time on the periphery.
That is, the majority of your produce should come from the outer isles - fresh fruit and veggies, meat, and toiletries.
4. Get to know your butcher.
Make sure the meat you buy is organic or 100% grass fed and finished, this is the healthiest choice. Avoid feedlot or grain-fed meat. Also, don’t overlook cheaper cuts of meat which are often the tastiest and most nourishing.
5. Shop with a list and never when you are hungry.
Stick to what’s on the list and avoid impulse buys that you will later regret. This is easier achieved on a full stomach! If you find this tough, perhaps consider online shopping.
6. Shop additive smart.
Avoid foods with a lengthy ingredient list. If you don’t recognise an ingredient, chances are, nor will your body. Real food doesn’t have ingredients - real food IS ingredients.
7. Buy in bulk and stock up on sale items.
Ordering dry goods like nuts, seeds and gluten-free flours in bulk is a great way to save money on these often expensive items. It is a lot cheaper than buying packet by packet at the supermarket (often organic bulk foods are even cheaper than non-organic supermarket packets).
8. Include as much variety in your shopping as possible.
Variety increases the amount of nourishment you derive from your diet and reduces the risk of developing intolerance. Try a range of wheat-free grains and seeds in your diet such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and chia. Perhaps consider swapping cows milk for goat’s milk which is more nourishing and more easily digestible.
9. Develop a shopping system.
For example, a once a week trip to the farmers market, once a fortnight for the supermarket and once a month bulk nut/seed/flour order. This saves time, money and sanity!
10. Get your kids involved in shopping.
Even toddlers can help out with shopping for food and doing so will educate them about food and motivate them to try new foods. Choose age appropriate tasks like picking the biggest potatoes or counting how many apples go into the bag and have fun with it. You may be surprised how less stressful shopping toddlers is when they’re involved in the process.
Lastly, only buy what you want to eat - If you keep mostly whole foods in your home, then that’s what you’ll eat.
About the author: Georgia Harding
Georgia Harding is the heart, soul and mind behind Well Nourished, a blog which has evolved from a lifelong love of creating meals from delicious, whole foods, along with many years in clinical practice and lecturing. Georgia is a Naturopath, freestyle cook, mother of two divine children and wife to a fine food loving husband.