Food Shopping 101: Creating a List
There you are, sitting in your car with the engine already off. You scribble items on the back of an old receipt. Milk, eggs, cereal and something for dinner. You get out of the car and head into the store to brave the after-work rush.
How many times have you pulled this move? Sure, you brought a list into the store, but did it really help you any? Chances are you didn’t even make it home before remembering something else you wanted to get, which means that you’ll be back within two or three days to try again.
Grocery shopping like this is bad for your medical weight loss efforts and your wallet. Without an organized plan of attack you are setting yourself up to impulsively purchase things you would otherwise never buy, and to spend a lot more money than you intended.
Here are five tips to create and follow a good list:
- Set shopping days: A list is only helpful when you plan your shopping trips around them. Set a day of the week you are going to the store and make a list that will carry your household between trips.
- Keep a running list: Instead of relying on your memory in the parking lot, create a running list in between shopping days. A great way to do this is with a dry erase board in the kitchen. When you realize you need an ingredient, make a note.
- Think of meals, not items: Start with breakfast, consider lunches and plan out dinners. Write down all the ingredients you’ll need for each meal.
- Plan snacks ahead of time: Impulsively buying snacks leads to trouble. You know your body and you know your family’s eating habits. Be prepared with healthy snacks that will stop mid-week junk food purchases.
- Organize your list by aisle: If you are constantly darting back and forth across the store your shopping trip will become overwhelming. List the produce you’ll need, followed by meats and dairy products. Clump like items together so you can follow your list more easily.
A healthy diet starts with healthy shopping. Filling your home with nutrient-dense whole foods will give you a head start in maintaining a healthy diet, and will help your whole family eat healthier as you follow your medical weight loss program.