Grocery Shop Smart

by Natalie Sidun

Have a Game Plan!
Planning meal ideas for the week while making a grocery list helps to organize your thoughts and have a game plan when you get to the store.

Having a set list of items gives you purpose and keeps you from aimlessly grabbing items that look good in the moment. A list will keep you on track and help to make conscious choices.

Don’t Go Hungry
The biggest mistake you can make is going food shopping on an empty stomach because the entire store will end up in your cart (from personal experience). Being satiated allows you to focus on making healthful choices without being influenced by a growling stomach. This also gives you the energy to shop and carry all those tasty groceries home.

In the Grocery Store.. Now What?
Check out the bulk section. This can save money and help to make more nutritious decisions.1 Items available in bulk are nutrient-dense foods packed with vitamins and minerals. Some examples of bulk items include dried beans, legumes, brown rice, lentil pastas, nuts, seeds, oats, etc. This could inspire you to try some new items and save you some cash.

Fresh and Frozen and Canned! OH MY!
Check out the frozen aisle! The nutrient content of frozen vegetables and fruits is as good and sometimes even better than that of fresh produce.2

Frozen goods are picked at the peak of ripeness and flash frozen retaining almost all of the nutrient content,3 not to mention these products last longer and are cheaper when bought in larger amounts or at sale times.

It is recommended to stay away from canned and pickled vegetables because a lot of these products contain high sodium content.4


Just remember, have a plan, eat before, look out for that hidden sodium and above all, have fun!



  1. Tane S. Everything You Need to Know About Shopping the Bulk Bins at Whole Foods. Cooking Light. Published September 19, 2016. Accessed April 28, 2019.
  2. Brown M. Fresh vs Frozen Fruit and Vegetables — Which Are Healthier?. Healthline. Published 2017. Accessed April 28, 2019.
  3. Harris C, Zois S, Holt M, Constantinou C, Policastro P. “Fruit or Foe: Assessing the College-Aged Populations’ Perceptions on Fresh, Frozen, and CannedFruit”…2017 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, 2017, Chicago, IL, 21-24 October 2017. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. 2017;117:A50. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2017.06.140.
  4. About The Buzz: Canned Foods Are Too High in Sodium and Should Be Avoided? – Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Published 2019. Accessed April 28, 2019.
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