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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Grocery Shopping Part 1

"You can't eat healthy food at home if you don't buy any"  ~Carly

If I want to keep making healthy eating choices, then I need to have healthy options around me from which to choose!  One of the quickest ways to sabotage my motivation and momentum is to blow off going to the grocery store, then foraging around for something "quick" and "easy" when I'm hungry.  I'll gravitate to cereal, ramen noodles, junk - or Dominos pizza or Chinese food delivery.

Conversely, when I have a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy snacks like string cheese, lowfat cottage cheese, organic yogurt or Kashi chewy granola bars (honey almond flax, trail mix, peanut butter), it is EASY to eat right.  It's all right there and ready for me.

Additionally, I have to think through meals well in advance.  I'm a single, working mom with a very active son.  That translates to days where I leave the house at 7:30 a.m. and don't return until 8:30 p.m.  Or I leave and come back for a 45 minute window before rushing back out for a basketball game or school activity.  If I don't plan, I need to think quickly in the moment and usually while hungry.  Not a great combination.

Instead, I am trying to think the day before:

  • "Where I am going to be tomorrow?"
  • "What activities does my son have on the agenda?"
  • "What's in the fridge or freezer and does it need to be taken out?"
  • "What time will I be eating?"
  • "What will I plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner?"
  • "Do I have healthy snacks handy at all locations?"
  • "Do I have enough veggies and fruits?"
  • "Am I planning for a healthy/essential oil?" (important to have every day!)
  • etc.

The more I do it, the more natural and less awkward it feels (the planning part.)  But the healthy grocery shopping part hasn't become second nature yet.  I need a routine.  I need to go maybe every Saturday morning to keep some structure to it.  And I need to grasp better what IS and what IS NOT healthy.  Read the labels, make notes, etc.

ColorNote Android App
I also need to for my own sanity keep a list of "staples" and as I run out, tick them off the list!  I found a great Android cell phone app called "ColorNote" which has a very simple interface for jotting down notes or creating shopping lists and as you buy the things it crosses them out.  Super handy and helpful. I also can use it for my to-do lists but I think I need to take some time and input all my staples in there.  Then at the grocery store I'll have some direction instead of walking around aimlessly trying to find what looks "good" at the moment!

I made this blog post Grocery Shopping Part 1.  I suspect this topic will get revisited a few times along the way - a lot of your success or failure can be predetermined at the grocery store!!!


  1. Rule of thumb buy items from the perimeter of the grocery store as much as possible. They will be the least processed choices. Of course, they are also the choices that tend to involve preparation!


  2. I'm not sure if this is helpful but I'll share anyways. Every weekend we do a grocery shopping trip, but before we go we plan out 7 meals, then go through the kitchen and make the list according to what we need for those 7 meals. Every day for lunch I bring leftovers from the night before.

    It's been a great routine for us and helps us stay focused at the store not to make impulse purchases, plus we never have to worry about what's for dinner, we just have to go to our meal list and check off what we haven't made yet.

    Sometimes we even prep on the weekends (chopping, browning, etc) so on nights when there's no time we can easily whip something up.

    We do most of our meal planning with I love this site because I can save recipes to my recipe box and save my modifications to recipes too.



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