Grocery Shopping Essentials

The ball has dropped and now it’s time to live out your New Year’s resolutions.

Three of the most common resolutions each year are to eat better, lose weight, and save money. The number one way to achieve all of these goals is to go grocery shopping with a plan. No more wandering the aisles and throwing in whatever looks good at the moment; be strategic about your purchases and you will see a difference in your mind, body, and wallet. Download our list of grocery shopping essentials so you don’t forget a thing! 

Produce

The produce section is a great place to start your grocery haul because you can get ingredients for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks all in one place! Dietitians recommend to “eat the rainbow” and consume a variety of fruits and vegetables for increased vitamins and nutrients. Maximize your spend by purchasing items you can enjoy in multiple ways. Here are some of our favorites:

Meat & Poultry

Meat is a high-quality source of protein, iron, and B vitamins. Be careful not to eat too much, though—the American Heart Association recommends eating red meat once a week and fatty fish twice a week. One serving of protein is equal to the size of a deck of cards; chicken and turkey are very lean protein sources. 

Dairy & More

Whether you eat dairy or are dairy-free, the refrigerated food aisles at the grocery store are important sources of calcium and protein. 

Frozen Food

The frozen section gets a bad reputation but it’s better than fast food when you’re in a time crunch! Frozen fruits and vegetables are equally as nutritious as fresh produce because they are picked at their peak time of ripeness—a great choice for a busy lifestyle. 

Packaged Food

A good rule of thumb is to keep the majority of your grocery shopping to the outskirts of the store—produce, meat, dairy—and only shop the aisles when necessary. Here are a few staples to have in your pantry:

Apps

We’re talking about mobile apps, not appetizers! ibotta is a smartphone app that helps you save money at popular retailers. Simply select which store you’re shopping at and a list of cash back offers will appear. Add them to your cart, take a picture of your receipt, and you’ll get cash back when you redeem. Once your account reaches $20 in cash back you can withdraw cash to PayPal or Venmo! It’s a great way to get money back for products you are actually purchasing. 

A successful grocery shopping trip is the first key to success but it doesn’t stop there. Schedule a meal prep and planning session each week so you are prepared and don’t have to scramble for meals (no pun intended).