How To Be A Smart And Healthy Shopper

Posted on April 30, 2010. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Today I went grocery shopping. I did a lot right, but also some things wrong. I hope this post to be a reminder to both you and me for the ways of healthy shopping. *And if you never read my post on how to save at Whole Foods, here it is.

Do: How far is the store? I walked to my Whole Foods today, which is 1.2 miles away. If a store is nice and close, you can and should enjoy the walk for activity. Even if it’s not close, you might be able to get there through an alternative method like public transportation, especially if you live in a city. All this can be better for you and the environment.





Do: Have a mental list. I knew exactly what groceries I wanted.

Do: Shop where the healthy groceries are. Is trail mix and cereals your weakness? Don’t go to that section of the store. Keep yourself surrounded by fresh vegetables and that’s all you’ll have the chance to put in to your cart.

Don’t: Shop while you’re hungry. Not only can it lead to impulse buys, but those often won’t be the healthiest choices. If you do find yourself in this situation, do buy some fresh fruit and eat it as a snack while shopping.

Don’t: Go to the cashier without having your coupons ready. I did this and ended up not using any because I felt so disorganized. I still got all the benefits of store sales, but I could have saved at least an extra dollar or two if I had coupons ready.

Reusable Shopping Bag

Reusable Shopping Bag

Do: Bring reusable shopping bags. They both save waste from the environment and many stores these days will offer discounts to shoppers who use them.

Don’t: Forget to give your grocery bag to the bagger.

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Don’t: Buy things without having a plan for them. I’ve been dying to try daiya soy-free, dairy-free vegan cheese. But I honestly have no clue how or when I’ll use it. I have no GF pizza crust, not tomato sauce, nothing my Italian side would know what to do with. I’m determined to eat it now that I have it, but I wish I had planned better.

Rice Whip

Rice Whip

Do: Look for the least processed items that fit your lifestyle. Ideally, I would love to buy local cream and whip it myself; that’s just not happening in a dorm room. The two options the store had was Non-fat, sugar-free 365 brand whipped cream or Rice Whip(they were out of regular whipped cream). The ingredient list of the Rice Whip was simpler and more recognizable, so I chose that.

Do: Pick your proteins right. I always make a point to buy hormone and nitrate-free poultry, as well as grass-fed beef. It’s slightly more expensive but it has less saturated fat and more omega-3’s, which to me is worth the extra money.

Are you a smart and healthy shopper? What are your tips and tricks? Share in the comments! And here’s a teaser from my eats today; happy Friday Sundae to me!

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae

Soy-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Sundae


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15 Responses to “How To Be A Smart And Healthy Shopper”

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Hi Evan! This is my first time reading your blog but a totally appropriate post for me to drop in on! I was just thinking about this today when I was walking home from grocery shopping. Since I live in NYC, I have several local grocery and health food stores within walking distance (half a mile or less), I tend not to go to larger chain stores for my grocery needs because I don’t drive. Walking creates a situation where I have to be smart about what I buy because I do have to carry it home! I can usually carry about three bags of groceries at a time, and therefore I avoid most packaged foods that can get really heavy in favor of tons of fresh fruits and veggies. I also like to check out the reduced produce section in the front by the cashier’s stations. Today I picked up four bell peppers for $1.30 – I know I’ll eat them in a few days and I got them for loads cheaper than the “newer” stuff! I try to set a cost goal for myself before I go, as well as have an idea of what I want so I don’t wander aimlessly and fill my basket up with a load of stuff I don’t need.

Great post, thanks for the tips!

That Sundae is making me want to quit my job and immediately go to re-create it. hahaha

I am the biggest coupon-er in the world! (sadly I’m in my early twenties and it’s gotten to me already). I just cross my fingers that no one I know sees me checking out and handing the cashier a million clippings!

Great tips! I tend to follow all of those 🙂

I ALWAYS forget to hand the bagger my reusable bag. I’m super bad with that. I also feel awkward when I go to Trader Joe’s and my bag is from Market of Choice.

I find that looking at the circulars before and making a list REALLY helps!

I’m ready to come to Providence to have a soy free dairy free sundae with you!

Should’ve signed up for the marathon Sunday! Haha, we all get free beers when we finish; you could have had mine 😉

Mmm, that sundae looks delicious! I have been wanting to try that rice whip, but I am too cheap to shell out over 5 bucks for it. You could always make a grilled cheese with the Daiya if you can’t think of anything! Be careful though, I have heard it spoils quickly if you don’t use it within a few days of opening.

The rice whip–don’t do it. I’ll blog about it tomorrow, but blech. It tasted REALLY fake. If only I had gluten-free bread! Maybe grilled cheese oatmeal? I’ve already opened and tasted the daiya and it’s AMAZING. I might resort to just eating it straight.

All great tips! I’d love to know what you think of the Daiya once you try it.

great sundae! and i echo your thoughts on carob 100%…fine but will never replace chocolate!

smart shopper = take your child to WF’s around lunch time and let her have all the free samples they’re sampling and leave the store with my 1 jar of veganaise and she just ate $15 worth of free sample high organic raw vegan expensive food that was new to her and I didnt have to make or buy it. That’s smart shopping for ya LOL

Cheese- savory oats, on beef/chicken, in your beef burgers, on crackers,chips (nachos- gluten free kind), cheese/avocado dip, in a gluten free read stick/loaf etc. endless possibilities!!! Have a great weekend!

OH!!! you can make a 7 layer type dip! Chickpeas, guag, cheese, or why not just melt it on hashbrowns??? I grew up with that. You use cold boiled potatoes, grate them on a frying pan with a little big of oil, salt/pepper and add grated cheese on top. Heat until cheese melts and is all gooey/crispy on edges! Now I am hungry!!!

i’m right there with you on the coupon thing. if i don’t have them ready, i get fluffed up and forget to use them.

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