Tips to Be Successful at the Grocery Store

Grocery shopping can be a huge burden to some and a big stressor to others.  We all lead busy lives, and it is hard to find time to not only go to the grocery store let alone cook a healthy meal for your family.  The grocery store has over 40,000 different products, so it can be a big time waster if you go through every aisle.  I am here to tell you can be in and out of the store and onto your normal life if you have a plan.

Here are six of my top tips on how to be successful and navigate a grocery store.

1.       Plan to go to the grocery store on an off time or off day.

Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days of the week for any grocery store.  If you don’t want to fight the crowds, I would recommend either going in the evening time or going to the grocery store on a different day that fits your schedule. 

2.       Go to the grocery store with a list.

You may have heard to never go to the grocery store hungry. Well, you should never go to the grocery store without a plan.  Take some time to plan what you need for the week and go to the store with a plan that you can put into action.  You will get through the store in less time and prevent yourself from buying unnecessary items.

3.       Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.

My best tip on how to navigate a grocery store is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  The perimeter of the store has most of the whole food options whether it is fruit, vegetables, seafood, meat, eggs, or dairy.  If we fill our baskets with the most nutrient dense whole foods, we leave less room for treats.

4.       Spend most of your time and money in the produce section.

Always start in the produce section.  You will want to pick the most vibrant fruits and vegetables.  That usually tells you what is in season.  It is also important to fill your basket with a variety of colors- red, yellow, green, orange, purple, and white.  Each color has a different nutrient, and it is important for us to have a variety of nutrients in our diet.

5.       Don’t skip the protein.

Make sure to pick out enough protein for the week in animal or vegetarian sources. You can buy enough to make it in bulk for the week. Grass fed beef, pastured chicken, wild caught fish, grass fed dairy, and cage free eggs are some of the best and most nutrient dense options if it is feasible for you.

6.       Save money and time by shopping in the bulk and frozen sections of the store.

You can save a lot of money by buying items in the bulk or frozen sections of the store.  You can buy nuts, seeds, grains, beans, and nut butter in their most natural and nutrient dense forms. It is also cheaper to buy these items in the bulk section.  Fruits and vegetables can be bought in the frozen section. If you buy fruits and vegetables in the frozen section, you know that they will last longer. Make sure to pick fruits and vegetables without added sugar or added sauce.

I hope these tips will help you navigate the grocery store! Let me know if you have any questions at Have a wonderful week!

Staci Tobolowsky, MCN, RD/LD