Mastering Grocery Shopping

There are two types of grocery shoppers, those that could spend all day there and those that can’t get out of there soon enough. It’s like grocery shopping is a chore for some and a treat for others. Regardless of which category you fall into, it’s important to have a strategy when it comes to grocery shopping.


Next time you’re in the supermarket I want you to pay attention to one thing. What types of food do you find in the middle aisles compared to the outer aisles? If your supermarket is like most others, you’ll have the fresh produce right when you walk in, followed by meats and dairy on the outside and maybe some household goods as you make a complete circle. That’s the outer perimeter, and it’s pretty typical no matter what store you go to.


What I want you to pay attention to is those inner aisles. What you’ll find there is likely the vast majority of the processed foods. The ones that you know are bad for you, but tend to find yourself browsing down each visit. It’s easy to give into temptation when it’s staring back at you. What harm could one box of honeybuns cause? Before you know it, your shopping cart is full of items that you know are bad for you, but they look so damn good, right?


To master grocery shopping, particularly healthy shopping, you need to take on a few strategies for your next shopping trip. First, never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to put tons of crap in your shopping cart. Make sure to get a good meal in your stomach before you go shopping. This way you’re less likely to make heat of the moment decisions based on what your stomach is telling you.


Second, stick to the outer perimeter as much as possible. Unless you know there’s a particular item you need down one of the aisles, stay away from there. That’s where the majority of the temptation and junk food lies. Stick with the outside and it’s much harder to find yourself in the checkout line with a ton of crap that you know isn’t good for you.


Finally, prepare a list before you go. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll only buy the items on your list. This will save you from split second decisions to add junk food and it will save you money on your bill. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be as hard as some people make it out to be. You just have to have a game plan in place before you embark on your shopping trip.


Jon Griffith specializes in optimizing performance for firefighters & police. Jon is a personal trainer, firefighter, and former U.S. Army infantryman. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and 3 cats.

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