There are many approaches to grocery shopping. Some shop based upon the coupons they have clipped that week, some plan ahead with a list, and some shop by the seat of their pants. However, there are ways to shop that will not only save money, but will increase the health of your family as well. Here are seven tips:
1. Plan meals one week in advance. Planning organizes your kitchen and saves money. It enables you to clip coupons for the week ahead and to plan for healthy meals.
2. Always have a list. Being prepared helps you avoid spontaneous buys (which really add to the bottom line). It also helps you focus on the healthy choices, rather than the hugely promoted “junk foods”.
3. Shop in the outskirts of the store. The healthy whole food products are located around the perimeter.
4. Buy organic. Certified organic produce is guaranteed not to have pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or use ionizing radiation.
5. Avoid processed foods. Anything that is canned, packaged, or wrapped is a processed food and as far as the FDA is concerned, the package label can be “anything goes”. First, there is no requirement on revealing if genetically modified organisms (GMO) are in the food. Second, there are no standardized serving sizes and many companies will use a serving size so small that any attempt to calculate actually calories consumed can become a daunting task. And thirdly, things such as trans – fats may not make the nutrition label at all, if the amount present in the serving size falls under the minimum FDA requirements.
6. Avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO). The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has stated that “GM foods pose a serious health risk.” There has been very little research on the dangers of GM foods in humans, but animal studies have shown smaller brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy or increased density of the liver, odd shaped nuclei, and other anomalies in animals consuming GM foods.
7. Read labels for “at risk” ingredients. 90% of corn, soybeans, canola, and cottonseed is genetically modified. If the nutritional label contains these items, it is a safe bet the food contains genetically modified ingredients.
Use these tips to save money, shop healthy, and shop wise!