You all know the scene: you finish your grocery shopping, go through the check out line, lift your gaze to see your total amount, and come to find out that you have spent three times more than what you were expecting too.
While you have some say in how much you purchase, larger groceries stores are actually scientifically designed to increase consumer spending- in fact they have perfected it. Everything from product placement, advertisements, and shelf space to lighting, temperature, and music are crafted to maximize time spent shopping, as well as spending.
To help outsmart the system here is a list of 10 simple things you can do when grocery shopping:
- Prior to embarking on your trip to the grocery store, make a grocery list of everything you will need for the next few days and STICK to that list! Straying means extra spending on things you don’t necessarily need.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Stores are designed to fill the aisles with the more processed items while the staple items (eggs, milk, produce, meat, and bread) are on the outskirts.
- it is no coincidence that you have to walk through aisles containing cereals, snacks, candy, and frozen meals to get to the milk or eggs
- Bring cash only. While this is a pain in the butt it holds you accountable to only purchase needed items
- COUPONS. My mom taught me the value of a good coupon early on. Stores such as Shop rite, Stop and Shop, and Stew Leonard’s have coupon booklets that come in the weekend papers or have them accessible at the front of their store. It highlights sales, as well as offers coupons on food, hygiene products, and drink items.
- Bring the reusable bags with you! Stores such as Trader Joe’s allow you to enter a raffle for discounted groceries when you bring their store bag with you to shop.
- Sign up for the store savings card that gives you discounts on foods throughout the store. You can even attach it to your keys so you never forget it!
- Plus on your receipt it shows you how much money you have saved throughout the year. Time to give yourself a pat on the back!
- Get in and get out. The less time you spend in the store, the less you buy. Strolling through the aisles leads to unnecessary purchasing
- Eat before you shop. Shopping hungry leads you to buy more because your mind is fixated on eating the foods you are looking at.
- Look at the price tag. Apples for $1.00/ pound? Seems like a score, however the weight of those apples add up quickly leading to a higher price than anticipated.
- Use the self-scanners. Stop and Shop has a self-scanning tool that you can bring with you during your shopping trip. You can scan the items while you shop and keep a running tally on how much you are spending before you get to the checkout line.
Who doesn’t love french fries. The warm, crispy, and satisfying taste of this popular side dish has won over the hearts of people all over the world. However, french fries are high in fat, calories, and sodium. Diets high in these three things increase your risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity-related problems.
A healthy alternative to this fan favorite are zucchini fries. Zucchini is low in calories and high in vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals. Zucchini can be eaten both cooked and raw and is a great addition to many meals! Opting for zucchini fries versus the standard potato french fries will give your body the antioxidants it needs to help fight off free radicals, while limiting your fat, sodium, and caloric intake.
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free breadcrumbs work just as well)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
- Cut the zucchini into 1/2 – inch sticks [approximately the size of a tube of lipstick]
- Place the zucchini sticks into a mixing bowl
- Add the greek yogurt and panko crumbs into the bowl
- Toss the mixture until the zucchini is coated thoroughly
- Season with salt and pepper
- Place the coated zucchini sticks onto a greased baking sheet
- Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, until sticks are nicely browned
I want to start off this post by thanking my beautiful friend Linda. She recommended this recipe to me and it’s amazing! so i thank you 🙂
The watermelon radish. While this Chinese root vegetable may look bland on the outside, it is the vibrant interior colors that give this food item its trademark name. Not only is the watermelon radish, formally known as the Red Meat Radish, bursting with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. This vegetable is made up of 90% water and only has 17 calories per cup! What an amazing snack or side salad idea! Fall is the best time to purchase watermelon radishes, so get them before the season ends! This quick, no-cook, healthy salad dish can be prepared and enjoyed anywhere, so give it a try and tell me what you think.
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 watermelon radishes
- 2 oranges
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Place the minced shallot, white balsamic vinegar, and salt into a small bowl and set aside
- Cut off one end of each of the radishes. Thinly, and carefully, slice the radishes with a sharp knife and place in a large bowl
- Season the sliced radishes with a pinch of salt
- Cut off the two ends of the oranges.
- Squeeze the juice from the orange ends onto the salted radishes
- Take the remainder of the orange, remove the peel, and divide into slices
- Place the orange slices into the large bowl with the radishes
- Scatter the walnuts, goat cheese, and shallot mixture into the large bowl
- Add the extra virgin olive oil on last
- Let the meal sit for approximately 5 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people Calories: 250 Serving Size: 1 Cup
- Due to the high acidity content of this recipe it is advised you pair this meal with whatever whole grain starch alternative that you wish.
- [Sourdough toast with mashed avocado and red pepper flakes is a great option]
- If you don’t enjoy the taste of goat cheese pair this meal with feta cheese instead!
Since the first day of autumn is right around the corner I can’t think of a better time to introduce my sweet twist on this classic dish. This hearty, warm, and flavorful meal is the perfect pick-me-up to counteract the bite that is starting to appear in the air. Two of the leading ingredients in this recipe offer an abundance of vitamins and minerals. The sweet potatoes in the chili offer vitamins A, B6 and C, magnesium and potassium, while the beans are a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. This meal can be served immediately or frozen into separate servings to have throughout the week!
- 2 sweet potatoes, cut into squares
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 can of low sodium chickpeas, drained
- 1 can of low sodium kidney beans, drained
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1-2 tablespoons chili powder [dependent on your tolerance for spice]
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the olive oil and sweet potatoes into a large pot over medium-high heat until potatoes are softened
- Add the onions and peppers into the pot and stir continuously until soft
- Once vegetables are soft, add the remaining ingredients into the pot and boil (Feel free to play around with the amount of spices to make the chili more to your liking)
- Once the contents of the pot begin to boil turn heat down to simmer and cover
- Simmer for 20 minutes until the chili appears thicker in texture
- Serve and enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6-7 people Calories: 410
- Cornbread muffins are always a good side, just be aware of the size of the muffin
- Steamed broccoli is always a great side to pair with chili; steam 2 cups of broccoli florets in water until bright green and soft in texture; drain then serve
- If you would like additional protein, ground turkey is a great lean protein source. Just cook in a side pan with pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil until the turkey is 80% cooked (when you see very little pink) and then add it into the pot with the chili ingredients
This healthy dinner option combines a mix of flavors into a one-of-a-kind meal for under 400 calories. It is easy to make with limited ingredients, preparation, and dishes to wash!
Salmon, a powerful food known to promote eye and heart health, as well as cognition and memory, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, protein, vitamin b6, vitamin d, and vitamin b12.
- 1 pound salmon
- 3/4 c vegetable broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 pineapple, diced into large squares
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farhenheit
- Place the salmon into a greased baking dish
- Pour the vegetable broth over the salmon and lightly season with salt and pepper
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes; the salmon should be a light pink inside and will flake easily with a fork
- While salmon is baking, mix together the lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, sugar, diced pineapple, diced tomatoes, and the basil into a bowl and store in the fridge until time to serve
- Once salmon is done baking, take out of the oven and discard the vegetable broth
- Place the salmon back into the baking dish to be served
- Serving size: 4 ounces of salmon with 1/4 cup of pineapple salsa
- Optional Sides:
- Cook 1 cup of brown rice, made with 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water until absorbed
- Steam 1 cup of mini carrots with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon until soft
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 people Calories: 350