The grocery store is where your healthy-eating journey begins, driven by your simple Meal Plan of course. Food shopping can be a mundane task, but it’s so important to start off your health journey steering your cart in the right direction!

I agree that it can be time-consuming, expensive and frustrating, let’s see how we can make our shopping experience more palatable 🙂

Here are a few tips to keep you, and your shopping cart, moving along productively…

1. Plan

Maintain a shopping list in a little notebook or on your smartphone – one list for general items you use regularly, another for items you like to stock, but don’t need to buy so often. If you’re like me, you often head to the grocery store for a specific item, only to return with many items apart from the one you set out to buy!

If you plan your meals or try a new recipe every week (I encourage both), then, of course, take this into account and add to your list.

I always make a list for the grocery store. Sometimes I even remember to take it with me!


2. Don’t Shop When Hungry

All food, especially unhealthier fare, is more appealing when you are hungry – so you’re more likely to make an unwise choice. Therefore, it is better to shop after you have eaten or enjoyed a healthy snack prior to setting off. 

When hungry, you might be tempted to snack on something while walking around the aisles – usually from a packet to show the evidence, and therefore not so healthy.

3. Stick To The Perimeter

Fresh and refrigerated produce is stocked around the perimeter, with the inner aisles containing mostly processed and packaged food. Therefore, for the most part skip the isles, especially when pressed for time.

4. Read Labels

Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest volume, therefore avoid items that have refined sugar, vegetable oils, or any other undesirables listed first.

As they are virtually weightless, food additives and other nasties are listed towards the end, so do scan right down the ingredient list, and be aware of ones to which you and family members might be sensitive.

 A general rule is to avoid packages that have more than 5 items listed or names that you cannot pronounce.

5. Be Aware

Be aware of cunning marketing claims on the front of packets (‘no cholesterol’, ‘low-calorie’, ‘sugar-free’) as these are carefully worded to distract you from unhealthier ingredients, or processes used, in getting the product on the shelf.

6. Be A Proactive Shopper

Avoid pesticides, chemicals, GMO, food processes (e.g. refining, canning, irradiation) which basically turn our healthy food into something you will wish to avoid for your better health.

7. Be Organically Aware

Organic produce can be more expensive. Be aware of the organic priorities for you and your family, as sometimes there is no benefit over their conventional counterpart. To help prioritise, see my article Buying Organic.

8. Choose From A Rainbow Of Fresh Produce

Add a new fresh produce item to try every week. Experiment with a new fresh herb or spice so that you get more creative in the kitchen.

 Frozen fruits and vegetables are also great to stock as they are often the best of the bunch picked to freeze, without additives or preservatives. On that note, when fruits and vegetables you enjoy or use often are on offer or in season, buy in bulk and freeze at home for future use.

9. Use an Online Delivery Service

Grocery shopping is now much easier as everything from fresh produce to frozen meats and fish can be ordered from the comfort of your personal device. Take advantage of organic and fresh produce boxes, as these items are specifically selected for freshness and variety. Plus, that surprise element of ‘I wonder what is in the box this week’ is always fun.
Here in Singapore, delivery charges are often waived, so you save on parking and travel costs, as well as time. Now, that’s never a bad thing!

10. Make It Fun

No matter how tedious a task, we should try and make it fun – phone a friend as you wander the aisles, listen to some new music, send the kids off on little errands around the store, or take the time to learn about new food offerings and how to read labels – all making your shopping experience more productive and entertaining; ok, at least a little bit 🙂

Liza Rowan

Holistic Nutritionist

When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys,  I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.

 You can follow me on one or more of the following channels:


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– understand what triggers mindless eating

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