Grocery shopping – unfortunately there’s no avoiding it; and I know many working friends would rather do anything but!  It can of course be time consuming, and time is something you absolutely don’t have; it can be particularly expensive here in Singapore, but there are ways to cut some costs, so read on.

Here are a few tips to so that you can quickly squeeze your weekly shopping in between leaving the office and heading home. You, of course, want to know how to make healthier choices for your family snacks and meals, and you want to make your overall shopping experience is a little more pleasant. You might even start to enjoy your weekly grocery trip!

1. Plan

Maintain a shopping list on your smart phone – one list for general items you use regularly, another for items you like to stock, but don’t need to buy so often. I’m sure, like me, many times you head to the grocery store for a specific item, only to return home with many items apart from the one you set out to buy – and probably the one item you were looking forward to putting in your working lunch box the next day!

If you like to plan your family meals, or try a new recipe every week, then of course take this into account and add to your list.

Do refer to my earlier article, Nutrition 101, for guidelines on the healthiest items to purchase

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


2. Don’t Shop When Hungry

All food, including unhealthier fare, is more appealing when you are hungry – so you’re more likely to make unwise choices.  Therefore it is better to shop after you have eaten, or perhaps have a healthy snack prior to setting off. If you’re squeezing a quick shop in after work, then just make sure to have a healthy snack before you leave the office.

Additionally, when hungry after a long working day, you might be tempted to snack on something while walking around the aisles – this is usually from a packet (and therefore not healthy) so it can be scanned when you reach the cashier – don’t know if he or she would appreciate being handed an apple core to add to the bill J

3. Stick To The Perimeter

This is where fresh and refrigerated produce is stocked; with the inner aisles containing mostly processed and packaged food.  So in order to get home quickly, stick mainly to the perimeter as much as possible.

4. Read those Labels

Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest volume, so avoid items that have refined sugar or vegetable oil listed first. Food additives (sometimes shown as an E number) are lightest in volume, so do scan right down the ingredient list, to avoid the ones that you or your kids might be sensitive to.

A general rule is to avoid packages that have more than 5 items listed on the ingredient list, or names that you cannot pronounce.  This will save you reading time, so you get home to see the kids quicker after your long day.

5. Be Aware

Be aware of cunning marketing claims on the front of packets (‘no cholesterol’, ‘low-calorie’) as these are carefully worded to distract you from unhealthy ingredients in the product.  These are often the ingredients that zap you of energy – certainly the one’s to avoid so that you have a more productive day at the office, and the kids are more alert at school.

6. Be A Proactive Shopper

Avoid pesticides, added chemicals, GMO, food processes (e.g. refining, canning, irradiation) which basically turn healthy food into something you wish to avoid for your better health.  You’re a smart working gal, so do read up on the ones you and your family should avoid.

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 little benefit over their conventional counterpart. To help priorities, see my article Buying Organic.

8. Choose From A Rainbow Of Fresh Produce

Add a new item to try every week. Also experiment with a new fresh herb or spice so that you can change up the flavour of one of your regular dishes, without having to spend more time 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. Stocking these saves you having to dash to the store during your lunch break or after work, as you always have ‘fresh’ vegetables to hand.

On that note, when fruits and vegetables you enjoy are on offer or in season, buy in bulk and freeze at home for future use.

9. Use an Online Delivery Service
Grocery shopping can now be so 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.

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.

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:


Sign up to get your FREE Healthy Snacking Guide!

Here to help you snack healthier is Liza’s Healthy Snacking Guide! You might have one or two snacks a day so with the 50+ healthy snack ideas in this guide, it’s like you’re set for the whole month!


In this free guide, you will:

– understand what triggers mindless eating

– have positive, realistic action you can take right away

– have useful, practical nutrition tips

– have 50+ delicious healthy snack ideas

Your Healthy Snacking Guide will be sent to your inbox shortly. Thanks!

Pin It on Pinterest