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Speedy Shopping & Planning Tips

Speedy Shopping & Planning Tips

Running short on time?

Shortening your time in the grocery store and ensuring you have a complete stock of staple foods to draw from for healthy meals is easier than you think. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Incorporating fish into your diet is only limited by your imagination ­– visit our Recipes section!

Below are 4 steps to help you save time and improve your food choices when grocery shopping.

Step #1: Know the TOP Foods to Shop

If you are wondering what the best heart healthy items you should include in your grocery cart read on!

Fresh: Fill most of your cart with a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. Also go for fibre-rich whole grain breads, buns, pitas and wraps.

Fridge: Look for lower-fat dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, reduced-fat cheese as well as soy milk, eggs and tofu. Look for seafood, less-marbled fresh meats skinless poultry, and lean deli meats.

Freezer: Choose lean non-battered meat/fish/poultry; other great choices to boost your produce intake are frozen veggies/fruit.

Shelf: Look for high-fibre grains such as whole grain crackers, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, high-fibre breakfast cereals, and other great grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat and bulgur. Other shelf goods that are good choices are nuts, nut butter, dried fruit and unsweetened juices.

Canned: Stock up on canned tuna, salmon and sardines for boosting heart healthy omega-3 fats. Other good choices are canned stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned fruit and lower sodium veggies.

Step #2: Plan Your Meals

While planning breakfast and lunches are important, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is “what’s for supper this week?” This is because most families find supper the most challenging meal due to evening commitments and fatigue after a busy day. Before making a plan, be sure to think about personal time commitments (such as meetings, kids sports/music sessions etc.) so you can plan meals based on the time available.

At each meal consider choosing foods that have 3 things:

  • grain/starch such as pasta, rice, bread, cereal, or potatoes.
  • veggie and/or fruit such as fresh/frozen/dried fruit, raw veggies, salad, cooked veggies, or unsweetened juice.
  • source of protein such as canned fish, seafood, meat, poultry, nuts, dairy foods, tofu, or legumes.

To help get you organized, print this Weekly Meal Planner handout. (Adobe® Reader® is required).

Step #3: Build a Reusable List

Have you ever wanted to make a certain meal and realized you were missing key ingredients, or found it hard to put together a healthy meal quickly? If so a staple foods list can help. In general think about all the foods you would like to have stocked in your fridge, freezer and pantry all the time. The good news is that once you complete this list once, you can photocopy it and reuse this as your grocery shopping list forever.

Step #4: Other Helpful Tips

When shopping bring your list and stick to it! This will help you buzz through the store quickly to get everything you need and ensure the most nutritious foods go into your cart.

If you are short on time try shopping only once per week. This will ensure you are saving time by not having to make multiple trips to the store.

And as J. Evans from Ontario, one of our newsletter subscribers suggests, if you can, try shopping after hours, i.e. after supper or early in the morning, as a lot of food stores are open 24 hours during the Holidays.