Meal Plan Smarter Not Harder: 4 Tips For Smart Grocery Planning


Healthy eating begins with healthy grocery shopping.

If your kitchen is stocked with nothing but unhealthy meals and processed junk food, you’re probably not going to be eating too many nutritious meals.

On the other hand, if your kitchen is full of whole foods and other healthy ingredients, you’ll be much more likely to make healthy choices each and every day.

So, how do you make sure your kitchen is always stocked with healthy food?

Here are four tips for smart meal planning and grocery shopping:

Kitchen Staples

Having a few key kitchen staples on hand will make it easier to whip up a healthy meal at a moment’s notice.

Some good staples to always keep in your kitchen include:

●     whole grains – quinoa, brown rice, oats

●     dried beans and legumes – black beans, chickpeas, lentils

●     nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, flax seeds

●     frozen fruits and vegetables – spinach, berries, broccoli

●     cooking oils – olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil

●     vinegars – balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar

●     spices and herbs – ginger, basil, cinnamon, chili powder, garlic

●     long-lasting fruits and veggies – potatoes, onions, carrots, apples

●     condiments – mustard, honey, salsa, hot sauce

●     baking ingredients – flour, baking soda, sugar, salt

Your personal preferences may vary, but with these staples like this in your kitchen, you’ll always have the makings of a healthy meal.

Tasty Recipes

Of course, having healthy ingredients is only half the battle. You also need to know how to turn those ingredients into a tasty and satisfying meal.

There are endless healthy recipes available online and in cookbooks. Do a little exploring to find recipes that you’ll actually enjoy eating.

Before you go shopping, select a few recipes that you want to make in the next few days. This could include:

● Your reliable favorites

● Recommended by a friend

● Variations on familiar dishes

● Something completely new

● Meals you can prepare early and enjoy later in the week

● Homemade snacks and desserts

You shouldn’t need to force yourself to eat bland and boring meals just because they’re healthy. A sustainable healthy diet is one that you actually enjoy and look forward to preparing and eating.

Eating healthier will involve learning to cook and prepare new recipes. But there are endless possibilities for delicious, nutritious meals, so you’re sure to find something tasty that you are capable of making.

Healthy Snacks

Even if you’re eating healthy meals, you might still find yourself reaching for unhealthy snacks throughout the day. If you’re trying to eat healthier, it’s important to have healthy snacks on hand as well.

This way, when you’re feeling hungry or need a little pick-me-up, you can reach for a healthy snack instead of unhealthy junk food.

Some good healthy snack options include:

● fresh fruits and vegetables

● nuts and seeds

● yogurt

● hummus and whole grain crackers

● dried fruit

● dark chocolate

Snacks like these can satisfy your cravings without derailing your healthy eating habits.

Avoiding Unhealthy Temptations

Before going to the store, you also need to consider what NOT to buy.

You probably already know which foods you have a hard time resisting—if they’re in your home, you will inevitably eat them.

To make healthy eating easier, avoid buying these unhealthy temptations in the first place. If possible, don’t even go down that aisle in the store.

Have a specific list of what you need before you go grocery shopping, and stick to it. Don’t just browse through the store and buy whatever looks good in the moment.

The more you plan ahead and think through your healthy options, the easier it will be to make good choices and stick to your goals.