March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
There is more variety on today's grocery store shelves than ever before. With so many choices, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Make shopping easier by following these 10 guidelines.
- Don't shop when you're hungry. You're more likely to make impulse purchases on less nutritious items that cost more.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it. If you keep a running list at home of items that need to be replaced, you won't have to worry about forgetting anything.
- Organize your list into sections according to the layout of the supermarket. This cuts down on time and the number of passes you need to make through the aisles.
- Check for supermarket specials. These are printed in the newspaper or online. Plan your shopping trip around what's on sale.
If you are a single-person household, there are special ways to maximize your food dollars at the grocery store.
- Buy frozen fruit and vegetables. This gives you the ability to take out the portions you need and buy these staples in bulk without worry about spoilage.
- Look for foods sold in single servings. You'll find juice, yogurt, frozen meals, soup and pudding.
- Shop from bulk bins. You can buy smaller amounts, and reduce food waste.
- Talk to the butchers. Ask them, or the produce managers, for a smaller amount of prepackaged items.
- Buy produce that keeps longer in the refrigerator. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and carrots.
- Buy small loaves of bread. Then, wrap and freeze bread you won't use right away.