Is the supermarket a place where you listen to elevator music while dragging your feet through aisle after aisle in boredom? Or is it a chance to fill your cart with choices and maybe get handed a free sample while you shop?
Despite the music, supermarket shopping can be interesting. Before you grab a shopping cart and head for the aisles, check out these tips for smart and healthy supermarket shopping.
Best Times to Shop
You can go to a supermarket almost anytime you want - many are open 24 hours. Choosing a time and place for your food shopping can help you shop smarter.
Here are some thoughts on when and where to shop:
- Don't shop when you're hungry. If your stomach is grumbling when you enter the store, you'll be a goner when you see all those tasty treats. Eat a healthy snack or meal before you go to the supermarket.
- Pick the best supermarket for you. If you have a choice on where to shop, think about the kinds of things that you want the store to have. A salad bar? A vegetarian or organic section? An awesome seafood department or bakery? Double coupons? Choose the things that make it convenient and easy for you to eat right. Once you've found a store you like, you may want to stick with it. Knowing where to find the things you want will help you get out the store faster.
- Shop during off-peak times. Did you ever get stuck behind a slowpoke pushing the cart in front of you because the store's so crowded? Try to avoid stores when they're likely to be busiest - after work (5-7 p.m. on weekdays) and weekend mornings, for example. The best time to shop is very early in the morning, weekend evenings, or on a popular TV night.