The “Rules” To Healthy Grocery Shopping

We’ve all been there… Roaming up and down the snack and candy aisles at the grocery store trying to resist all of the “extras” that we really don’t need.  So how do you stay healthy while grocery shopping?  Below are a few “rules” that I stick to that help me refrain from coming home with a bunch of snacky foods that will ruin the budget AND waistline.


Rule #1:  Make a list and stick to it!

Making a list before you go to the grocery store is a great start, but sticking to the list is obviously the part that is the most important.  Don’t even go down the aisles that don’t have anything from your list.



Rule #2:  Spend most of your time in the produce section.

Most of your grocery shopping should be done in the produce section.  Revolving meals and snacks around produce is an easy way to get in your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and will also encourage you to stay away from the processed foods.




Rule #3:  Avoid the center area of the grocery store where you will often find the chips, cookies, soda, and candy.

Almost any grocery store I’ve ever been to has their “snacky foods” toward the center of the store.  I always try to stay on the outside where the produce, dairy, bread, and meat is found.




Rule #4:  Don’t tempt yourself with the store bakery’s cookies, cakes, muffins, and doughnuts.

Keep walking past those random tables spread throughout the stores with containers of baked goods.  The store is trying to tempt you and wants you to impulsively buy them.  So don’t.  Just keep walking.  I promise you don’t need them.  If you really feel like you need some cookies in your life, go home and make some – at least you know what is going into them.





Only four simple rules!  If you stick to the above rules, I promise you’ll already be on a great start to eating healthy and making healthier choices.




  • Do you have any “rules” that help you stick to healthy grocery shopping?
  • Do you find yourself having a difficult time sticking to any of the above “rules”?
  • Do you make a grocery list?  If so, do you stick to it? 
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  1. says

    I have all the same rules, they definitely make shopping trips shorter and healthier! But I also have a 5th one: stay away from the bulk foods section UNLESS it is to buy unsalted nuts or seeds, or bulk grains like quiona. All those bins of chocolate covered everything can reallyyy mess me up if I am not careful!

  2. says

    I’m all about the list. The list isn’t just to help me stick to heathy choices … it’s also to keep me from spending unnecessary money. AND it gets me in and out quickly. I don’t need to spend any more time in Super Walmart than truly necessary! 😉

  3. says

    I always make a list- but a few impulse buys usually end up in my cart too, especially if I’m at TJ’s ! I definitely find that I spend most of my time in the produce and dairy section of the grocery store, and I try to avoid buying unhealthy foods because if they aren’t in the house- I can’t eat them!

  4. says

    Stick to the perimeter is a great one… that way you will hit the produce, meat, and dairy sections and avoid most of the processed foods. Also don’t buy the things at eye level. This is the “prime real estate” so is mostly the unhealthy snack type foods that pay for space.

  5. says

    Writing my shopping list is the fun part of the whole chore! I always plan my meals for the week and then buy the food I need. More organised, less bad food in the cart and less waste at the end of the week. Great post.

  6. says

    I think these are great simple rules. I stick to these as well, as long as I am shopping at the regular grocery store. For some reason walmart seems to suck me in and I buy a couple impulse buys! Shopping lists are so important!

    • Ashley says

      i was actually going to add that one to the list and forgot about it! going when you’re hungry can definitely be dangerous – been there, done that! 😉

    • Ashley says

      haha oh yes, i love TJ’s. it’s probably a good thing we don’t have them in utah otherwise i’d be in big trouble. 😉

  7. says

    My biggest rule is to menu plan before even making a list, that way I know what I need for meals and snacks. It saves money because I know what I have at home and can buy minimal items needed. More so, I have to make a list when I go to the grocery store or else my cart will be full of pita chips and cheese (my weaknesses). :)

  8. Rachel Baker says

    My biggest rule: Don’t take the hubs!!! Somehow I spend 50% more and get a bunch of stuff we don’t need. Come to think of it, this goes for older kids too!

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