How many times have you been on a health food kick, walked into the grocery store with your list feeling motivated, and walked out feeling deflated because you spent your “whole paycheck” on just a few days’ worth of healthy groceries? With all of the imperative messaging from the media and marketers around which healthy foods we need to be buying now, the importance of buying organic, etc., it’s hard not to get caught up in and confused by this health food frenzy.
Several years ago, I was fed up by another whole-paycheck outing and realized I had to stop the excessive spending and take a back-to-basics approach to healthy eating. After all, I had grown up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania during the iceberg lettuce generation of the 80s and always managed to stay fit and healthy on a limited grocery budget. I knew I could do better!
I’m not suggesting we eat iceberg lettuce (although I do love a good blue cheese wedge every now and again!). Rather, I think we could all benefit from ignoring some of the advertising/social media chatter around must-eat foods in order to curtail some of our spending. After my epiphany, I created a set of grocery shopping guidelines that help protect my pocketbook but allow me and my family to continue to thrive.
Take these tips with you to the grocery store the next time that you shop, and I promise, you won’t feel like you’ve fallen victim to the Whole Paycheck Phenomenon again.
And finally a quick reminder: you don’t have to shop at fancy markets to be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, these places can be inspiring and generally feel-good environments to be in, but your local grocery store carries most everything the more upscale market does. You just have to know what you’re looking for, which is why these guidelines can be so helpful to you.
Cheers to your health!
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