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A few handy tips to prevent over spending and the purchasing of “taboo” foods at the grocery store, from Big Sky Vernon’s Group-X Director Anne Crone.

Never shop hungry.  You’ll buy everything under the sun and rip into the boxes and bags (and it won’t be a bag of baby carrots !!) before you leave the parking lot.  Eat a healthy snack such as a handful of nuts, some fruit or a yogurt, before venturing out.  This will save your waistline and your wallet.

Have a Plan.  Not only will you buy healthier food, you’ll save some money.  Plan your meals for the week and make a shopping list based on what you’re preparing.  Save money by looking at store advertisements before you leave home.  And don’t buy what you don’t need !

Stay on the Outside Perimeter.  Stick with the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh food options such as produce, seafood, meat, poultry and dairy.  This leaves all the processed junk in the middle aisles (AKA the “forbidden land”).  Only travel to the inner aisles for specific items.  And when you’re there, don’t fall victim to temptation and buy what you really shouldn’t be eating !

Don’t Go Up and Down Each Aisle.  Somehow in our formative years (thanks, Mom !) we learned how to navigate the market. We sat in the carts with our little legs dangling out the front and wandered up and down the aisles at a leisurely pace, looking at the awesome snacks (which are strategically placed at shopping cart height) and begging for those sugary cereals with the prizes inside !  Grocery stores perform a great public service, but keep in mind they are designed to get you to buy and therefore eat more food, not less. 

The things people shop for most frequently are typically set far apart in the store.  Milk will be in one corner, eggs in another, while other high-demand items like pasta will be in the middle somewhere. The idea is to get the shopper moving throughout the store so they will be more frequently subjected to tricky marketing tactics.

So only walk through the aisles you really need to.  You’ll save time and money, and you’ll only buy the healthy foods on your list.

Grocery Delivery:  When all else fails, order your groceries online.  What you pay in the delivery fee, you’ll make up for by not impulse purchasing those unhealthy items that are so cleverly marketed in the store to make them irresistible.  And the time you save by not spending an hour in the store, is time you’ll now be able to spend at the gym !

See you at Big Sky ! 

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