how to become a savvy shopper header

7 Tips to Become a More Savvy Shopper

Grocery shopping looks slightly different for all of us- where we shop, what we choose, how often we shop, our grocery budgets, who we shop with, delivery options, family preferences… There are endless unique experiences occurring in the world of supermarkets. Nonetheless, we all share the common task of selecting food from a store/market to feed ourselves and/or our families, so let’s chat about ways to make the experience more efficient, nutritious, and affordable!

7 Tips for Savvy Shoppers

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Shop Your Pantry
  3. Bring a List
  4. Involve the Family
  5. Select Seasonal Produce
  6. Shop the Perimeter
  7. Buy Generic

More details:

1. Plan ahead. Sit down with members of your household and talk through meal/snack ideas for the upcoming week. Anticipate leftovers for the following night, cutting down your grocery list. Check out the online sales or sale papers at your preferred store to take advantage of lower prices.

2. Shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer first. I tell this to clients all the time – take inventory of what you already have and build your meals around those ingredients! This strategy can help save on your grocery bill and free up some much-needed space in your kitchen. For example, if you have frozen veggies and a container of brown rice in the back of your pantry, consider making a 15-minute stir fry by adding in a rotisserie chicken and low-sodium soy sauce. Voila!

3. Bring a list. Sticking to a list has been shown consistently to reduce the number of unplanned purchases. If you prefer grocery pick up or delivery, submitting your list online or through an app can help reduce excess spending even further by reducing the temptation to purchase something outside of your planned items.

mother and daughter grocery shopping
hands writing out grocery list

4. Involve the family. If able, bring your significant other/kids/etc. to shop with you! Involving our household in selecting ingredients for meals can make meal prep easier, more fun, and reduce waste.

5. Select seasonal produce. Check out your local farmers market for the best deals – straight from the farmer! For a list of all of the current farmers markets in our state of NC, check out this link: Not only are you supporting local agriculture by choosing fresh, in-season produce, but you are also getting the most bang for your buck. Now that fall is in full swing, here are a few popular fruits/veggies/nuts that are in season here in North Carolina:

a. Apples

b. Figs

c. Pears

d. Walnuts

e. Chestnuts

f. Lemons

g. Sweet corn

h. Cabbages

i. Turnips

j. Sweet potatoes

k. Pumpkin

l. Broccoli

m. Kale

n. Leafy greens

heal;thy nutritious foods assortment
savvy shoppers grocery shopping

6. Shop the perimeter, a majority of the time. You have probably heard this before – the most nutritious items will be around the perimeter of the grocery store, including fresh produce, meats/deli, dairy products, eggs, and seafood. While this has significant truth to it, it is important to also recognize the nutritional value of our whole grain breads, pastas, crackers, canned veggies, frozen fruits, nuts/nut butters, canned tuna, oats, etc. that we can find in the center aisles. Some aisles will have more processed foods that are less nutrient-dense, but there are also well-balanced, shelf-stable, affordable, nutritional powerhouses hidden in those center aisles.

7. Buy generic versions of your go-to items. Oftentimes, the branded and generic versions are very comparable in ingredients and quality. If you have the time, quickly compare each nutrition label to observe the differences, if any. You will likely save a considerable amount on your budget by adopting this habit!

Olivia Chadwick

Olivia Chadwick



She has a passion for working with vulnerable populations, including older adults, those with special needs, low-income families, individuals with food allergies/intolerances, those with autoimmune conditions, and college students.. READ MORE