From Panda Express to Cinnabon and the ever-alluring Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, shopping malls are full of diet saboteurs. Black Friday until Christmas Eve the store aisles are full of shoppers, the streets are packed with cars, schedules are crammed with holiday events, checkbooks are overflowing with receipts, ears are ringing with holiday bells, and menus are expanded with seasonal specialties. The stress of the holiday season makes us more susceptible to temptation, not just at holiday parties but even during tasks like shopping. Try these five tips to help you stay on track while shopping.
1. Eat before you shop – You will be better able to manage the stressors of the season and less tempted if your blood sugar is stable. Even what is supposed to be a quick stop can stretch out with long lines and full parking lots. By the time you make it out of the store, your stomach may be growling with nothing but fast food in sight. Read Full Post >
In 2009 the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the average American family of four spends $8,513 per year on groceries. That’s a lot of trips to the market and probably a lot of empty calories purchased each week.
While some people can afford to splurge on premium ingredients and brand names, the grocery store is also one of the most common places where people overspend.
“Take your grocery list to the store when you shop,” said Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com “Don’t buy groceries that you don’t need. If you have a list of everything you’ll need for the next few weeks, you’ll gather all the ingredients you need while saving money and avoiding the panic of the last minute rush.”
Follow some of our tips to keep your grocery budget to a minimum – and your grocery list full of healthy food.
A recent study showed that people who use their credit cards to buy food make poorer nutritional choices than those who pay with cash. The New York Times reports that using a credit card decreases the “pain of payment,” but also seems to make consumers feel less guilty about purchasing junk food.
“[W]hen consumers encounter vice products — such as cookies, cakes and pies — the emotive imagery and associated desire trigger impulsive purchase decisions,” the authors write. But “pain of payment can curb the impulsive responses and thus reduce the purchase of such vice products.”
The nation’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, has rolled out the NuVal nutrition scoring system to 23 Lexington, Kentucky stores to help shoppers make healthier food choices. The scoring system gives each food a score, from 1 to 100. Foods with high scores are more nutritious, foods with low scores are less. Shoppers also have the added confidence that the ranking system is provided by a third party, not food or beverage producers. NuVal was developed by nutrition and medical experts from top health organizations and universities.
Perhaps the most surprising part of the NuVal scores is how poorly some of the “health” foods ranked against regular snacks. For example, Garden of Eatin’ no salt added blue corn chips actually score better than an Odwalla Fruit smoothie: the chips earn a score of 52 while the smoothie gets a 49. Fresh fruits and vegetables get scores near to 100.
Do you ever find yourself in one of those warehouse stores where they sell in bulk, but you’re afraid you’ll never get through the whole thing without getting tired of it? Well, this week’s healthy on a dime tip will help you save your dimes and your time.