A Guide to Healthy Grocery Shopping for College Students

healthy grocery shopping

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  • Going grocery shopping in college might be the first time you’ve ever shopped for yourself.

    It can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating or overwhelming—especially if you want to uphold a health-conscious diet.

    If you’ve never had to shop for yourself before, you’ll probably face a lot of questions.

    What are the healthiest options? How much do I have to spend? Luckily, shopping to eat healthily in college doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here, we present a guide to healthy grocery shopping for college students.

    Make Your Grocery List

    Having a list is the perfect way to avoid getting stressed while you’re trying to consider the best healthy options to buy. Make your list to cover one to two weeks’ worth of meals. Think of some ideas for meals each day that are healthy but sustaining. Try to stick to the options you have on your list so that you won’t be tempted to make unhealthy choices.

    Make the Healthiest Choices

    We’ve all heard of the freshman fifteen. Shopping to make your own meals is a great opportunity to make sure you’re sticking with healthy, balanced eating habits.

    When deciding what you’re going to shop for, plan to make your meals from fresh food. Avoid frozen dinners, which tend to be high in calories and preservatives.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t get a dessert or snack once in a while. Just don’t load up on them every night.

    Avoid Shopping While Hungry

    This is a tip that’s not worth leaving out of our guide to healthy grocery shopping for college students. When you shop while hungry, it’s easy to spot lots of random foods that look delicious.

    A lot of these items you desire in that moment might not be the healthiest of options. When you shop having already eaten, you can think more clearly and shop with better restraint about the food options in front of you.

    Be Sure to Read Labels

    It’s helpful to check the labels on any packaged food you’re purchasing. This is how you’ll find out its real nutritional value. Make sure to read not only the amount of each nutrient, but also the list of ingredients.

    other valuable tips:

    Different companies will produce a lot of the same products, but their ingredients may vary. Certain brands have healthier options than others. It’s also important to check the types of information on bakery labels and deli labels, as these items are generally sold from cases where you can’t immediately see the product information.

    Work Out a Budget

    Estimate the amount of money you feel you can spend, and look up some of the simplest and most affordable healthy food options. As a college student, it’s better to avoid food labeled “organic,” as it tends to be marked up. Just because it’s not organic doesn’t mean it’s any less good for you.

    Image Credit: healthy grocery shopping by twenty20.com

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