Health and Budget Tips for Shopping Each Grocery Store Aisle

Woman at grocery store

When it comes to shopping at the grocery store, most people love it or hate it. For those who aren’t an avid fan of grocery shopping, it might be challenging to shop on a budget or decide which foods to buy. This can be especially hard if you struggle with meal prep and planning ahead.

Grocery Store Tips:

Try these basic aisle-by-aisle tips for making grocery shopping a little more pleasant, healthy and affordable for your budget:

Produce Section:

  • Look for “in season” produce. They are less expensive and at peak flavor.
  • Don’t shy away from frozen vegetables. They are great when you’re short on time and they may cost less. Buy them without added butter or sauces.
  • If you don’t plan on using a fruit or veggie right away, buy it slightly before it’s fully ripe.
  • You can go canned and still be healthy. Look for canned veggies with little or no sodium and canned fruit that’s made with 100% fruit juice.

Protein Sections:

  • Choose more lean meats like chicken or turkey. If using ground beef, look for “lean” ground options (at least 93% lean meat).
  • Canned seafood like tuna or salmon can be nutritious, cheap and easy to store.
  • Pay attention to item weight. Ex: If you’re cooking for yourself and one other person, you probably only need about 1 lb of a given product. Any more would hike up the price.
  • Eggs are versatile, cheap and protein-packed.
  • Low-cost protein sources include beans, peas and lentils.

Dairy Section:

  • Always check sell-by and expiration dates.
  • Low-fat and fat-free milk have fewer calories but just as much calcium.
  • Buy plain yogurt and flavor it naturally by yourself.
  • Limit added sugars from yogurts, milk, creamers, etc.

Bread/Grains Section:

  • Opt for more whole-grain products: whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, bulgur, etc.
  • Make your own lower-sugar cereals or have oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Rice and pasta are cheap and you can find healthier whole-grain options.
  • Swap your favorite snacks for whole-grain versions (ex: crackers).


  • When it’s time to check out, focus on unloading and not on the candies.
  • Many refrigerated sections have healthy ready-made Bistro boxes.
  • Instead of buying juices or sodas, flavor drinks with citrus and fruit.
  • Look at in-store deals and “buy one, get one free” deals.

Click Here for more tips on grocery shopping.

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