How to shop without giving into temptation

If you’re wondering ‘How to grocery shop without giving into temptations’? You’re not alone. Grab your shopping list and let’s dive into my fail-safe hacks to avoid naughty temptations that come with grocery shopping.

Navigating the aisles of the grocery store can feel a bit like a minefield. From the lighting to bright signs and colourful packaging, it’s no wonder that many of us find it challenging to stick to our shopping list and resist impulse buys.

Whether you’re aiming to make healthier choices, stick to a budget, or simply streamline your shopping experience, these strategies will help you stay focused on your goals and emerge from your grocery trip feeling empowered and in control.

So, grab your shopping list and let’s dive into my fail-safe hacks to avoid the naughty temptations that come with grocery shopping.


1. Create a list and stick to it!

Spend some time creating your shopping list, based on the meals and snacks you plan to eat that week. Ensure you’ve included all the ingredients (don’t forget things like herbs, spices or condiments!) This will help you make healthier choices as you already have everything needed to make your meals. You also then won’t find yourself scrambling to cobble something together from whatever happens to catch your eye in the store!

Writing a list also helps you to stay within budget, particularly helpful during the cost of living crisis right now. By planning ahead and identifying the items you need before you set foot in the store, you can prioritise essential purchases and avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Remember, if it isn’t on the list, you probably don’t need it. Except half price cleaning products, stock up!


2. Eat a meal or snack before you head to the shops

When you shop on an empty stomach, hunger and low blood sugar levels can impair your cognitive function and decision-making skills. This often leads you to make impulse decisions based on your cravings. By eating a balanced meal or snack before you shop, you enhance mental clarity and focus, enabling you to make more mindful choices and prioritise items that align with your health and dietary goals.


3. Aim to go to the shops when you’re in a calm mood

Our emotional state can influence our behavior, including our spending habits and food choices. When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or fatigued, you’re more susceptible to impulse buying, as a way to seek comfort or relief. By intentionally scheduling your shopping trips during times when you feel calm, your mind is better able to process information, weigh options, and prioritise your needs versus wants.


4. Shop in the order of products in the grocery store and don’t wonder around in the aisles

This is my favourite tip because it will save you so much time!

By organising your shopping list according to the layout of the store, you eliminate the need to backtrack or zigzag between aisles. This means you spend less time wandering aimlessly and are less likely to get distracted by displays that lead you to make impulse purchases. Using this approach, you’ll be able to efficiently gather the items you need and also add them to your trolley/bags in an organised way that helps for sorting and storage of the groceries when you get home. Not to mention, this more streamlined and efficient process can make grocery shopping, dare I say it, stress-free and even enjoyable!


6. Use click-and-collect or delivery

Shopping online with main grocers like Coles and Woolworths eliminates the need for a physical trip to the grocery store, saving you valuable time and energy. Instead of navigating crowded aisles and waiting in checkout lines, you can complete your shopping from the comfort of your own home or office. Even better, many online platforms allow you to save your purchases to a ‘Favourites’ list, so you can easily add all items to your cart in one go.

If you love to hit up a market like us, then do your packaged food shop during the week online, then go to the organic fruit shop or markets on the weekend. Simple!


Want more guidance on how to food shop healthy and effectively? Book in a 1-to-1 nutrition consult with us here.

If you’re craving more healthy recipes, dive into our latest blog, What kind of breakfast can set me up for a productive day?


Dr Courtney Stewart (RNutr, FHEA)

BNutrSc, BBiomedSc(Hons), PhD
Director, NPR Consulting

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