Grocery Cart Tips for Confidence & Good Nutrition

The organizational approach to food shopping.


Organize the top basket of your cart for fruits and vegetables.

Image by Cindy Silver, MS, RDN, LDN

Grocery shopping day is fun for some people and a total drag for others. It can pep you up or wipe you out. If you are not jumping up-and-down for your next grocery trip, then these tiny tips are especially for you! As you become more organized and confident, the grocery store will become less confusing. And, as a training ground for kids to learn life skills, it is the best! First things first, though. Please don’t go to the store hungry. And, learn tips for sticking to your food budget.

How Your Grocery Cart Helps You Out

A grocery cart is your rolling pantry/fridge/freezer while shopping. If you think of it this way, it will help you keep the bigger picture in view. Break it out like this and enjoy smooth sailing at the store:

  1. Choose the cart to fit your shopping list – bigger the list, bigger the cart.
  2. Clean it off at the store entrance. Yes, use the sanitizing wipes all over the handle and top of the cart. Then, clean your hands with a wipe – cleaner is better.
  3. Use the top part of the cart for fresh fruits and vegetables. Spread them out and think them through. Make sure you have a good assortment, color, seasonal favorites. Buy enough, but don’t go overboard or you may end up wasting valuable cash and nutrition.
  4. Mentally, divide up the bottom of the cart into 4 areas: Meats/chicken/fish; Dry groceries – canned foods, for example; Dairy foods; Frozen foods. Keep these imaginary sections organized as you shop and look them over a couple times during your trip.
  5. Use the lower ‘shelf’ of the cart for non-foods such as cleaners, toilet paper and school supplies. This way, they will stay away from your food.

Learning how to manage your grocery cart better can save you hours, dollars and a lot of stress. Take time to get organized with the tips above. Allow plenty of time to actually get through the grocery store, thinking about each and every food you add to your cart. Also, take time to teach these strategies to your kids. Why? Because healthier grocery shopping means a healthier you!

Which grocery cart tip will you use and why?

Cindy Silver is a licensed, registered dietitian based in Winston-Salem. For more family-friendly, nutritional tips and recipes, follow Cindy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and visit her website.

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