I love grocery shopping! I would rather stroll up and down every isle of a grocery store than shop for clothes. The first time I visited Whole Foods I was engulfed in an array of products I had never heard of in my many years of shopping and cooking. Over the years I have grown familiar with the selection and have tried many of the healthier alternatives available. For someone who does not like grocery shopping or who is on a time crunch, getting in and out can be daunting. The same can be said for someone who is new to the world of health foods!
Typically, my clients have never set foot in a Whole Foods, Earth Fare or Nutrition S’mart (Florida only). Part of my program as a nutrition consultant is to take my clients shopping and introduce them to some of the products. I try to show them, it is not any scarier than their conventional grocery store. In fact, it is much more exciting!
Most health food stores have employees who are available to answer questions about their products.
I have found that every employee at our local Whole Foods store is vastly knowledgeable about the products in their department and they are more than willing to share their knowledge. They also have a calendar of activities to introduce you to the store from tours to how to shop on a budget.
Another great way to get to know new products is to replace your routine grocery items with items from the health food store a little at a time. This allows you a chance to try new items and decide if you like them. Start with staples such as pasta sauce, canned veggies or cereals. The larger chain stores have their own store brands that are significantly less expensive than some of their competitors. We have switched to the 365 brand at Whole Foods for many of our staples and have been very happy with the results.
Many people are concerned about the cost of shopping at organic or health food stores. If you are like me, you are familiar with the products your family eats and you tend to purchase the same things over and over. Like traditional grocery stores, the health food stores also have sales and specials. You can follow the sales on the company website as well as print coupons. The flyer in the store has coupons as well! Once you find brands you enjoy, you can check their websites for printable coupons. It is important to factor in the difference in cost to the long-term health of your family. I do not mind spending a little more on a product we use all the time if I know there are no added chemicals or preservatives.
Upgrading to a healthier, more organic lifestyle does not have to be overwhelming! Take your time getting to know the products and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of resources in the stores and online!
Happy Shopping 🙂