My Top 10 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning!

I’m working on a new campaign with GNC called the “Total Lean Challenge,” which is a 12-week lifestyle program that includes nutrition, meal plans, workouts and video instruction, and community support.

I was asked to share one of my workouts, so I turned a regular old trip to the dog park with Murphy into a 30-minute sweat session.



A trip to the dog park is always a great way to get moving and add a little activity to my day, but I took it one step further this time and added in some strength training exercises, which used my body weight and whatever I could find at the park.

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Bench Push-Ups: 2 sets of 15 reps


Box (Bench) Jumps: 2 sets of 15 reps


Triceps Dips: 2 sets of 15 reps


Weighted Triceps Dips: 1 set of 8 reps (before Murphy jumped off my lap)


Sprints: 5 sprints (approximately 50 meters each) 


Adding these exercises to a trip to the park made it really enjoyable while providing me (and Murphy) with a great workout at the same time. If you’re looking for a fun way to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes today, try grabbing a family member or friend and, if applicable, your favorite furry friend and try this workout!

My Top 10 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips

As part of this campaign with GNC, I was also asked to write about my healthy grocery shopping tips. I’ve blogged about grocery shopping a lot over the years, so I decided to pick my top 10 tips that keep me healthy.

  1. Be flexible and make (healthy) substitutions. Every week, I create a meal plan and shopping list. I’m more likely to stick to my list if I enter the grocery store with a plan, BUT if there’s a more cost-effective option available””for instance, my meal plan calls for Brussels sprouts, but broccoli is on sale””I’ll alter my list in order to save money while still getting a healthy substitute.
  2. Eat a meal or snack before shopping to help eliminate impulse and unhealthy buys. If I shop on an empty stomach, all sorts of cookies, chips, and other goodies end up in my shopping cart!
  3. Start shopping in the produce section. That way, I fill my cart with tons of fresh produce. If I shop the produce section last, I typically blow through it because I’m sick of shopping or I find that there’s not much room left in my cart.
  4. Aim to fill half of my grocery cart with produce. I can’t bear to waste food, so when I see fresh produce on my kitchen counter or in my refrigerator, I’m more likely to add it to my meals.
  5. When it comes to salad, try “leafy greens.” I used to buy bagged salad mix because it was easy and familiar, but now I switch it up with spinach, kale, and collard greens. You can use these leafy greens the same way in your salads and they’re more nutritious.
  6. Shop the reduced produce section with the goal of using what you buy THAT day. The reduced produce section is great for buying nutrients at a reduced cost, so as soon as I purchase something and bring it home, I immediately eat it or cook with it so it doesn’t spoil.
  7. Check out the freezer aisle for great deals on frozen fruit and veggies. Berries, in particular, are so much cheaper in the frozen section and they don’t spoil as quickly!
  8. Instead of buying regular potatoes, try colored varieties. Red potatoes, purple fingerlings, and sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants!
  9. Shop mid-week, if possible. I find that I do my healthiest grocery shopping when the store isn’t crowded, and I’m able to focus on my list and make smart choices.
  10. Stock up on healthy staples whenever they go on sale. Whenever my favorite, healthy products go on sale at the grocery store, like canned tuna or peanut butter, I make sure to stock up. I know these things will get eaten, so having them always on-hand encourages me to eat better.

Question of the Day

What are your top tips for healthy shopping at the grocery store?

Fitfluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.



  1. If I go to the store hungry I end up buying way too much, and the contents of my grocery bags would make a 7 year old a very happy person.

  2. I love this post, especially the grocery shopping tips. If I have a list, I usually stick to it exactly but making substitutions with on sale ingredients is such a great idea!

  3. Love it! My tips are: go EARLY in the day to beat the crowds (you can think more rationally with less crowds), always have a list to stick to, and try not to go hungry.

  4. I live in a big city in Europe and can order groceries on the Internet and have them delivered. Even with the price of delivery this saves me money because I buy only what I need. Also, no temptation to buy thing I don’t need or want. I buy fresh produce at the farmer’s market and definitely stock up every weekend because I don’t have time to shop during tche week.

  5. I work at GNC and just got the memo for the total lean challenge yesterday! As soon as I read it I wondered if any of the blogs I read would be participating. Lol I’m goofy but it seems so cool to see you are! I can’t wait to follow along!

  6. I work right by a Trader Joe’s, so I try to stop in there and do my shopping first thing in the morning when the store isn’t crowded. It’s much easier to shop and pick out my healthy favorites when the store isn’t crowded.

  7. Great tips….on the park workout and the grocery shopping! I pretty much do all of the grocery shopping tips, but shopping during the week. I wish I could, but my schedule usually doesn’t allow for it. Have a great weekend!

  8. Before I go grocery shopping, I need to make a list (type-A person much? Ha!) and eat a small snack. If I don’t map out what to buy, and if I hit the store on an empty stomach, then I fall victim to impulse purchases–and wind up with a jar of Cookie Butter from TJs. 😉

  9. I think ensuring you’re not grocery shopping on an empty stomach is HUGE. I’ve tried to stop at the grocery store on my way home from work and if I’m even a little hungry, there’s usually an extra something in my cart that didn’t need to be there. Funny how that works!

  10. Love these tips, especially shopping the perimeter first. I have been doing my shopping on Sunday mornings – which is usually a good time since I avoid the after church crowds – but I never really thought that there might be better deals midweek. Good thing to keep in mind.

  11. I only have certain aisles I go down (frozen, produce, meat). I stay away from the bread/bakery section, which curbs any temptations for carbs 😉

  12. This kind of goes along with your tip of shopping during the middle of the week – I work night shift & grocery shop after I get off. I’m usually at the store between 7:30 & 8:30, and there often is barely anyone else there. While I’m there, I pretty much shop the store perimeter – produce, bread, meat, dairy/eggs and frozen food, with a stop in a couple of aisles for oatmeal, canned tomatoes/beans, brown rice, tuna and peanut butter.

  13. Shopping mid week is a great tip. I go to the grocery store almost every day and I feel like it makes it much more manageable during the week when there aren’t crowds. I would say AT LEAST half of my cart is produce. What can I say? I just really like carrots….

  14. Thanks Tina for these tips. In addition to frozen berries, I buy some frozen veggies like spinach and green beans that I eat very regularly and I’m glad to grab some from the freezer if I run out of the fresh ones.

  15. I always make sure I have frozen veggies available in my freezer in case I don’t get to the store in time to make smart dinner sides.

    Completely agree with buying leafy greens instead of salad mixes.

    Also try alternative grains, instead of traditional pasta, brown rice etc, try quinoa, lentils, faro! They’re all great and cook just as fast!

  16. Those are good tips! I used the “shop the perimeter of the store” most of the time with the exception of some staples. I also try to get food that has 1 ingredient only or completely whole ingredients with just a few.

  17. Laughed out loud seeing the weighted bench dips you did today. If only our cats would sit still the way a pug can. I love all of your posts with Murphy’s mug. I grew up with 2 pugs and await the day when I can have my own.

  18. Love the reduced produce section! There is also a reduced bread and meals to go section at my grocery store which can sometimes have some great items for healthy meals. Plus it always helps to scan the Ads and coupons before hand to help see which healthy items are on sale to stock up on each week.

  19. Thanks for the great tips. I always hit the supermarket mid week when the doors first open and try to stick to the edges, less packets to open is less calories and crap. Love the pic of working out with Murphy on your lap, it made me smile.

  20. Great tips! I try to diversify my veggie selections by exploring and trying something new. Last week I made butternut squash-it keeps things interesting and makes you more aware of what else is out there. Think: beets, eggplant, squash, arugula, and there are so many more!

  21. Love the workout you shared, it’s so great for people like me who don’t have a gym membership. You always have some great fitness tips!


  22. Great post 🙂 my fur babies are special and while I take them for walks daily they would freak out at me strength training (they often think I’m drowning in my pool) as for shopping tips I go during a less busy tone (typically at about 6-7pm while everyone else is busy cooking!) and I only ever visit the produce, dairy, bread and freezer isles (plus cleaning stuff) so no processed foods end up on my trolley 🙂

  23. Certainly focus on produce! I stock up on frozen proteins too and try to build my meal plans around a simple structure of meat, veggie, starch. It also helps me save money when shopping because I usually just have to buy my fresh produce weekly and meats monthly 🙂

  24. I have nothing to add to that list. Those are the ones that I follow as well too! Love the weighted triceps dips…Hope you had a fabulous weekend and stay warm this upcoming week. It’s supposed to be so cold.

  25. I wish I my dog would behave off leash! Definitely agree with not going to the store hungry. I would add to make a list ahead of time, and even better if the list comes from a weekly meal plan. Also, shop the perimeter – most of the healthy food is on the outside and junk is on the inside.

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