How to Shop Healthy on a Time Crunch

Shave time off your shopping with these can-do tips.

Who has time to shop for nutritious foods? You do! Learn how to shop healthy on a time crunch.

Shop with a strategy.

Don’t get stuck wandering aisles because you know there’s That One Thing you’re forgetting. Regardless of whether it’s a short run or a stock-up grocery trip, always take a list of the things you need. It will help you maximize shopping time–and decrease the frustration of those missed items. Dig into these Meal Planning Resources before you leave.

Check out the sales at home.

One key to how to shop healthy when you’re on a grocery trip is to identify the sales you want to hit beforehand. Set aside time before your grocery run to page through flyers, grab coupons, etc. You’ll be more organized when you get to the store and less likely to spend time on the calculator trying to figure out whether a specific sale is a good deal or not. Check out 10 Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Budget.

Group your list by store section.

When you want to know how to shop healthy, one of the best ways to maximize time is to write up your grocery list so that items are grouped by section. That eliminates the need to backtrack because you get to the Greek yogurt on the bottom of the list but you’ve already well cleared the dairy section. SHOPPING TIP: The healthiest foods tend to be placed around the store perimeter. Learn 10 Tips for Healthy Shopping.

Use a shopping basket instead of a cart.

If you only need a few items, speed up the trip by swapping out the cart for the basket. A shopping basket makes it easier to navigate the store–and that can be a lifesaver if you’re shopping during a busy time, like a Saturday afternoon or the day before a holiday.

The other benefit of reaching for the basket is that it forces you to think twice about unhealthy impulse buys. If that bag of chips doesn’t fit, you’re less likely to buy it. Get 9 Ways to Zap Food Cravings.

Keep your freezer well-stocked.

If your grandma was anything like mine, she kept enough food in her freezer to feed the neighborhood for a week. Take a cue from her and stock your freezer well so you have a ready supply of food. Shop about once per month to stock your freezer with fresh produce and freeze it yourself, or hit those freezer aisles for bags of frozen fruits and veggies (bagged without any extra sugar or salt).

Plan frozen meals like these 14 Freezer Meals to Make Your Life Easier or use 6 Tips to Turn Any Recipe into a Freezer Recipe to stock up.

Freeze leftovers from your meals too. The more ready-to-go food you have in the freezer, the smaller your shopping trips will be–and you may even save money on your food bill!

Identify the quickest check-out options.

If you shop the same store regularly, chances are good you see many of the same cashiers week after week. Inevitably, some of those will be faster than others. Identify the fast cashiers so you can hop into their line when you’re in a rush.


“What’s for dinner?” Find answers by liking our Facebook page and following us on Pinterest for yummy recipes, clean-eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.

Get the skinny on the latest recipes from Skinny Ms.—subscribe to our newsletter today.


This post may include affiliate links.

Amy Wagner

Amy is a writer specializing in health & wellness, business, and entrepreneurship. She's a long-time martial arts teacher who has earned a 4th degree black belt in tae kwon do. When Amy's not writing or kicking, she's wrangling sons, reading fiction, or crushing on BBC actors.

More by Amy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *