Shopping at a grocery store instead of buying take-away food can save you money and is a big steps towards healthy eating.

Use the steps below to help you shop smart and shop healthy this week.

Plan a regular shop

Having healthy food ready in the house makes it a lot easier to put together a healthy snack or meal. Convenience and take-away food can be easy to pick up on the way home, but tend to cost more and contain too much salt, saturated fat and sugar. By planning a regular shop, you can keep your pantry full of delicious food and avoid last-minute impulse buys.

Small step: Plan a day this week to do a shop at the grocery store.

Write a shopping list

Without a shopping list, we often end up buying foods we’re craving, instead of foods that actually make us feel strong and healthy. Follow the steps below to write your list:

  1. Choose one of our healthy recipes and add the ingredients to your shopping list.

  2. Take a look at our weekly menu plan to find healthy snack ideas and add them to your shopping list too. You can store foods like healthy popcorn, nuts and crispbread in in re-usable containers, so you always have a snack ready.

  3. When you get to the grocery store, remember to fill your shopping trolley with mainly fresh fruit and vegetables, which you can find on the outer edges of the supermarket. Use our food calculator to check the kinds of food you need for a healthy diet.

Small step: Write your shopping list.

Use the Health Star Rating

When you are buying packaged food – like cereal, dairy and canned food – you can use the Health Star Rating to see which is the healthiest. The Health Star Rating compares the nutritional value of many packaged foods to help you choose the healthiest products while shopping. Ratings range from half a star to five stars. The more stars, the healthier the choice.

Health star

Follow these steps:

  • Look for Health Star Rating labels on the front of packaged food and drink when you go shopping.

  • Compare similar types of foods (for example, compare one cereal with another cereal, but don’t compare cereal with yoghurt) and pick the product with the highest Health Star Rating. Remember, the more stars, the healthier the choice.

  • Try and choose products that have at least three and a half stars. For inspiration, try one of our healthy recipes.

  • Remember to also stock up on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The Health Star Rating is only used on packaged products so, remember to also fill your shopping trolley with plenty of foods from the five food groups.

Use frozen and canned options to save time

Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit are also nutritious and are a quick addition to any meal.

Tips for canned foods

Make sure to only buy canned fruit and vegetables that come in their own juices or water, rather than in syrup or sauce, and that there is no added salt or sugar.

Tips for frozen food

  1. When you cook a healthy meal, cook a large portion and freeze the leftovers so you have quick and easy meals ready in the freezer. You can then add leftovers to a toasted sandwich, or serve them with a different base (such as couscous, mash potato or noodles) or with vegetables on the side (such as peas, broccoli or green beans).

  2. Mark frozen items with the date and use them within a few months to retain quality.

  3. Freeze sliced wholegrain bread and take out slices when you need them to save waste.

  4. Freeze meat, chicken and fish in meal-sized portions, so it’s ready to cook.