I realize that most truck drivers aren’t stopping at grocery stores to get their food for the day. It’s not convenient.
But there is a lot that can be said for buying more of your food from a store than from the gas station. To the credit of truck stops, they are attempting to bring healthier food into their stores, but even this is usually only some fruit by the cashier. I think you’ll find that if you are able to stop at the grocery store for the bulk of your food, even every couple of days, you’ll save calories, time, and most importantly, money! That being said, here are some tips for getting through the grocery store without a bunch of things you don’t need.
I think we’ve all had this experience. We pull into our crowded parking spot at the grocery store, get out of the car, and are immediately ambushed by amazing aromas. You might smell flowers, but the biggest ones for me are roasted chicken and fresh bread. My mouth starts to water. I walk in the entrance and right in my face is bread straight from the oven, bags of chips, sports drinks, and fresh fruit. My stomach starts to growl. Straight ahead of me are aisles and aisles of prepackaged, ready to eat foods that now look so good, I can’t remember why I came in, and grocery store’s marketing departments everywhere are patting themselves on the back for a job well done.
Most people don’t realize what is really going on at a grocery store and how strategically the food is placed. The staples, like milk and bread, are all the way at the back of the store, so that you have to pass a bunch of things you didn’t need five minutes ago to get to them. At eye level, for most of us, about 5 ½ ft from the floor, are the most expensive items for easy grabbing, while generic brands are high above or low below. The ends of the aisles hold deals for things where you can buy two for a discount, which clearly is better than just the one you came in to buy! With more than 30,000 food products lining the shelves, supermarkets can be a huge drain on your wallet.
NEVER GO HUNGRY! Reason flies out the window when you’re hungry at a grocery store. Eat before you go and you won’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need, saving you money.
Make a list organized by category. Put all the fruits and veggies in one column, dairy in one, and breads in another. This will ensure that you don’t run in circles, saving you time.
Stay around the perimeter. Studies show that in most grocery stores, the healthier food is around the outside of the aisles. Try to do a lot of buying in the produce section, saving you calories.
Only buy what you came for. A sale is only good if you really need that product. $0.50 off a $3.00 product is great, but it’s $2.50 wasted if you don’t need it. This saves you calories and money!
Buy things that you can portion into easy to grab bags and containers. Bulk is great for things that don’t spoil. You can start each day by putting healthy snacks divided into the proper portions like fruit, veggies, nuts, chips or crackers and cheese somewhere near your seat that is easy to reach and doesn’t compromise your safety. Perhaps a cooler on the front seat or in between your front seats?
Drivers can’t always choose what’s in between their stops, but when you see a grocery store, fill up for a few days. You might even find something special to the region you’re in to try. This is just another way for you to enjoy your world, not avoid it!