Make a Grocery List to Lose Weight & Cut Costs

Lulu Lively's Grocery List Strategy

When I go to the grocery store without a list, I start grabbing things like cookies, ice cream and ready-made dinners; because, I simply don’t know what to get. So, I grab what my belly desires, junk!

According to a recent survey of 1300 Pittsburgh shoppers published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, grocery lists may help you make healthier food choices and lose weight. Yippee! You can read how a list can lower your BMI on SELF.

Here’s my theory:

When you have a list, you have some sort of satisfaction of checking each item off of it and stick to it because it doesn’t require much thought. You made the list, you know what you need, so you’re not going to spend more time thinking about it. You’re going to stick to the list and it’s going to take no time at all to complete.

When I go to the store without a list, I can easily spend an hour grocery shopping. Who has time for that? Not me! But with a list, my time is cut in half. Especially when the list is organized.

Lulu Lively’s Grocery List Strategy

  1. Inventory Your Kitchen Cupboards and Fridge. This is how I’ve cut my grocery bill 30-40%, simply by taking an inventory of my kitchen and seeing what I can use in a dinner meal.
  2. Make a Meal Plan for the Week. Whatever day you shop on, plan from that day to the same day next week. I usually just plan out dinners for the week. Breakfast and Lunch, I have a few recipes I rotate through each day (these get added to the grocery list). Here’s a sample Menu Plan:

    Make a Meal Plan

  3. Make a Grocery List. Separate your grocery list items by category and each section of the grocery store. Start with the produce section to fill up your cart with healthy items first, so you won’t want to grab the processed stuff later (say NO to processed – it’s junk). Here’s how I separate my list:

    Make a Grocery List

  4. Go Shopping. Stick to the list and do not deviate. You took the time to inventory your kitchen, make a meal plan, make a list to cut your bill, save time at the store, and make healthier decisions. Why would you throw that out the window? Sticking to your plan will help you lose weight for the following reason: you won’t go out to eat because there is “nothing in the fridge” or “you don’t know what to make.” You have a plan and know what’s for dinner and it’s healthy – no excuses.
  5. Stick That Meal Plan on the Fridge. If the meal plan looks you in the face every time you visit the fridge, it will be fresh in your mind what’s for dinner. It will help you pull out those blueberries and Greek yogurt to snack on or avoid that moment-of-weakness ice cream you bought last night. It will motivate you to stay true to your list. Put the list on colorful paper or make a fun Menu Board, like this one from Nifty Betty. It will make the planning more exciting and enticing.

Lulu Lively Tip:
Make certain you’re eating a healthy snack 2-3 hours after each meal to prevent your body from going into starvation mode (which ends up turning your last meal into fat). Drink plenty of water throughout the day (you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces).

How do you motivate yourself to eat healthy? Comments welcomed and/or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

***Note: Lulu Lively is not an expert in nutrition, diet, and exercise. Posts written are strictly research findings collected over time. It is recommended you research these findings yourself and consult with your physician or physical trainer if these recommendations are good for you.

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