12 Shopping Steps for the New Year

Complete 1 New Year’s Resolution Each Time You Shop

1. 5 veggies per cart Many people fly through the store and pick up packages of “snacks” and prepared foods and they forget veggies. Buy at least 5 and use them up by the end of the week.
2. 5 fruits per cart. See if you can buy more fruit and have more fruit on hand than crackers, cookies, snack bars and chips.
3. Compare sodium. Take a few weeks to start reading food labels and see if you can collect more items that have 5% or less of the daily value for sodium or say no added salt.
4. Make it. Use one week to make food from whole ingredients and cook more recipes from scratch. See how easy it is to skip “let’s eat out.”
5. Beans. Make a meal each week that uses dried beans. Buy some and then find or make favorite recipes.
6. Kitchen makeover. Good cutting board, good knives, more measuring cups and spoons. This doesn’t mean expensive, it just means you start collecting the right tools so it is easier to cook.
7. Healthy pantry. Do you need to add more whole grains, better cereals, brown rice and pasta? Take stock of your pantry and shop for these items once a month.
8. Protein better. What about lean poultry, fish, beans or nuts? Eliminate fatty red meats and processed items that are high in sodium and chemicals. See our tips below for frozen fish.
9. Beverage without sugar. Focus on buying items that are low in calories and without added sugar.
10. Herbs and spices. Look at our best list below and start collecting these in your shopping cart.
11. Potatoes. Buy several different kinds and find great low-fat ways to serve the real thing.
12. Condiments and dressings. Go for low sodium and higher flavor so you have a good collection of these.

10 Herbs and Spices Every Kitchen Should Have:

  1. Black pepper
  2. Garlic parsley mix
  3. Italian Seasoning
  4. Chili powder
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Bay leaves
  7. Cumin
  8. Coriander
  9. Nutmeg
  10. Apple pie spice
  11. Best Low-Sodium
  12. Condiments:
  13. Salt-free ketchup, flavored vinegars, lemon and lime, lowfat dressings and marinades, low-sodium sauces.

Buy frozen:


According to SupermarketNews.com, sales of frozen fish and seafood have risen. It is easy to make frozen fish or seafood taste delicious and we actually prefer these to “previously frozen/thawed” options in the grocery seafood counter. Here’s how:
Keep it frozen! That is right. It is best to take your fish or seafood straight from the freezer to the oven. Season with lemon, garlic, herbs and add a little water. Cover it with foil the first 10 minutes of baking and then bake until done, usually 20-25 more minutes. We find that for most fish you only need to add about 5-10 more minutes of baking time.


Try the bagged steamer veggies. Steamer veggies cost a little more money but they are already trimmed and ready to go to the microwave. For extra value, choose items that are usually more time consuming to prepare like winter squash and green beans and put veggies on the table more often.

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