Healthy eating begins with one key activity: healthy shopping. When you go to the supermarket, it is easy to buy a lot of foods that are bad for our body without even realizing it. Shopping for a healthy diet can be difficult if you don’t know how, but with these tips, it will be easier to do it the next time you go to the grocery store.

First, have a plan before you leave your home. Use sales brochures to see what great items are on sale, and take inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to see what foods you need to buy. Make a list of all the foods you will need and stick to it. Allow yourself a must-do or two, but otherwise stick with the ingredients you’ll need to cook healthy meals for yourself and your family for the rest of the week. Before you go, go through your list and take out the unnecessary junk food.

Another great shopping tip to list is to shop for a week at a time, or even longer if you have a large freezer. When you have to rush to the store every day, you’re more likely to pick up junk food every time you take a trip, and before you know it, your supply of snacks will overflow. You can buy a week or two in advance if you take a day to plan meals for the week and pack the produce fresh to freeze.

When you are shopping, it is also important to read the label. Try to avoid buying brand name items simply because they are brand or store brand items simply because they are less expensive. Actually, look at the nutritional value of the product and try to get the most nutrients for your money. When you eat higher quality food, you will feel fuller and in turn eat less, so this is really the best way to haggle.

If you are only shopping for yourself, you should also consider picking up a basket at the door rather than buying a shopping cart. The biggest problem with health and grocery shopping is grabbing junk foods that you don’t really need. If you have a small basket, you simply won’t have room for fudge brownies and ice cream with your load of other foods, so you’ll skip them.

Lastly, don’t forget to consider beverages in your healthy shopping plan. Most people don’t realize it, but sodas, punches, and beers can have a lot of empty calories and are generally poor drink options. Instead, look at the labels and choose diet drinks, water and sports drinks, or natural fruit juices, such as apple juice. With these tips, healthy eating and shopping should be a lot easier.