Grocery store layouts are actually designed to lead you to shop in a certain “traffic” pattern. Displays are set up strategically to attract you to shop down specific aisles. However, almost all groceries arrange their fresh produce, meats and seafood around the perimeter of their stores. This is because these areas offer the necessary plumbing and electrical units for proper storage.

A smart shopper needs to be aware of the displays placed to draw shoppers down aisles that may be stocked with unnecessary items such as treats, snacks, and high calorie convenience foods. Stores also place items that net them high profit margins at eye level because shoppers tend to buy what they see first. Grocers also advertise inexpensive foods in hopes to bring in more impulsive buyers.

Another way to shop smart is to shop on a full stomach. The hungrier you are, the more likely it is that you will buy unhealthy items and more food than you planned on purchasing. You should try to pre-plan your meals for a week and then make a list of the items you will need. Stay focused on your list and try to only visit the aisles in which you need necessities.

Sticking to the perimeter means sticking to the fresher and healthier foods. Smart shopping will help you stick to your budget and stay on track with your weight loss.

-Gina Forgione, Health SOS

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