Have you ever wondered how your weekly grocery haul ranks on an overall scale of clean and healthy? Could you be making better food choices and if so do you know what those might be? Well friends, Kroger is making healthy shopping easier with their new OptUP app. Now you can take advantage of thousands of products rated on overall nutrition, enabling you to find “better for you” options throughout the store based on recent purchases. Your household dashboard allows you to see how you are doing with each shopping trip and ways you can improve the healthfulness of your cart over time. The ultimate goal is to help take the guesswork out of “better for you” shopping, making it easier for you to eat and live well. GENIUS.
I feel like we have a fairly healthy staples list with the occasional special treat here and there. 90% of the time I do our grocery shopping, but I send my hubby and kids to the store A LOT for last minute forgotten items! I admit, I was a little worried where our score might fall with their “oops items” that seem to magically fall into the cart when I’m not looking (cookies, ice cream, chips, chocolate milk etc.) BUT I was really happy with our results! Seeing how it is truly our WHOLE families score. We all shop with MY loyalty number… teenagers and husband included.
Our family score was 687.
The goal is to sit somewhere above 600, but I’m an over achiever so I’ve set our new family goal to 750. Meaning I now need to analyze what products fell under the yellow and red categories and opt for higher scoring items. Also debating on getting my husband and teenagers their very own loyalty number haha. Kidding, mostly.
You can go into each category and select “better for you” options per item to choose on your next shopping trip. So cool right? I’ve already updated our list.
Products are scored 1-100 and are classified into three categories: green (71 and up) yellow (36-70) and red (35 and below) to help guide your purchase decisions. Products can earn positive points for having fiber and protein, and for being part of the fruit, vegetables or legume and whole grain food groups. These factors are also good indications of overall nutrient content too, like vitamins and minerals. More than half of our groceries fall into the green which makes me feel good about our current choices, but there is always room for improvement.
Products can also receive negative points for calories, sodium, sugar and saturated fat. You want to aim for keeping your red category under 10%. It looks like I”ll be doing 100% of the grocery shopping from here on out (oops 11% kids). Not that mad. I strongly believe in balance and moderation in all things, including sugar. Bless my sugar addicted husband for always opting for organic treats, I’m sure that helped our red score.
I’m no pro but over the last decade I feel like I have created a pretty good fool proof plan at the grocery store. Here’s a few rules I follow to stay on track…
Tips for CLEAN EATING grocery success:
- Meal plan. Having a detailed grocery list before heading to the store is key. Make your weekly meal plan list and stick to it.
- Shop alone. It’s a lot easier to stick to your list without wandering little (or BIG) eyes. Stay focused.
- Shop the perimeter. Most shopping centers have a similar floor plan: produce near the entrance, fresh foods around the perimeter and packaged foods in the center aisles. Your highest scoring OptUP items will be found in the perimeter, mainly produce! Followed by quality dairy and meats. You’ll also find Simple Truth Organic, special diets and “live naturally” options in abundance within the center aisles.
- Pay attention to labels when shopping inner aisles. Here you’ll still find whole foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as some minimally processed staples like all natural peanut butter, tuna fish, coconut milk etc.. Take time when shopping these aisles. Read labels carefully and select items with simple, natural ingredients.
- Set a timer. If I give myself a set amount of time to shop, I find myself wondering less and staying more focused. Unless its late and I’ve put the kids to bed, then I take all the time I need.
I’ve compiled a printable shopping list of our weekly grocery staples for you below. These are the items we purchase every week and always have on hand. I do my best to stick to organic options, but do what works best for YOUR budget. If you want to start somewhere, I would suggest choosing organic, grass-fed quality meats and dairy. I also stick to the dirty dozen/clean fifteen rule. You’d be surprised at how often organic sale prices are less expensive than conventional! Learn to read labels, avoid ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and hard to pronounce ingredients. My #1 rule: if you can’t say it, don’t eat it. Except quinoa, always eat quinoa.
Download Grocery List
I hope these tips & tricks along with the OptUP app will help make your next shopping trip a bit easier! Eating clean really is simple, don’t let the shopping overwhelm you. It’s taken me years of practice and plenty of mistakes to figure it out. You can too!