One good thing to come out of the pandemic is that it forced us all to tiptoe out of our comfort zones a little. We tried new things because the old things were simply not an option any more.
You’ve probably discovered that some of those new things are paying off in ways you never dreamed of. For example, if you gave up your weekly in-person grocery shop for ordering your food and essentials online, you may not give it up once food shopping doesn’t require a mask and a squirt of hand sanitizer.
The convenience of online grocery shopping can’t be beat: All your groceries and essential items, delivered right to your door or placed in your car curbside. The only way that could be better is if your supermarket sent staff to also put everything away.
If you’re a Nutrisystem member, you already know how great it is to have a week’s worth of meals just show up at your front door. It gives you the gift of time.
And if you’re committed to weight control and healthy eating, you’ve probably discovered some other surprising benefits to online grocery shopping. Check out five of our favorite reasons to try it today!
1. You aren’t tempted by junk food.
In one small study done at the University of Albany, online grocery shoppers who were normally impulse buyers bought the same healthy, nutritious food as people who weren’t impulsive when they used an online shopping service. One reason, say the researchers: You have to do more planning to shop online and think more about your choices than if you’re strolling through the store and just grabbing things that look good to you.1
2. You’re more likely to plan meals and make lists.
It’s so convenient to use your list to search for the foods that you’ll need that week. Plus, you don’t have to worry about having to put anything back that you decide you really don’t need or want. You can also check to make sure that you have everything you need for that great recipe you found on The Leaf.2
3. You save money.
Have you ever come home from grocery shopping to discover that you bought a pound of grapes when you already had a pound in the produce bin? Have you ever struggled to find room in your spice cabinet for that large container of cinnamon you actually didn’t need?
If you’re shopping online, you can double check that you’re not buying something you already have. And since many online services let you see your totals as you go along, you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget. Waste also costs you money. American families spend an estimated $1,600 on produce a year that winds up in the garbage.2
4. You don’t fall into supermarket traps.
And there are many of them which encourage you to buy things that might not be good for you and trick you into spending more money. Have you ever noticed in the produce section that markets tend to pair something healthy like strawberries with shortcakes or pound cake and whipped cream? Or that you can pretty much always find chips with soda?
That’s the store’s “power of suggestion” technique to entice you into buying more. That’s the same reason the bakery scents waft throughout the store and you find tables here and there where you can try free samples.3 Many markets are now throwing tantalizing suggestions and discounts on their online shopping pages,4 but they may be easier to resist from the comfort of your home than they are in the store.
5. The kids don’t bully you into buying diet no-nos.
When shopping alone at your computer, you never have to deal with “cereal box psychology”—the placement of sugary products covered in colorful cartoon characters on shelves at a child’s eye level.3
Need some help making good food decisions? Follow these tips to make it a cinch:
- Pick what Flex meals you’re going to make for the week. Browse The Leaf for recipes and decide what looks good to you.
- Check your fridge and pantry for ingredients and write down whatever you’re going to need. Use that list to do your weekly shop.
- Take the virtual aisle-by-aisle stroll through the supermarket in Nutrisystem’s handy Grocery Guide . You’ll learn what products to put in your virtual cart and which to skip. For example, in the canned goods aisle, load your cart with canned beans—the fiber and protein should make them your diet go-to. They’re easier than dried beans because they cook up instantly rather than requiring a long soak. In the freezer aisle, steer clear of veggies that come with sauces or flavorings, and pick the frozen fruit (think smoothies!) with no sugar added. Over in produce, pick a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. The chemicals that give them their color also give them special health benefits.
- Since you won’t have easy access to nutritional labels, look for foods that you know are lower in sodium, fat, cholesterol and sugar yet high in fiber and protein. Use your Nutrisystem tools—particularly your Grocery Guide—to make healthy choices.