One of the biggest challenges for us as we began to drive across the country was adapting to different grocery stores in other states. We took for granted our local farmers market on Saturday morning for produce, our local health food store that carried food from local farms and knowing exactly where to find items in our grocery store.
The first time I went to a different chain of grocer I might as well have been in a different country where I didn’t speak the language. I was constantly asking staff for help locating items and not understanding why they didn’t know what kefir was. Over the past year, we have adapted our grocery shopping to stay as healthy as possible.
These four tips will help you eat healthier on the road.
- Shop Farmers Markets — Most towns, even small ones, have some version of a farmers market at some point during the year. I can’t think of a better way to support the local economy of the area you are visiting then to buy straight from the farmer. You can often talk right to the person growing your food and taking care of the animals that you are getting product from. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is treated before it enters your body makes you an educated consumer and will help you make the best choices when you are in a traditional grocery store
- Ask the locals — When we get to a new area, I love to ask staff for the inside information. Whether it is the best restaurant in the area or directions to the laundromat, locals have the inside secrets. Google can be your friend but sometimes it may not know about Mrs. Martha’s fresh egg stand or the little store on the corner that has a great organic section. Again, knowing where your food is being produced is key!
- Know the major grocery chains — As you travel across the country you will see many of the same grocers. Whether it be the Kroger family of stores, Publix, Winn Dixie, Safeway, Aldi or Walmart, each group of stores has its pros and cons. We have found that the cheapest organic and GMO free choices are found at Aldi, but they are limited. When we can’t find local organic meat, Aldi is our choice for organic grass fed beef. We’ve learned that when in Florida, Publix has more organic/natural/fresh choices than Winn Dixie. Some Kroger family of stores have a separate “Nature’s Market” where others have the items mixed in with their traditional counterparts. Learn your grocery store and you’ll have success as you move from location to location.
- Use Amazon — Let me say, always support LOCAL first, but we all know there are times when we are out in the middle of nowhere and we just can’t get what we need locally. Amazon is a great source to get organic and natural products that have a shelf life. They even have subscribe and save discounts on items such as snacks, boxed items, canned goods and more. Make sure to sign up for Amazon Prime to always get FREE two-day shipping.
Keep in mind these four tips and have learning the tricks of healthy eating on the road. Have other ideas? Leave a comment below!