We’ve said it before and we will say it again: the golden rule of grocery shopping is to never, ever grocery shop hungry. It is always a recipe for disaster—often one you won’t see coming even if you make a promise before walking in the doors of the store. So why do we say this? Let’s review a few of the key reasons now:
Indulging in your favourite dessert or other comforting food on occasion is a good thing. You can, however, go over the line and overindulge. Walking into a grocery store with an empty stomach is priming you for buying all kinds of food not so healthy for you. In other words, when you grocery shop hungry you are setting yourself up for overindulging. This can easily ruin your diet or weight loss goals before you know it.
Even if you make a list of things you need to buy when you grocery shop, going when you are hungry increases your chances of buying things not on your list—often the junk food, as we mentioned in the previous section. Unfortunately, buying things not on your list, even if you were going to be under budget with that list, opens the possibility of overspending. Stay on budget by eating a snack before you go, lessening the chances of you buying something that looks good simply because you are hungry.
Unfortunately, going grocery shopping while you are hungry also sets yourself up for forgetting to buy things you actually need, especially if you do not have a list or do not check it frequently while in the store. Your mind will just be focused on how you are hungry, and will want to steer you towards whatever looks good to eat right now, never mind what you actually need to buy for the week (or however long you happen to be buying for).