First Lady Prepares Course on How to Shop for Groceries

Saturday, 01 Sep 2012 07:18 PM

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First Lady Michelle Obama wants to help Americans figure out how to navigate their local grocery stores.

As part of another initiative to get Americans to eat less and better, Mrs. Obama launched an online course called “Supermarket Shopping 101,” which aims to nudge shoppers toward more government-preferred choices.

Cookies, snacks and soda do not appear among the preferred items, as the letsmove site instructs shoppers to “steer clear” of them.

The website offering the course, letsmove.gov, also features meal plans and downloadable recipes.

Mrs. Obama's shopping tips appeared among a series of articles published on ivillage.com while she was guest editor.

One critical tip from the First Lady for those not in the know: “Whenever you decide to shop, just don’t do it on an empty stomach, hunger pangs will tempt you to stray from your shopping list.”

And make sure you check that list twice, Mrs. Obama cautions.

“Like Santa Claus, you should always check your grocery list twice. Before you grab your keys and head to the store, do a quick check of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to make sure you don’t already have any of the items on your list. Not only will you avoid coming home with an extra carton of eggs, you might also notice that you’re nearly out of an everyday staple like orange juice or butter.”

She even weighs in on which day of the week Americans should try to shop.

“Some say that Wednesday nights are the best day to hit the supermarket,” she writes. “Produce and meat are often restocked mid-week and it’s often the day that grocery stores reduce prices on expiring items and advertise sales. But some savvy shoppers prefer weeknight evenings or early mornings or evenings on the weekend, when stores tend to be less busy.”

The First Lady noted that “meat and bread freeze beautifully, so take advantage of sales and buy in bulk!”

And if you cannot resist a snack, Mrs. Obama urges, “Try plain popcorn, frozen edamame, nuts, dried fruit, low-fat yogurt, hummus and raw veggies or salsa and baked tortilla chips.”

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