Seed | Eating Disorder Support Service

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Shopping Tips

A few thoughts on making shopping lists!

  • Shopping lists can be really can be easy and fun when you get the hang of it. One great tip is to plan everything the day before you go shopping, when you are feeling calm and relaxed, so that you can head to the shop knowing exactly what you intend to buy.
  • Go through each day meal by meal and work out what you want to cook and what you'll need to buy. Remember to include some quick and easy meals or plan to cook a double batch of something - chances are there will be days when you're too busy to cook or simply don't feel like cooking something complicated.
  • Take a list! If you're concerned about buying too much, plan your list around the shop layout: group vegetables together, frozen goods together etc. so that you don't have to make multiple circuits. Avoid walking along aisles that don't stock any of the foods on your list, and focus on finding your next item.
  • If you see something that isn't on your list that you'd like, write it down as something to consider for next time to avoid ending up with an overwhelming variety of food.
  • Try to go shopping with a friend or family member if possible. Some people find it helpful to go shopping with a flat mate/family member so that they can shop, go home and unload their shopping whilst talking to someone. Chatting to someone can help take your mind away from anxiety.
  • Go shopping shortly after a meal or snack - shopping when hungry is generally a bad idea.
  • Depending on your living arrangements, you could group together with a few friends and have your shopping delivered - use a pre-written list to place your order when you're feeling calm and relaxed.
  • If you find yourself compulsively checking nutritional information, try basing your decision on different factors, such as price or flavour. Give yourself a time limit to choose, then move on to the next item on your list.
  • Visiting a smaller supermarket with less choice can be less overwhelming.
  • Consider avoiding peak shopping times. Battling through crowds of people is likely to increase your anxiety.
  • If you find yourself panicking, take a few deep breaths and count to 10 slowly.
  • Try not to go shopping too often - most people plan to go about twice a week.