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Note: This series isn’t about endorsing any particular company or brand. My goal is to cover major stores, where most Americans shop, to show people that just making a switch in the products they purchase is a huge first start in adopting a real food lifestyle–this only requires changing what you put in your cart. Once this hurdle is conquered, other options may be explored–farms, co-ops, and local health stores. Small, but practical changes lead to a doable lifestyle! Learn more about shopping for real food under the “Shopping 101″ section on the blog.
We are in the final stretch of the shopping series. So far we have visited seven different stores, from Walmart and Target to Whole Foods and a local health food store.
I hope this series has been a huge encouragement to you, as it has been to me. This series has confirmed my belief and hope: real food is accessible no matter where you live or shop! Switching to a real food lifestyle is really as simple as looking past the junk and finding the bag or box of rolled oats versus the packages of flavored microwave oatmeal packs.
This week’s highlight store is Publix. If you live in the Southeast you know all about Publix. In fact, Publix is so popular in Florida alone, I have three stores within a few miles from my home. Since Publix is so close to home, I have personally been able to watch the stores in my area embrace more and more of the real food movement: stocking a wider selection of organic produce, offering organic and less processed packaged foods, and expanding the meat department to include grass-fed options.
If you live in the Southeast, I think you’ll be pleased with the growing selection of real food you will find at Publix. The stock at your Publix may differ from what I’ve listed below. If you plan to shop at Publix I highly recommend visiting one or multiple stores in your area to get a feel for the real food selection offered.
Remember, I’m not affiliated with any food company. I haven’t been paid by any store or brand. The selections highlighted in this post include my top food picks based on the Live Simply definition of real food and my visit to Publix. While everyone defines “real” in various ways, here’s my definition:
Practical Shopping Tips
1. Shop the Weekly Ad:
Publix offers the weekly sales flyer online and in the store. The online version is particularly helpful if you meal plan before shopping.
For example: In this week’s sales flyer Publix is offering a sale on raspberries in my area. Raspberries aren’t on the Buy Organic list, so the conventional berries are okay to purchase. Since the berries are such a great deal, I could plan to use the raspberries for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
You can check the weekly sales flyer for your area on the Publix website–look in the top right hand corner for the “Weekly Ad.”
2. Get to Know the Coupon Policies:
When you walk into a Publix store the coupon policy is usually visible. It’s important to get to know the coupon policy for your region since Publix usually, from my experience, accepts competitor’s coupons. While most coupons don’t apply to real food, you may find some coupons that work. Publix also offers BOGOs–the one thing I believe most of my family and friends love most about Publix. Yes, most of the BOGO items are processed products, but sometimes you may find real food options like produce. When a real food option goes BOGO, stock up!!
Another sale opportunity the Publix in my area offers is the 10 for $10 deals. I recently stocked up on a mangoes for the freezer and future smoothies thanks to one of these sales.
3. Shop Greenwise:
Publix offers an exclusive line of organic products under the brand name, Greenwise. I’m often surprised by the high-quality and clean ingredients found in many Greenwise foods.
4. Shop the “Buy Organic” List:
Publix offers a large selection of produce. No matter where you purchase food, I recommend shopping according to the “Buy Organic” list (based on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen). This list includes the top fruits and veggies to prioritize when making the decision to purchase organic produce. Most of the produce at my local Publix store is conventional (although the organic list continues to grow!), so I use this list to help prioritize produce choices.
Shopping for Real Food at Publix: My Top Picks
Publix offers a wide variety of produce, from seasonal finds to regularly stocked fruits and vegetables. If organic produce isn’t a priority, a customer could easily find enough produce at Publix to feed a family without the need to visit another store. If organic produce is a priority, shopping from the Buy Organic list (see above) is the best option–although the organic produce selection continues to grow and expand!
2. Frozen Produce:
Publix also offers frozen fruits and veggies, including organic options. Purchase fruits and veggies with clean ingredient lists (just the fruit or veggie listed) versus packages containing special sauces or “smoothie blends.” Also, remember to watch the Weekly Ad and 10 for 10 deals for fresh produce finds you can freeze for later use.
3. Meat and Seafood:
Publix sells “better” meat options: organic chicken and organic ground beef. While these choices aren’t pastured or grass-fed (at least the label doesn’t claim to be from animals living in these conditions), I would recommend both options over conventional meat. Publix also offers grass-fed beef options. The stores in my area sell the brands Strauss and White Oak Pastures, both of which are known for excellent grass-fed beef.
Along with a good selection of canned fish (tuna and salmon), I also found some wild-caught frozen and fresh fish: salmon, grouper, and snapper. Publix also sells the Applegate brand lunchmeat and pepperoni.
4. Dairy and Eggs:
Eggs aren’t considered dairy. I know this is often a point of confusion for many people, so while I’m lumping them into one category in this post to maximize space, please remember eggs aren’t a member of the dairy family.
Publix sells my favorite store-bought butter: Kerrygold. While Kerrygold has come under scrutiny in the past for not being 100% grass-fed (more like 90 something), I still believe this butter is the best store-bought option, and the one I purchase and use in my home. Publix sells Kerrygold Dubliner cheese along with other imported cheese selections–a few even claim to be grass-fed! Publix also sells Cabot and Tillamook cheese.
The best find for eggs at Publix is the Greenwise brand. These eggs are organic. Yes, organic really doesn’t mean much when it comes to eggs, but if you need to purchase eggs from the store, and you don’t have a local farmer in your area who sells pastured eggs, these are a better option than the conventional brands..hopefully.
Publix sells Stonyfield Yogurt. I recommend purchasing the plain whole milk variety, and then adding your own fruit and/or honey and maple syrup to flavor the yogurt.
Finally, let’s talk about milk. As we’ve seen from visiting other stores, good dairy milk can be really hard to find in conventional stores. Most organic dairy milk is ultra-pasteurized, a practice I can’t endorse. Once again, finding a local farm or visiting a local health food store is going to be your best option for finding high-quality dairy milk.
Publix sells Silk Almond Milk (this brand doesn’t contain carrageenan), So Delicious Coconut Beverage, and canned coconut milk. If you need milk from Publix, both these milk alternatives are your best buy.
If you need to purchase milk from Publix I recommend either purchasing nuts to make homemade nut milk, or purchasing Silk Almond Milk, So Delicious Coconut Beverage, or canned coconut milk. All three have minimal ingredients.
While most of the time my kids drink water, Publix sells the Apple & Eve Organics Juice boxes for special occasions.
Publix also sells Pellegrino Sparkling Water, GT’s Kombucha, Suja Juice, and several organic orange juice options.
PS: Avocados aren’t a drink. They just needed a good photo spot ;).
6. Dry Goods:
Yes, you’ll find junk food at Publix, but real food options are starting to pop up all over. In some stores the dry organic options can be found in a special Greenwise section, while other stores mix the organic and less processed options within the aisles.
The selection of dry goods I found at Publix recently includes: organic tomatoes (canned and carton), virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil (a few varieties), apple cider vinegar, dried herbs (a big selection-both organic and conventional), coconut sugar, rice, dry beans, canned beans, pure maple syrup, almond butter, nut and seed butter, Bob’s Red Mill products, quinoa, quinoa pasta, raw nuts and dried fruit, organic imported whole wheat pasta, rolled oats, organic ketchup, salsa, canned coconut milk, organic applesauce, Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, Ezekiel Bread, and organic jam. I’ve listed my favorite items and some brands in the printable shopping guide.
7. Beauty and Health Products:
Publix offers a few DIY ingredients: hydrogen peroxide (stain remover, toilet bowl cleaner, soft scrub), rubbing alcohol (glass/window cleaner), white vinegar (surface cleaner and just about everything else!), baking soda (so many uses), vitamin E oil capsules (you’ll need to puncture a whole in the capsules for DIY recipes), castile soap (so many uses), and epsom salts (bath salts).
If you want to skip the DIYs and purchase cleaner store-bought products, Publix offers a great selection of natural options. Always remember to read the ingredient labels!
8. Treats and Convenience Foods:
Finally, let’s talk about the “better” processed food options. Here are a few options I found for treats/convenience foods at Publix: Squeeze fruit pouches, Stonyfield Drinkable Yogurts (these have lots of sugar so treat them as a dessert), Lara Bars, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Lundberg Rice Chips and Rice Cakes, organic corn tortilla chips, Annie’s Bunny Snacks, and Nature’s Path Granola/Cereal and Barbara’s Cereal.
My Publix Shopping Guide
Thank you so much for joining me for another shopping trip! Before we part ways, I want to leave you with a special gift–a printable shopping guide!
Click on the image below to download and print your shopping guide.
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