Grocery stores can be overwhelming. Especially when you love food, you're on a budget and you want to make somewhat health-conscious decisions. I can spend hours in Kroger just wandering down the aisles and mindlessly filling up my cart with foods I don't need.
But someone once gave me a piece of advice that has stuck with me and has been pretty beneficial to my shopping habits: stick to the perimeters. What you're going to find on the outside of the grocery store are your fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and dairy products. Basically, all the real food. What you're going to find in the center aisles, for the most part, are all the processed, additive-ridden foods.
When you do wander into those forbidden center aisles, make sure you read the labels. I'm not talking about talking about counting calories. Actually read through the ingredients. You want to avoid foods with long ingredient lists. Ingredients are always listed in descending order of weight, so if sugar (or any other sweetener) is one of the first three ingredients in your cereal, you should look for a new option. If you have no idea what half the ingredients in those fruit snacks are, then you probably shouldn't eat them.
Another well-known piece of advice: don't go to the grocery store hungry. Your stomach will deceive you into buying everything you see. And I promise you, it will be very convincing. Another way I find it helpful to resist the pleas of my stomach is to go to the store prepared. Try to figure out your meals for the week ahead of time so you can make a list of what you need and stick to it. That way you can be more efficient and avoid overbuying.
And remember to buy nutritious foods that you like! If you hate broccoli, don't buy it just for the health benefits. Odds are it is going to rot in the fridge and your money will be wasted. Make your body happy by feeding it healthy and tasty foods.