Some of us just love our trips to the supermarket (yes that’s me – in fact my husband is convinced I have a grocery addiction and actually I think he may be right!). However, for the “normal” and perhaps larger percentage of the population who absolutely dread it, help is at hand. Grocery shopping need not be a stressful experience any longer. With these useful tips, you can make your future shopping trips a breeze and save time, money and kilojoules while you are at it.
Use a Shopping List Template
A simple shopping list template will keep your grocery requirements together in one place so you can add to it during the week as you identify the various bits and pieces you require. A template with sections for each type of grocery items i.e. Dairy, Meat, Fruit and Vegetables etc can also be a great help when you are actually at the store as all of items from each section are grouped together on your list.
Use a weekly meal plan template to create a healthy and delicious dinner menu for your family meals for the following week. This plan will help you identify the ingredients you require from the supermarket in advance. Be sure to check your pantry and fridge before you go shopping to make sure you don’t already have the required items.
Stick to the shopping list
Stick to your list so that you don’t waste time dawdling from aisle to aisle buying things you really don’t need. You will save money and eliminate food wastage if you only buy the necessary items you require for your weekly meals plan, plus any other regular kitchen staples (milk, eggs, fruit etc).
Try to buy the freshest ingredients possible
Always look on the product pack for the most recent production date and take items from the back of the shelf which is usually where the freshest products are located. Buy the freshest meats that you can and if possible, ask the delicatessen to cut fresh meat rather than taking the pre-cut packs in the refrigerated sections. Fresh fish should not smell fishy but it should smell fresh like the sea. The fish eyes should be bright, not dull and the fish itself not slimy. When buying fresh fruit and vegetables, always try to choose undamaged items that look and smell fresh.
Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach
Avoid impulse buys which you are more likely to make if you go shopping when you are hungry. Take some healthy snacks in your handbag instead to reduce the temptation.
Compare prices and try a new brand
In many cases, different brands of the same item will have a very similar product with quite a substantial price difference. If you don’t like the new brand you can always go back to your favorite but with some products it’s definitely worth a try.
Keep children entertained
Happy children at the supermarket will make for a stress free shopping experience for you. If you have children with you, get them to help you if they are at an age to do so for example; please put 5 oranges in the bag for me, please bring me 2 liters of milk etc. For younger children, give them something to nibble on as they are sitting in the trolley. This should keep them busy while you shop. I usually grab a fresh wholemeal roll as we enter the supermarket and break off small pieces of bread for my son to eat as we go (and then of course I pay for the roll at the checkout!) Try to avoid grocery shopping if children are overly tired or hungry.
By sticking to these simple guidelines, you will see a big difference in the way you do your grocery shopping. Grocery shopping really can be a straightforward, painless and even enjoyable experience with a little advance preparation.
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