Thrifty & Nifty Food: Part 3 How to Shop

pumpkinLast week I wrote about all the different places you could possibly do your food shopping but I know that for many people they want to or need to still shop at a supermarket. So for todays post I am going to give you my hints and tips for how to shop when you go to the supermarket. These shops are designed to make you spend, spend, spend so you have to have your wits about you when you visit a store or you may come away blowing your budget on one too many BOGOF offers. A lot of these tips can also be applied to other places too.

 

  • Stick to the List– First and foremost this is the number one tip! After planning your meals you should have a list of ingredients you need to buy so simply just buy those items and you won’t spend on items you don’t need. Seems obvious but harder then you think. We all impulse buy.
  • Ignore the aisles– this is similar to the first tip, if you know what you want just go straight to the areas and aisles where you will find those items. If you wander up and down the aisles as the supermarkets have laid them out, you are more likely to buy things not on your list.
  • Ignore the Offers– Most BOGOF and sale offers are for processed, high fat, high salt, high sugar items. Supermarkets have been heavily criticised for providing these products at a much cheaper price then healthier alternatives. On top of that, any BOGOF items on the fruit and veg are often a waste as you will not be able to get through all that produce before it goes manky and therefore waste food and money.
  • But not all of them– Some times you can find really good offers and the best ones are normally on dried or tinned staples. You won’t waste these items as they keep for a long time and they are items that you will actually use.This is the only time when I deviate from a list as these offers are too good to avoid.
  • Know your weight– Learn to look at weights on packaging and on price labels. Sometimes two similar items might be different prices but you will realise one might have more in it. You need to decide is it better value to spend a bit more on more product or whether the cheaper one is better to buy.

nurtitional information and ingredients and important

  • Read the small print– Many people shy away from the basic food ranges but always compare that product with the standard and luxury range and you may find there is not a lot of difference to what goes in it. This can often be said about pre made products  where the percentage of ingredients can vary only by a few percent. Look at the ingredients on the package but also the nutritional information as it can indicate the quality of an item. For example, supermarket own brands of cordial have the same percent of fresh juice as your premium product such as robinson. Teach yourself out of thinking that expensive and special branding means better quality.
  • Use a basket– I originally started using a shopping basket because when you shop at Aldi they won’t let you pack your items away, they chuck it at you as fast as they possibly can to get it in the trolley (I once was winded by a cabbage that was rolled into my chest! no apology either) and then make you pack it away from the till but if you use baskets they make you put them away at the beginning of the check out so you get to pack it as you pay. Anyway… using a basket makes you think about what your putting in it as it gets heavier and heavier and it also limits that amount of items you can actually buy.
  • Don’t shop when hungry– This is pretty standard but very important. You will buy way to much and buy stuff that you can instantly snack on as soon as your out of the store.

So there we have it, shop smart to save pounds and think about what your doing when you go to the shops, don’t just walk around it like your a zombie!

Lorna

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