Shopping Smart at the Supermarket
Grocery shopping - requires thought, preparation, time, and energy. While many people aspire to purchase fresh produce and endeavor to prepare meals at home, having the time and energy if often the biggest constraint. Then there is having the know-how, that is, knowing what to buy, when to buy it, and where to find the best deal.
This holiday season, shop smart! Give a go at the do’s and don’ts guide to shopping smart at the supermarket. These tips will help you move in and out of that supermarket not only faster, but smarter!
Shop on Wednesdays! Although, many people frequently do their grocery store shopping on the weekends, did you know that shopping on a Wednesday might actually save you money and offer a variety of fresher produce? That’s because these items are restocked while the soon-to-be expiring items receive a reduction in price. Ca-Ching! Save even more [time] by shopping early mornings or late evening when stores are less busy.
Streamline your focus- shop the perimeter, first. The perimeter is where you’ll find the produce, meat and dairy sections--nutrient dense whole foods that are healthier for you
Next, pick up the essentials, like:
o Canned goods (beans and tomato sauce)
o Grains (pasta, rice, boxed couscous or quinoa mixes)
o Frozen foods (fruits, vegetables, seafood).
Buy produce that is in season. You'll save money and get better quality by purchasing fruits and vegetables that are in season
Buy only what you need at the salad bar: If more vegetables end up in the trashcan than consumed, perhaps it’s because they eyes did the shopping while the stomach did the talking.
Chose "whole" grains or "whole" wheat. Avoid foods that use the word “refined” which means the food has been stripped of its nutrients.
Meats and breads freeze nicely. Buy in bulk and stock up for a rainy day!
Healthy snack ideas: plain popcorn, frozen edamame, nuts, dried fruit, low-fat yogurt, hummus and raw veggies or salsa and baked tortilla chips.
…shop on an empty stomach! Shop after you’ve eaten. Hunger pangs will tempt you to stray from your shopping list.
…begin your shopping in the cookie, snack and soda aisle. Do fill your basket with items from the perimeter of the store. Stay true to your shopping objective--resist the temptation to buy things you don't need or shop based on emotion.
….purchase pre-packed spices. Try bulk. Many at-home or beginner chefs purchase a spice to use in one new recipe and never use it again! Ultimately, if spices are unused within the year they aren't considered fresh anymore and should be discarded. Perhaps a better way to buy gourmet spices is to see if your natural foods market sells spices in bulk.
…waste money on cleaning supplies purchased at the supermarket. Do watch for sales at the local discount store. Did you know that name-brand cleaning supplies are normally 20% to 40% less expensive when purchased at a discount store opposed to a grocery store? For an even less expensive cleaning alternative: use either vinegar or lemon juice to mix with baking soda and water to clean just about everything!
…spend a premium on paper products. Do stock up at wholesale. Stock up on: toilet paper, paper towels, or other paper products at a discount or wholesale store.
…buy pet food from the supermarket. Give your furry friend variety. Pet stores frequently carry more varieties and larger-sized bags than the supermarket can. Always check the advertising circulars for your pet store to buy the large bag when it's on sale to really save.
…forget about the Dollar store! Guess what? The dollar store has everything you need: from birthday décor, candles, cake décor, gift bags, wrapping supplies, greeting cards and other party supplies are available in abundance. Take advantage of clearance sales after holidays to really save and stock up for next year!
By keeping these Do's and Don'ts in mind while shopping at the supermarket, less time will be spent navigating the isles and more time to shop for the deals!