Healthier Shopping Tips continued
Stick to your budget and always keep nutritional food choices in mind while shopping and avoid cravings and specials not on your meal plan unless they’re beneficial to you overall.
- Plan your meals for two weeks or a month ahead. Thumb through a healthy living cook book or recipe website online to find exciting flavorful meals from the foods on the Food Pyramid and listed on sale in your circulars. I like to use “All Recipes”.com because they include nutritional information for each meal and my daughter is a real big fan of Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals”. So I usually follow her favorite healthy recipes. Most of the supermarkets listed in Part 3 and 4 also have recipes on their websites too. List the ingredients for each meal based on the sales in your circular. Remember to stick to your meal plan as a nutritional guide but it’s not written in stone. Make the list flexible enough to leave room for days in which the mood of the family may change dependent upon an unexpected celebration for instance.
- Whenever possible buy in bulk. As mentioned above, if you live near a supermarket that has a “10 for $10” sale then you should buy in bulk. However, make sure that you do comparison shopping as to see if competing supermarkets are not offering the same item for less thereby saving you lots more money. I’ve also found that the larger economy size packages may not be cheaper than buying small packages in the long run so buyer beware.
- Check out the Reduced Item section in the supermarket for additional savings. If you are a fruits and vegetable lover, than you will have no problem rummaging through the reduced items in the produce section. Provided you have a supermarket with good quality produce to begin with. Usually these items are barely bruised or discolored and just as good for a bunch at a time. Besides I stopped buying tomatoes four in a pack at full price just because they would always sneak in a bruised one in with it faced down. But when you select from this section you get more bang for your buck and no surprises.
- Don’t forget to bring list! Avoid shopping without your list. It will only cost you more money in the end.
- Get a “Rain Check” when your item is out of stock. Just because they have sold out doesn’t mean that you’ve missed the sale. Get a “Rain Check”. This allows you to purchase the item when it’s back in stock for the sale price. You can redeem it at the stores’ customer service counter.
- Save your store receipts! Be sure to sign up for any store membership or extra value club cards with the supermarket and save receipts because they have coupons on them, additional savings and promotions.
- Invest in a freezer and a cabinet for a pantry. The goal is to purchase foods in bulk so that you won’t spend more at the corner grocer when you run out of a small item. This way you can stock up on any and every thing on sale including milk and bread which can be put in the freezer and non-perishables in your pantry cabinet. Be sure to check expiration dates!
Do food items always have to be brand names? No, you will find that sometimes the unrecognized brands or manufacturers are just as tasty, often as nutritious and less expensive. But if you’re not sure of the quality you could always go with the “No-Frills” or supermarket generic brand of foods like “America’s Choice” and “Parade” just to name a few. Look for more healthy shopping tips by clicking the subscribe button below.
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