Friday 21 June 2013

Grocery shopping tips

I usually end up with a whole lot of wanted or unwanted food in my fridge from the unplanned groceries trip. Either that, or missing out items that forces me out of home for another trip, just for a single item. So here are some tips I accumulated from the months of groceries shopping experience, which has since been my forte. 

1. Plan your menu
Very often, I overbuy or miss out items that I need for my weekly food menu. Simply because I didn't pen the ingredients needed for my menu. Planning gives me targeted buying. And there, I get my grocery list. 
Flown meal planner from Singapore
2. Check pantry
After planning the menu, check the pantry and fridge for items you already have. So there won't be repeated buys, especially when they're highly perishable. Too much food poses trouble for the chef. Work to cook off the previous buys. Sometimes, with no planning, I tend to get repeated buys, so much so that we are probably well-prepared for disaster activation. In fact, I've already some canned food set aside for earthquake contingency. 

3. Keep receipts
I have the tendency to forget what has been bought after some time. Being slowly consumed by memory failure, it could either be sitting somewhere in the fridge or rotting bad till discovered! Ok, that's me. Having the receipt clipped outside my fridge is a good reminder of my buys, allowing me to wipe out what I've bought, thus being less wasteful. 
Clipped receipt

4. Coupons
This may not be too applicable in Singapore, but here, it's a coupon world. I'll try to clip coupons on the items that I plan to buy, and not get myself conned to buying other stuffs, even though greatly slashed. Being needful is important when it comes to coupons. 

5. Nutrition
I now spend more time reading nutrition facts and ingredients. I avoid adding artificially flavoured and coloured food to my cart, as well as MSG and preservatives. Sodium Nitrate's a compound used to preserve most processed food giving it a more appealing colour to consumers. Very commonly found in processed meats, such as hotdog, bacon, ham and canned food. Some researchers evidenced that sodium nitrate (read: Sodium Nitrates) is a cancer causing ingredient. That was concluded decades ago. After which, researchers said sodium nitrate and cancer has no link. A myth?!! Oh well, I think consuming moderately, once in a long while should be fine. I'll remain cautious when it comes to reading labels, less is actually better. There are always other nutritious options to go for. I'll totally avoid the artificial, MSG and preservatives for kids consumption. For myself, if it's my craving to die for, I'll buy! Moderately. 

Extracted this from a sausage I bought
6. Bring your own bags
When I say go plastic free, I'm absolutely not practicing what I preach. Simply because I don't bring my recycle bags for bagging the groceries. I get fresh plastics for every trip, giving myself excuses such as convenience and needing the bags to line the trash bin. For the benefit of our future generations, to save the world and save the environment, I'll make a good effort on this. 

7. Don't shop on an empty tummy
Lastly, my favourite one. Have you noticed, groceries shopping after a full meal prompts you to buy less. You tend to stay more focused on your grocery list. Which means there's less impulse buying and you spend nothing or less on the unnecessary. For me, it means less junk snacks and sweets.

Grocery shopping does need some good techniques huh, don't belittle the accomplishments of a grocery shopping mum!

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