Welcome to our newest edition of Life Skills! Today's post endeavours to help guide you through the large, confusing maze that is the modern grocery store.
Some tips for a healthy and cost effective shopping trip!
1. Make a list. It will help you be more organized, buying what you need, and not just whatever looks good and easy.
2. Don't go shopping on an empty stomach. You'll want to buy everything in the store - and not necessarily healthy things!
3. Take reusable shopping bags along. This one's looking at you, environment. The amount of plastic bags polluting our planet is so sad!
Ok, next up, game plan!
A good way to shop is to start by going around the entire outside of the store. That's normally where all of the fresh produce is, the dairy, meat, and eggs. Then you can go down whatever aisle you need in the center for things like canned products, crackers, baking supplies or whatever prepackaged, non-refrigerated goods you need.
Another thing to consider through your entire trip is value for your money. Often, the more convenient something is, the more expensive it gets (unless of course, you're shopping for ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese from a box). For example, consider buying a family package of chicken breasts and putting whatever you don't need in the freezer, rather than buying individual portions or pre-cooked chicken. You'll get more value for your money, with just a little extra prep work involved. At the same time, be sure you're not contributing to the food waste problem that many parts of the world are struggling with.
If you want to take your trip to the next level in buying healthy food, start getting into the habit of checking labels! Stay away from things you can't pronounce, some "diet" foods that have harmful chemicals instead of the natural product, and goods high in sugar and unhealthy fats.
One last note: I mentioned earlier that buying more of a product may be more cost effective; however be sure to consider your lifestyle and eating habits before you buy things in "bulk". For example, if buying a bag of chips in bulk is going to encourage you to eat more of them in one sitting, consider buying a smaller bag to help your portion control. If buying a bulk bag of green peppers means that half of them will rot before you use them, buy them in smaller quantities (unless you're going to freeze/preserve them).
Ok, hope that helps, whether you're a shopping veteran who needed a refresh, or just headed off to college to fend for yourself - or anywhere in between!
Thanks for reading, see you next time! If anyone is interested in a blog post expanding on any of these topics (food labels, food preservation, etc.) leave me a comment, and I'll see what I can do!