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Tackling the big shop: Food shopping rules to live by

October 30, 2018

Do you look forward to the weekly shop or dread the mad dash? Everyone has a different approach and some people quite enjoy it, but it can often be quite stressful and tiring, especially with work and families to factor in. Without a plan and a good shopping list, it’s easy to shop inefficiently and expensively. Whether you want to start eating more healthily, shop smarter, cut down on bills or cut the waste, to help inspire you we’ve rounded up some tips to implement into your big shop routine.

Make a shopping list

This is the most obvious of all, but despite this, plenty of shoppers head to the supermarket without a list. It’s best to create weekly and monthly lists to return to, which form the foundation of your food shops, and as you go along you can add specialist ingredients for certain recipes which might’ve grabbed your attention. Before writing your list, check your cupboards, fridge or freezer so you’ve got an idea of what you need. Sometimes simply writing a list doesn’t always suffice when trying to ensure you have a balance of ingredients and you’re not tempted by ready meals. This is where a weekly menu comes in handy.

Plan a weekly menu

Running out of suitable ingredients and inspiration is a sure-fire way to a guilt-ridden takeaway call. If you’re having a hard time making up a list that helps you cook varied meals, start by making a food menu for the week. This menu can serve as the guiding force for your shop and guarantee you’re not left at a loss when Friday evening comes around and you’re left with just a potato and some noodles to work with! This kind of pre-planning will often leave you with leftovers for work the next day, saving you the disappointment of the supermarket meal deal.

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Rushing through the supermarket on an empty stomach after work, already imagining sitting at the dining table… most of us will know this feeling all too well. Worse than the frustrating desire to get home and eat your dinner is the fact that your judgment will most likely be clouded and you could end up making some dodgy choices. If possible, it’s best to avoid the post-work dash. When you’re hungry, you’ll be tempted to buy expensive impulse items (usually junk food). With a full stomach and a clear mind, you’ll be able to stick to your list.

Buy frozen vegetables

Contrary to what you may have heard, there’s no evidence to support that frozen vegetables are any less nutritious than their fresh equivalents. This makes frozen veg great to bulk buy and keep in the freezer. Fresh vegetables are often the items we throw out, so choosing a mixture of frozen and fresh is the ideal approach.

Self-discipline at the check-out

When it comes to queuing up and waiting to buy your items, the checkouts are one of the most profitable sections of the store as they’re filled with treats and offers that you don’t need, but will no doubt catch the eye. We’re often bombarded with multipacks of crisps, doughnuts and chocolate just as we’re about to leave. If you want to treat yourself that’s obviously fine, but if you feel yourself impulsively reaching for these items, think about whether you really want them!

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