Love it or hate it the ‘big’ food shop has to be done, and whether you do it weekly or monthly I’ve put together some helpful hints that can save both lb’s on the scales as well as £’s at the till (sorry to all you non-UK readers for that pun!).
Here are my Top 7 Healthy Supermarket Shopping Tips.. check out my video on it [here]!
- 1) Never EVER go food shopping when you’re hungry. Going food shopping when you’re hungry will leave you more vulnerable to tempting smells and offers on those high fat and high sugar food items. Go shopping after a meal or have a healthy snack before you go, so that you’re head does the shopping and not your stomach!
- 2) Always take a shopping list. Having a weekly meal plan and shopping list will mean that you’re more likely to stick with your healthy eating intentions and you won’t need to worry about food waste at the end of the week, as you’ve only bought what you need!
- 3) Read labels and compare products. Although the first time you do this your shopping may take slightly longer, the next time it won’t as you’ve already read the labels and know which product is best for you! When comparing products that you are planning to eat the whole of, e.g. an individual pot of custard, compare the ‘per portion’ for calories/fat/sugar, and for foods such as sauces and dips which you may not eat the whole of, compare ‘per 100g’ for calories/fat/sugar. Supermarkets are getting better at colour coded / ‘easy to read’ nutritional information, but this chart below may be useful too:
- 4) Buy tins! Buying tinned or canned foods such as beans and lentils are a great addition to any store-cupboard. They have a long shelf-life and make a great low calorie, high fibre/protein addition to many meals. Try adding kidney beans to chili, butter beans to a chicken/fish dish or chickpeas to a curry.
- 5) Check ‘Use-By’ dates. This is where your weekly meal plan comes in handy – check that the fresh food that you have bought will be safe to eat on the day you had planned (this may apply to meats, fish or pre-packaged fruits and vegetables). If it won’t be, then can you freeze it on the day of purchase and defrost it before you need it? Foods past the ‘sell by’ or ‘best before’ should be safe to eat but just won’t be at their ‘best’.. it’s the ‘USE-BY’ dates that matters.
- 6) Buy from the Value range. Some food items, such as frozen vegetables, fresh fruit and pasta are fantastic quality from the ‘value’ ranges, as well as being super value for money. Why not give them ago.. the money saved on a weekly basis will really add up!
- 7) Try ‘on-line food shopping’. Shopping online can be a big money and time saver as it leaves you 100% in control of what goes into your basket (from the comfort of your own home) and you can have it delivered to your door when it suits. A small delivery charge is usually added however when you consider petrol/taxi/impulse purchase costs etc. sometimes it can really be worth it. Ocado is only online and Waitrose have more recently added online shopping as an option!
Do you have any more shopping tips you’d like to share?
For more information check out the following links:
- How to Choose a Healthy Cereal or Snack Bar
- How to Choose a Healthy Yoghurt
- My Healthy Shopping List
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