Monday, August 5, 2013

Prudent Tips for Grocery Shopping

At the start of the week, most of us women are profusely involved in running errands, the most important for the week is grocery shopping. With a vast range of products, items and stores around us, it can get daunting to complete this chore from time to time. The best and easiest way is to keep in mind the budget for the week by simply making a grocery shopping list. Distraction at the supermarket is easy with a lot of tempting offers on the shelf. But if you do not intend to eat it, ignore it. 

A lot of women who grocery shop are always apprehensive with the type of food procured as it is unwaveringly proportional to the family health system. I for one always invest in green leafy vegetables and organic fresh food as a consistent practice. Vegetables and food rich in proteins are a must at least twice a week at the dinner table. It is not always easy to be dedicated at the grocery market and shopping healthy is not only a challenge but a consequential requirement to a healthy lifestyle.

Also, setting aside a grocery budget is frugal. If you are a small size family, just shop once at the grocery market and make sure you have enough food for the week. Planning is the key and most of the time you should be aware of the weekly menu you are going to cook. It is no disbelief that cooking meals at home is a huge money saver than eating out during the week. Of course, by practicing this, you are permitting yourself to indulge in eating out over the weekend.

After reading a lot of health magazines and online websites, I’ve gathered a few tips on prudent grocery shopping that I am thrilled to share with you. Here are some useful tips that can help you cut back on your grocery bill.

Menu Planning 
I understand this is not an easy task to do for a busy woman, but trust me it is effective. If you spend a few moments before you shop to simply strategize your meal cooking options, you are absolutely certain to prepare a wonder list for grocery shopping. Subsequently, you will take care to include the essential nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins in your cooking. This way, you control cooking light and healthy meals during the week and effectively taking care of the nutrition aspect in your family.  It takes a lot from this daunting task, but once executed the satisfaction it gives you is immense. 

Making the list
Always have two sheets of paper. One to jot down the items to purchase at the grocery market, the other is to plan the meals you will be making. My list is always on my refrigerator dashboard, well categorized. Yes, do categorize your grocery list by dairy, bread, breakfast items, grains, vegetables, canned food, baking and household items. It is easy to pick up the items as you shop if they are categorized. Mentally check the item off the list after adding to your cart. At this point, I must mention that it is a nice game my husband and I play as to who gets the most number of items the fastest. Keeps us into it and rewards us with an energized workout at the store.

Budget
After you have the list, approximate you’re spending and stick to the budget. It is a weird theory but I know it is true that when you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, your hunger drives you to pick up a lot of junk food and hence spend a lot more. Tally your items with approximation so you have an idea on how much you are going to pay up. This is a good training exercise to keep the mind involved and alert. 

Be an alert shopper
Always read the nutrition label of your product and educate yourself on what you will be consuming. Look for the values on trans-fat, hydrogenated oils, high amounts of sugar, cholesterol levels, and sodium content and do not be afraid to substitute with foods rich in fiber, proteins, vitamins, calcium and good fats instead. Purchase whole foods over processed as this kind is always lacking nutrition. Avoid impulse buys, use store saving cards and coupons. Avoid frozen food; it is not what you should be eating. Organic food is costly but the economy will be blooming if we all bought farm fresh. 

Miscellaneous tips
Of course needless to say, always consume all the food in your refrigerator before they die out or expire, cut down on sugar cereals and switch to whole grain instead, avoid getting junk and opt for fruits and veggies instead. Sugar drinks should be avoided, nothing tastes better than water. Switch to ‘real foods’ such as 100% fruit juice or 100% whole grain items. Anything that will get you and your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is worth the extra expense, so splurge in the produce aisles and choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Save the planet! It’s yours and mine!!

Finally, carry your own shopping bags and do your bit to help save the environment. Make it fun and interesting; to me it is no more an overwhelming task.

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