Think you are good at shopping and meal planning? From choosing when to go shop, to actually making the shopping list, there are many things you can do to shave off some time and make your shopping trip more efficient. We have all the tips you need to help you shop like a pro, save money, and do proper meal planning. Read on if you are ready to sharpen your shopping skills!
Go meat-free for at least one day a week
No matter where you live, meat, fish and poultry are likely to be the most expensive items on your shopping list. By going meat-free once a week, you can firstly save money, you get to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables (better for your health), and you get creative by learning how to cook vegetarian.
Stretch your meat
While we’re on the subject of meat and how expensive it is, why not start stretching your meals by adding to your meat. Use dried beans, lentils, potatoes, or other vegetables to stretch stews and stir-fries. It will also increase the dish’s fiber content, making it healthier.
Use a shopping list
In a store full of distractions, it’s easy to forget what you wanted to buy, or even buy things you didn’t need in the first place! When you draw up your list, do a quick check in your pantry, to make sure you don’t buy duplicates.
Never shop hungry
Seriously, it’s so hard to stick to the grocery list if your eyes are drawn towards the fresh foods deli. If you feel hungry on your way to the store, eat a quick snack like an apple to keep you from getting starved. You’ll be less likely to break your budget (and your diet) by buying expensive foods from the deli.
Do meal preparations on the weekends
Instead of turning to ready-meals, it’s better to prepare meals over the weekend when you have time off, and store them in the freezer. This way you can simply thaw meals during the hectic work week, instead of eating unhealthy takeout or ready meals. You will save money (and your waistline!).
Buy bulk, but do it wisely
It’s a well-known fact that bulk-buying can save you a lot of money, but that’s only if you do it correctly. Don’t buy fresh vegetables in bulk (unless you plan on sharing with a friend or freezing then for later use). Items that are always good to buy in bulk are things like toilet paper, canned goods, and dried food products.
Register to receive online deals and coupons
Many supermarkets nowadays have apps for your phone or you can register online, to receive discounts or coupons. Sign up for their newsletter and you’ll be the first to know when there is a promotion going on. And remember to sign up if they have loyalty cards!
Don’t be bamboozled by a sale
While we all like a good discount every now and then, make sure that it is actually a discount before you buy into it. Even if the tag says “SAVE”, do your research inline to see if you’re actually saving. Shop around online or look in brochures to determine where you’ll find the best deal.
The right way to buy vegetables is to buy the freshest first
Look on the labels (if there are any) for the latest date, or pick the vegetables whose leaves look the most perky. The fresher the vegetable, the longer it will last. Stick to cheaper (and more versatile) vegetables that could be used in a variety of dishes.
It’s important to choose the right days on which you shop
Usually, Saturdays are busier, which can add a lot of time to your grocery tip. Most stores also have a day where they mark down products close to their best before date. See if you can determine which day it is (or ask management), and shop for great deals!