Shopping for home essentials and grocery-you either love it or hate it and there is no midline between both. Whatever it is, one must eat to stay alive and one must eat nutritious foods to stay healthy. Consuming freshly prepared homemade food is the ultimate requirement for a healthier ‘you’. It is better to pay a visit to the supermarket during weekends to stock your essentials for the forthcoming week without any hassle. Beware, shopping in supermarkets is quite tempting. All the attractive chocolate wrappers, freshly-baked goods and ready-to-eat products can lure your attention and divert you off your task. Follow these tips to become better at shopping only for your required products:
Frozen & Canned Foods: If you have noticed, any supermarket does not have a window and neither are essential products stacked at the start of these shops. Rice, dhal and other essentials sit at the extreme corners of the stores which force the shopper to pass through other sections of the supermarket. During this short journey, our eyes wander everywhere, pick one or two unwanted products before you start shopping for your required ones.
Fresh produce, dairy and lean meats are stored in the outer aisles of the store while processed/packaged foods line the inner aisles. The middle aisles offer some interesting and healthy choices-frozen and canned foods that are a great way to load your body with all types of produce (Seasonal or non-seasonal) without all the salt, sugar and sauces. Most of these frozen veggies and fruits have been harvested during their peak season and immediately flash frozen to retain key nutrients and taste. That’s the reason why frozen produce is sometimes preferred over fresh produce.
The only canned veggies to avoid are carrots and beans that are stripped off their nutrients and packed with loads of salt. Canned legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and white beans are best consumed when canned as they save your soaking and cooking time, provide you with plant protein and stock you with more fiber. Only concern here is sodium and washing these legumes in running water helps to reduce sodium content by as much as 30%.
Bend A Little
Branded food products pay more to stay on top shelves in supermarkets and obviously they are going to cost you more. It doesn’t harm to bend a little and look through the lower shelves where you can find exact alternatives matching the same quality of your branded food products (at a lot cheaper price!). Use this saved-up money to buy some more fresh produce, maybe exotic fruits that your children would love to explore.
Eat Local Produce
Canned or frozen produce is available year-round and we don’t hesitate to pick them. But when you buy fresh produce that is available during the season, it is not only fresh but also tastes better and without much protective chemicals or artificial ripening agents. Off-season produce costs more, its less sustainable, uses nonrenewable energy sources such as transport and finally doesn’t appeal you much. You must first know what produce is available in which season to choose from them. Get to know them from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Save the Flyer
Newspapers and magazines serve as advertising platforms and our local grocery stores use these to distribute flyers promoting their products. People often either throw them away or use them as paper sheets to scribble their thoughts. But, next time use this as a means to plan your weeks’ meals even before visiting the supermarket. Some stores even post their products/ads online and provide discount coupons as well!
Fill Your Stomach Before Filling Your Shopping Basket
Never visit the supermarket on an empty stomach as it triggers you to buy all that you see-baked goods, ready-to-eat foods and more. Eat well or carry some snacks with you. It is even more better to carry a shopping list which prevents unwanted shopping additions and helps you buy wholesome foods that you need. Choose recipes for the upcoming week, save the ingredients needed and use the grocery list to buy these required ones.
Online shopping options might have made a few of you lazier, but they also benefit in terms of buying the needful. Once you have the shopping list handy, all you need to do is look out for these options online and buy them with the click of the mouse.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.