You’re planning on eating well, head to the shop for milk and veg and come away with a basketful of treats. Oops. Let’s help avoid those supermarket blowouts.
Food shopping can be challenging, but especially so if you’re trying to manage your weight and eat well. Supermarkets use clever marketing tactics like multibuy offers and loading up checkout areas with snacks and sweets to take advantage of last minute impulse buying. They even plan their layout, with fruit and veg at the front of the store and essentials at the rear. The thinking is that you’ll pick up fruit and veg then, feeling good about your choices, you’ll feel less guilty buying chocolate at the checkout. Stores also hope to tempt you with displays on your way to the back of the shop to get the milk you originally went in for. Clever, yes, but we can be smarter!
Here’s some tips to help you shop smart.
Planning your meals in advance can help you avoid getting swayed by things like delicious sounding, easy to serve ready meals.
Make a list
Once you know what you’re making, make a list of everything you’ll need and stick to it. It should make it easier to sail by the ice cream aisle if it’s not on your radar.
Consider meal crossovers
Once you’ve got the basics down you can be even smarter, and save money, by picking dishes for the week that use the same ingredients, so you can buy in bulk. For instance, you could use minced beef to make bolognese and shepherd’s pie.
Never shop hungry
You’ll make it hard for yourself if you hit the aisles with a hunger so set yourself up for success by eating before you shop.
It’s even easier to avoid temptation when you do your supermarket shop online. Most of the supermarket leaders allow you to enter your list into the search bar, click enter, and add to your basket. Prepare for some enticing offers right before you checkout and resolve to stick to your list.
Variety is the spice of life
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut having the same meals each week, especially if you’re trying to manage your weight and have found foods that are working for you. You can still mix things up by trying a vegetable you don’t normally have, or adding some new spice mixes to your basket.
Keep your cupboards topped up with essentials like dried pasta, tinned tuna, canned tomatoes or sweetcorn. That way you’ll be able to whip up something in a hurry rather than phoning for a takeaway.
No more letting supermarkets sway you with their marketing ways. Shop smart and you’ll be well on your way to supporting healthier food choices.