Sunday, June 1, 2008
Shopping - a tutorial!
1.Never leave the house without your tools. They include in order of importance:
a. Your current shopping list
b. The list of foods you already have at home
c.The Organics Dirty Dozen Guide
d. Your Shop Journal - which is a little record book of what you buy most often and how much does it cost in other stores - without your journal, comparisons are really an exercise in memorization.
So you really have to have a game plan - What are you and your family going to eat for breakfast , lunch and dinner for the next seven days. The list should be as realistic as possible - plan in social engagements, children birthday parties , sports or cultural events - everything that could influence your food intake for the next seven days. Keep in mind you should plan around foods you already have in the house, so the first step has to be evaluating your list from last week - to see if some recipes did not get made - and you have to transfer them over to this week.
2.An often heard rule: Don’t ever shop on an empty stomach.
3.Try to shop alone. I know this is hard on moms but maybe you can trade baby sitting with a friend so they can get their shopping done in peace as well. Spouses need special mentioning - some of them are great, some horribly distracting and some are just the worst impulse shoppers ever. Bottom line if they are not helpful they should not come. You really need your concentration!
4.Shop the bulk food section first. This should be the backbone of your diet.
5.Be aware of false sales and sales that prompt you to buy things you did not want to buy. Consult your shopping journal to see how much of a good deal the sale really is.
6. Always look at the top and bottom of big supermarket shelves to find similar products often cheaper. General rule is: what’s on eye level is usually most expensive.
7.Also in big supermarkets you want to stick to the outer perimeter of the store. That’s where you will find the food that is worth eating. Your produce, dairy or undairy etc.
8.Always bring a calculator - some cell phones have one built in, or in a dollar store or a Staples you can find some with a niffty clip to hook to your shopping bags. The calculator is necessary to compare prices per unit not per package. However if math happens to be your forte, you can do all those fractions in your head!
9.Buy only what you will use soon - food storage can be tricky - unless you have enough room and you stock up on staples.
10. Be realistic and buy only what you and your family will eat. Try to have fun, but also keep in mind that if the last three time you bought “tofu” it was not used chances are, unless you had a huge mind boggling awakening you will throw it out again. Don’t ever forget it is about choices. There are perfectly happy vegetarians out there who never eat tofu. Not me though - I love the stuff!