The supermarket and the essential art of food shopping can be the unravelling of those of us watching what we eat and trying to be healthier. They don’t care that we still have 5lbs to lose until we are at goal, they just want our money – they are a business after-all!
The essentials are miles away from the entrance, ensuring that we have to pass nearly everything to pick up just a bottle of milk. Never ending aisles of tempting treats, the smell of freshly baked bread and multi-buy offers trying to make us buy more food than we actually need.
Weight Watchers challenged us to show how we overcome the dangers of the supermarket and to share our top tips.
So here they are my TOP 6 Shop Smart Tips (another tongue twister for y’all)
1. SHOP ONLINE
Without a car in my life (or the ability to drive) shopping online has always been the only option for the big shop. I’ve tried a few but I’ve been using Ocado (exclusively) since 2009. Their website shows you items that are already out of stock so missing items and replacements are at a minimum. The prices are competitive and the range is improving daily. If products are damaged in any way, I have always managed to get a refund and their people are lovely from drivers, to twitter and customer services. They haven’t paid me to say all this by the way and I’m far from saying they are perfect but my experience with them in mostly positive.
Shopping online means I can take my time, I mostly end up doing it all the day before but there is nothing stopping me from organising my shops weeks in advance and if I don’t want to look at the chocolate section, I’m not forced to pass it at every corner!
Do remember to check that you haven’t ordered the same item twice. A few weeks ago I changed my mind on the type of potatoes I was going to buy and ended up with 4.5kg of them. Thankfully I was able to donate one of the bags to Foodcycle.
2. CHECK WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE
This may sound obvious but I am amazed at how much food I used to waste and how much money I was spending needlessly. A quick look in my freezer revealed that I had some Chicken breasts, Homemade Gnocchi, French Onion Soup and a Simple Tomato Sauce that could be used in this weeks meal plan.
3. MEAL PLANNING
Since I started meal planning, my life has been transformed. The initial meal planning can be very frustrating, which is mostly my own fault – as I like to try new dishes and I’m really indecisive. I’m sure most other people don’t have the same levels of stress as me while meal planning. But once that is all done, the rest of the week is all planned out for me. It also saves money because I’ll try to plan meals that use up ingredients or leftovers. For example if one day I cook a Chilli and serve it with rice, later in the week I’ll use up the leftovers on Potato Wedges or Tacos with a Salad.
4. MAKE A LIST
Even though I do my shopping online, I will still need to do a couple of smaller shops to pick up more fresh fruit and vegetables. I always make a list and being a tiny bit OCD about it I write my list in the order of where the items are in the shop. I get very annoyed when they move things about!
Having a list (and in order) means I’m much less likely to buy naughty items but if they do tempt me I have the wonderful Weight Watchers app on my phone. If something that has taken my fancy comes up high in points then it usually doesn’t make it into my basket. It’s also very handy if an item I had planned to buy is out of stock or comparing items like Tortilla wraps – I fancied getting Corn ones but the Wholemeal had the lower points value and sometimes those extra couple of points are crucial!
5. DON’T GO TO THE SHOPS HUNGRY
This one is very simple.
If I go to the shops hungry, I can guarantee that either crisps, chocolate or biscuits will end up in my basket.
6. COMBINE WITH ACTIVITY
My closest supermarket (not including local/metro) is just over 1 mile away, if it works for you I highly recommend getting in as much walking as you can squeeze in. My 2 mile round trip can earn me up to 3 activity points.
Maybe go to a different supermarket that is slightly further away or the route to it passes through a nice park.
So that concludes my tips, what tips do you have for savvy shopping?
Check out Weight Watchers own tips for Shopping Smart