For some people, there’s nothing better than a trip to the grocery store. The buzz of comparing prices, looking for ingredients for recipes, and trying out new products is downright thrilling for them.
However, for others, grocery shopping is a laborious task that they’d rather not have to deal with. Like it or love it, however, grocery shopping is part of running a household. And with the price of groceries on the rise, and plenty of unhealthy preservatives snuck into some of our favorite foods, smart grocery shopping is a must.
Here are some of the best tips for better and smarter grocery shopping that won’t just benefit your budget, but also your health.
One of the most important places to start with environmental consciousness is at the grocery store. Try to avoid buying products that come in single use plastic packaging, and instead choosing products packaged with sustainable materials. The more you understand the different types of plastics and product containers, the more you can avoid buying these kinds of products to reduce our overall waste on the planet.
Create a List and Don’t Cheat
We’ve all found ourselves guilty of going to the grocery store with a list and coming back with less than half the things on our list and a cart full of things we didn’t even know we needed— which in truth we definitely didn’t need. One of the most effective ways to be a smart shopper is to create a well organized list and stick to it.
Take time to plan out your meals and only put items on the list that you need. If you allow yourself to get distracted with impulse purchases and nonessential items, it’s only a matter of time until you go over budget. A list will help you stay focused and avoid overspending.
Read Labels Carefully
Nowadays, even something as simple as ketchup can have all sorts of bizarre chemicals in it that you can’t even pronounce. Always read the labels carefully and get to know what each ingredient is. Understand nutritional content, and avoid foods with extremely high sugar quantities and sodium levels. As a general rule of thumb, the shorter an ingredient list is, the healthier it probably is. In other words, if you can’t pronounce it, skip it.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a great way to save a substantial amount of money and also reduce packaging waste. A lot of stores offer bulk sections where you can purchase everything from nuts to grains by weight.
Consider bringing your own reusable bags to cut down on single use packaging, and be mindful of how much you actually need. Sometimes when buying in bulk we tend to go overboard because it’s such a great deal, when in fact we could have probably bought less.
Try to go shopping whenever there are sales. By only shopping during sales periods you can save a significant amount of money added up over the year by simply timing your shopping trips just right. Regularly compare prices between stores, and know when the best times to go are for the best deals.