Revamp Your Shopping Strategy at the Supermarket


Make the list in advance. Planning the week’s meal, Never Shop on an Empty Stomach. Stay on Budget. Beware of possible food contamination. It’s all about the food. What people do not realize is that there is a right and wrong way to do this.

Make the list in advance.
A mental list is okay aisle by aisle if you have the memory of Kreskin but a physical list works better and more efficiently when you write down the items as you run low or completely out of them. 
Make certain you have an ample amount of cash in addition to your credit card. Sometimes technology is not friendly at the checkout and cash is the savior.



Planning and cooking in advance for the week.
The working professional or homemaker plans, cooks and freezes the week’s meal in advance which is a lifesaver after a long day at work. Plan at least 3 or 4 menus so that variations of these menus may be created as an alternative. 

Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
When you are h u n g r y everything looks good and you end up purchasing items you didn’t need or want; this is a waste and burdens the budget as well. The best time to shop is after breakfast, after lunch or after dinner; otherwise, carry a snack with you (i.e. banana, granola bar or crackers to hold you.



Stay on Budget
Food shopping is basically about replacing items and occasionally trying something new.

Look for sales that make senses. I personally do not live for coupons but when I find one that applies to my daily use, I’ll take it! Beware of coupons where you must purchase $$ worth of another product in order to purchase the one intended. Unless the other product is something you already use, consider this coupon a waste of time and money.  

Most supermarkets have the digital coupon system for which you can register online. You check out the brands and click on those you use.  This is automatically transferred to your club card which is presented at the checkout before ringing up the items.

Selecting Meats and Poultry
Meats and poultry are presumably fresh; however, if there is blood running from the package, put it back; chances are it’s been sitting there for a while and unfit for consumption. Reach to the back of the display case for a fresh package. 

This is what happens. The packaged meat or poultry that is placed in the shopper’s cart is sometimes discarded for whatever reason at the checkout. The package is put aside by the cashier; then at the end of the day or shift, all the discards are placed in a shopping cart and returned to the shelf for the next shopper to purchase.

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The smart shopper waits for the fresh packages to come out from the butcher section and placed on the shelves or, will ask the butcher to make up a special package for them. The supermarket butchers are usually very accommodating. Your special thank you goes a long way.

This is why having a personal butcher is a luxury; however, they are few and far between, plus a bit pricey but worth it.


Dairy Products                                                                                
In addition to reaching to the back of the shelf in the refrigerated area and checking the date stamp, always check the milk container for the slide tab that seals the cap.  





For the cream container or Half and Half, uncap the container and look for the inner seal with a loop. If the seal is there and intact, the cream is okay for purchase. If there is no inner seal, chances are it was tampered with (i.e. someone might have sipped from the container) and put it back on the shelf. Better safe than sorry. 





Dessert Section
Same rules apply. The front containers of frozen cake or ice cream may feel a bit soft. Chances are they made to the checkout, only to be discarded. Again, reach to the back and pick a container that feels frozen solid.


Bakery Section
Is a no-no. Supermarkets are known to tamper with baked goods. If the cakes aren’t purchased that week, they stay there and a new date sticker is placed over the old one. Go to a private bakery where everything is guaranteed fresh.

Shopping done. Now to checkout
The smart shopper is also well-organized and packs categorically. All frozen goes together, followed by refrigerated, then by produce, prepared foods and canned goods. Also do your own packing if possible, it makes unpacking and putting away items at home much easier.

Job well done. Now go home and enjoy! 




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