3 P’s Of Grocery Shopping
A grocery store can be very overwhelming at times. There are so many distractions that can tempt you into buying the wrong items for your diet and even your budget. We may see the good old “2 for $4” sale sign and overlook the fact that the product may have only been $1.99 to begin with. There are a lot of ways around spending too much money at the grocery store and we are here to show you how with the 3 P’s from MyPlate.gov.
The 3 P’s. Plan, Purchase, and Prepare. This is key in making sure you do not go over budget!
1.) Plan. When planning out meals look up quick and easy recipes that are healthy, and include meals that are easy to stretch throughout the week. Once you have all the items you need written down, look up coupons for your products. There are a lot of websites out there for coupons, and your local store always has coupons to look at as well! Be smart and make sure you aren’t clipping coupons for products you don’t need. Stick to the plan!
2.) Purchase. When purchasing your items at the store, try not to go when you are hungry because you will buy just about anything off impulse. A few other tricks to remember while shopping at the grocery store are:
– Stick to your grocery list and walk around the fresh and healthy part of the store that contains the milk, eggs, fruit, and produce. Avoid the middle isles where the cookies, crackers, and candy are.
– Organize your grocery list by parts of the store. This way you are only making one trip around the store vs. going back and forth through the isles. By going back and forth, you are more tempted to buy the products off your list that you do not need.
– Stray away from items that are pre-packaged for you such as pre‐cut fruits and vegetables, individual cups of yogurt, etc. They cost more, and you get less for your money.
– Buy store brands when you can, typically the products are always the same thing just from different brands. The quality and nutritional content is usually the same as the more expensive brand name. The reason the brand name is more expensive is typically because you are paying for their marketing costs.
– Do not buy fresh produce in bulk because unless you know you will eat it fast. It’s okay to take a few trips to the grocery store each week to keep up on fresh produce. This way, you will not be throwing way bad food when you never got the chance to eat it.
3.) Prepare. Make your own meals once a week. At first it may seem overwhelming to prepare so much food once you have everything made, labeled and in the refrigerator (or freezer) you will realize how much money you just saved by preparing your own healthy meals throughout the week. Not only will these meals be healthier and last longer, but you will be skipping out on the “convenient” foods such as drive through, pizza, vending machine snacks, etc. Here are just a few easy food prepping tips:
– Have a plan in mind. Print off, or have out every recipe you will be using. Go through each ingredient to make sure you have everything and that you have a list of what to buy at the store. Start off cooking things that will take the longest because while those things are cooking (crock pot meals, turkey in the oven, etc.) you can start on other meals to cook to save you time.
– Purchase a food scale. Remember that serving sizes are crucial; remember that one serving size of meat is between 4 and 6 ounces. Electronic scales work best it is simple to zero them out and you can put the Tupperware on top of it and measure.
– Chicken breast and Turkey meat are good for meal preps. If you cook seafood, make sure you eat it the first day or two or it will go bad and you will have just wasted your time and money.