Shop the perimeter.
Follow this rule of thumb, “…if it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t!” Ok, so we can’t always stick to this rule (and rules were made to be broken, right?!), but it is true that the essential foods that you want in your diet are located on the perimeter of the grocery store and, generally, bad, processed foods are in the aisles. For some of us, willpower is an issue, so don’t even put yourself in the position to be tempted, stay on the outside!
We’re not talking about nutrition facts. It’s the ingredients we want to focus on here. Try to avoid products that contain hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and trans fats and be aware of the sugar and sodium content. Food manufacturers often disguise unwanted ingredients like MSG, by listing things we’ve never heard of that contain them (for example, hydrolyzed protein and glutamate…right.) So, be smart: if you don’t recognize several ingredients, put it back on the shelf!
Stay in season.
Try to stick to fruits and veggies that are in season. Out of season produce not only costs more, but also contains extra pesticides and preservatives since it need to be shipped from farther away. Imported fruit and veg is always going to cost more!
Here is how it works:1. PLANNING. It all comes down to great planning. On a Saturday morning over breakfast we plan the week. This will affect meals if we are all there or dropping in and out! I only shop once a week so I am not tempted to spend on non-essentials during the week. 2. My bill is still at around 1200dhs a week but this is ok and I continue to look for other savings. 3. The plan below is with a shopping list, hopefully some items will already be in your store cupboard. 4. If you are lucky enough to have a maid, take some time to train her to do some baking the dishes are all very simple and can be achieved with little cookery skill!
When you are busy, planning the grocery shopping, keeping the cost down and providing the family with food they will a) All eat and b) provides some nutritional value is at the least stressful. With three children (who all like different food) I can finally say I think we have achieved the above to some extent. Obviously as a mother I would like them to actually want vegetables, but this is going to be long way off happening. I realized that my food costs had spiraled out of control and I wanted to get our weekly spend of 3000dhs back down to around a 900dhs. This was going to be a challenge but not impossible.
Top tips to save money:Going grocery shopping can be both productive and overwhelming. We usually go in with good intentions to make healthy purchases, but more often than not we leave with a few items that aren’t exactly “on the program.” Here are five easy-to-follow tips for improving your grocery shopping skills, health and lifestyle! ALWAYS go in with a list…and stick to it! Like anything else, when you’ve mapped out a game plan you lower the risk of deviating off course. NEVER go in hungry. This is a recipe for disaster. Going in hungry ensures grabbing all kinds of things you don’t really need because when you’re hungry cravings can—and will take over. Understand (and take control of) your food cravings!
I make my list in shop areas to make it easier. Eg. Dairy; Meat; Fruit & Veg; Household; Store cupboard. This means I can get around faster have less going back to where I started.