Bring in the Good Stuff
Shopping can be one of those tedious tasks that are unavoidable if you want to eat you have to shop. And while it can be time-consuming and a bit of a chore you can turn this into an enjoyable task.
Believe it or not, shopping can help you to get inspired and be creative in your cooking. This is where you can develop relationships with the providers of food, granted this is harder to do when you are trawling around a supermarket but even here we can find some sense of community.
Before you go..
Now I know in an ideal world we would have our weekly meal plan but I have realised that plans don’t always work. Because sometimes what you wanted isn’t in stock. It is no point wanting to make a dish that calls for asparagus when you are in the middle of winter. So don’t forget to eat seasonally and be flexible enough to change your plan if what you wanted to make is no longer possible.
Before you go shopping you may want to take stock of what you have in your fridge and freezer are there any leftovers you can make a meal from? Make a shopping list, I keep mine on my phone and add to it whenever something runs out. When shopping stay open to discovering new items.
Where to shop?
First prize would be farmers markets where you can buy direct from the grower or supplier. Or from small scale sellers who have brought in a few boxes of something seasonal, the quality is far better than what the supermarkets have access to.
Second prize would be independent shops. It i is really important to support them because they are sometimes more innovative and try harder than bigger stores. They can support smaller suppliers that are too small for the big chains to take on. You may live in an area that has limited access to these types of shops but when you do come across one stock up on those products that you cannot find in the supermarkets.
Third prize, reality and the dreaded supermarket. Most of us probably end up doing our shopping at supermarkets so if this is the case then here is a way to negotiate around a supermarket. There are whole rows you should be avoiding and if you do, this will make your shopping quicker and healthier and you can leave with your sanity and energy intact.
Supermarkets are all designed in a similar fashion, fresh food on the edges, more of the processed food in the middle. So stick to the sides and avoid the middle.
Shop fresh food around the edges, these are fruit, vegetables, dairy and fish/meat section.
Dip into the middle for tinned or dried foods, condiments and oils
Some stores have a health food section which is probably a safer space but it is still important to read the labels because not everything that says healthy is actually healthy.
Once you know where the safe zones are you can zip around avoiding those dangerous aisles full of processed foods. If you missed it you can read my blog What Made us so Sick about the food industry.
When I first changed the way I shopped and cooked I had a shopping list I would use to keep me on track. Now years later I am no longer tempted and know what I generally use. My basket is usually 80 - 90% fresh vegetables and fruits.
If you want to start changing what you bring into your kitchen I would suggest creating a shopping list that you can use as a guide and help keep you on track.
Here is a guideline, things to consider when creating your own shopping list.
If anyone uses an App that they can recommend please share it on my Facebook page.
And remember to avoid unnecessary packaging, bring your own unique shopping bags and say no to plastic bags.