Life Skills Everyone Needs: Food Shopping
It’s Not Your Fault If You Weren’t Taught Them
Remember when you were a kid and your mum or dad dragged you grocery shopping? You were bored the whole time and wanted to go home. It’s the same when you’re an adult, but now you’re responsible for the bill at the end. The whole “we have food at home” thing is making much more sense now, isn’t it? Grocery shopping is a chore, but if you want to eat, it needs to be done. I can’t stop it from being tedious. But I can stop it from being so expensive.
Check Your Cupboards Before You Go Out
Don’t buy things unless you need them. We’re all guilty of this from time to time. But check to see if you need something before you just go and buy it anyway.
Make A List
Despite what anyone tells you, lists don’t stop impulse buying. But they will make you buy what you actually do need. The rest is down to willpower.
Don’t Go If You’re Hungry
It might sound like a myth if you’ve never done it. But if you do it once, you’ll see the truth in that saying. Going shopping when you’re hungry means you gravitate towards unhealthier foods. It also means that you buy much more food than you actually need.
You might want a bottle of vodka, but can you afford it? If you’re not sure, the answer is probably no. I know it’s a bit depressing. But you need to prioritise your spending. Get what you need before you get what you want.
Brands VS Store
My late mother-in-law used to work in a factory that packaged meat. She let me in on a secret. If they were changing from store’s own to branded meat, the only thing that got changed was the label. There are some things that the “you get what you pay for” rule still applies to. But there are so many things even an expert would struggle to identify as own or brand:
The list is probably far more extensive than that. But you get the idea. Just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s going to be better. Sometimes it will be though. For instance, I can’t drink cheap coffee anymore. So I buy the more expensive brand when it’s on offer. I buy enough to last 3 months so I know it will be on offer again when I buy more.
Some things I would actively recommend spending a little more money on. Tin (aluminum) foil, bin (trash) bags, deodorant, and washing up liquid (dish soap.) These are all things you don’t really want to scrimp on.
If you’re buying things like pain relief and cold medicine, you need to know how to avoid being ripped off. If you’re buying it from off the shelf, you don’t need to buy brand name. The medicines have the same basic ingredients and the dosage is controlled. They’re not legally allowed to sell anything stronger than they already are on the shelf. The ibuprofen for £3.99 is the same strength as the 29p packet.
If it’s at the pharmacy, then it’s either stronger than the shelf stuff or it has different ingredients. But the brand rule still applies. A lot of stores now do their own versions of the pharmacy medicine. It contains the same ingredients, it’s the same strength, it’s just cheaper.
Know How To Store Stuff
Never keep bananas with other fruit, it will spoil the fruit and ripen the bananas too fast. Don’t store bread in the fridge. It’ll go dry. Keep potatoes in a cool, dark place, the same applies for onions. Knowing how to store things means the food you buy will last longer and taste nicer.
It’s Not A Bargain If You Don’t Use It
It might only be a pound or a dollar. But if you’re not actually going to use it, then you’ve just wasted that money. It could have been put towards something much more useful.