Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2014 Contents B14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 30, 2014
It's a fact of life - you've got to eat three
meals a day (or 21 meals a week), which
adds up to a lot of money spent for gro-
cery shopping and cooking. If you are on a
budget, you need to find ways to keep the
costs down and avoid making unnecessary
Effective grocery shopping can be attained
by implementing a few or all of the items
below. The most important thing is to ensure
that you plan in advance, and stick to your
plan. You will save money, time, and wasted
dollars in spoiled food, as well as potentially
learn to enjoy Saturday mornings (or Sunday
evenings) at the grocery store.
Here's how you can effectively shop for
1. Make a list of what you already have.
Search your cupboards, refrigerator, and
freezer and write down everything you al-
ready have. If items are running low (rice,
sugar, flour, etc.), add them to your shopping
list. Now when you go shopping, you can be
confident you are not buying yet another
food item, and you're much less likely to end
up tossing half the things in your refrigerator
simply because you forgot you had them or
it was spoiled.
2. Shop weekly.
Plan some meals for the week using what
you have. Gather your list of what's on hand
and put together a rough meal plan for a
week. Add the ingredients you will need to
buy to your shopping list.
3. Check the sale prices.
Always compare between brands before
buying the products. Bulk quantities are
often, but not always, cheaper. Look for of-
fers on sale too, Buy One Get One Free Of-
fers are a great example.
4. "Eat something before you go."
Scrunter's lyrics take on double meaning
here. Simply do not go to the grocery store
hungry. A curbed appetite will keep you from
buying things that sound appetising to you
at the time, but are not really what you had
in mind for that week.
5. Plan how much you're going to spend
before paying at the cash register.
As you add items to your cart, keep track of
the cost in your head or with a calculator to
avoid spending over your limit. It helps to
round the prices up to the nearest dollar, that
way the actual total will come in lower than
you expect when you check out.
6. Purchase non-perishable items in bulk,
at your local warehouse. They are cheaper
than supermarkets. It helps to walk with a
calculator so you can tally the cost of buying
in bulk. Certain items such as toilet paper,
shampoo, toothpaste, air fresheners, dish-
washing liquid, canned foods (tuna, vegeta-
bles, etc), aluminium foil, paper towels, bath
soap and such are best bought in bulk.
You're hungry, you have little spare
time and you need to buy groceries.
But, with so many different stores,
how do you decide where to shop?
Should I purchase potatoes at the
market or the supermarket? Where
can I get value for my money?
Before you buy, here are some guide-
lines you should consider.
• Markets offer produce that is often
fresher than anything that you can
get from the grocery store because it
is grown locally instead of in a differ-
ent state and then imported.
• Most local farms that take their pro-
duce to the market do not use pesti-
cides or other harmful chemicals
when growing their crops; therefore,
your food tastes better, remains or-
ganic and healthier for you.
• Shopping at the market allows an in-
teractive experience. You can speak
to the farmer about the product, ask
questions about how it is prepared,
etc., because they are connected to
their products/ goods.
• Most of the produce from markets
are more expensive than what you
can purchase in the grocery stores.
This is because farmers have to
raise their costs to help sustain their
farm and be able to continue to
grow their produce in a pesticide
free environment, which is more ex-
• Limited selection. Selections can
vary from week to week and season
to season. Planning ahead at a farm-
ers' market can be challenging.
While seasonal guides can give you
an idea of what to expect, there can
still be some variability in what's
• First come, first served. Many of us
have had the full intention of going
to a market only to roll over and look
at the clock and know we're late,
late, late! For the best possible selec-
tion it's better to arrive earlier i.e. no
later than 6am.
• Supermarkets offer you a larger va-
riety of products, so that you have
the ability to choose goods which
are suitable for you. Moreover, you
can find cheaper products since they
often have special offers. As a result,
you save money.
• Supermarkets are open longer hours
than small local shops. This gives
you the opportunity to purchase
goods whenever you want.
• A supermarkets service is more im-
personal than a small shop's staff;
there is a lack of personal attention.
• In addition, large supermarkets are
usually crowded at weekends, be-
cause everyone shops at that time.
This means that you have to wait in
long queues for a long time.
• If you want to support local busi-
ness, shop at the grocery. Most gro-
ceries are established by someone in
• Unlike a supermarket where travel-
ling is required, typically, most gro-
ceries are within short distances
from your home.
• Groceries charge different prices be-
cause they have varying qualities of
food. As such, many of these specialty
varieties are not suited for grocery
Links Archive September 29th 2014 October 1st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page