Every household needs to organise their shopping in a manner most suitable and convenient for them.
Some people shop only once every week, or even less often, others – regularly, some even every day.
How do you organise and do your shopping for household ingredients?
Do you prefer to make a list or you just go to the shop(supermarket/market) and browse the aisles?
I personally always make a list in advance (sometimes I start a few days before so that to see if I would need something else in the meantime), but my family always ends up buying things that are not in the list, things that just look or smell so invitingly that we buy them in the end or things we realise we want to eat only after seeing them in the shop. Has that happen to you as well or I need to be a stricter parent?
Branded Vs Supermarket-Brand Product
When you shop what do you prefer – the branded product or supermarket-own brand product?
I usually buy the supermarket-brand products. They are much cheaper and they definitely are not worse in quality. I like that supermarket also gives you a range of products you can choose from – cheapest (Everyday Value, Smart Price, Basics, Simply Value, etc.) or higher quality on a higher price.
I’ve tried both the cheapest and the most expensive (usually when choosing meat) and I can’t seem to find the difference in taste. The only thing I see when buying the cheapest product is that it can sometimes be a little bit stringy. But, because it was meat, it might have been because of the cut I’ve used.
Frozen Vs Fresh Food
When planning your next week’s meals and doing your shopping, what do you usually buy? Do you buy frozen food or prefer only fresh food to go on the table?
I, personally, buy both:
salad ingredients and vegetables I would use soon after buying I prefer to be fresh;
I also use frozen vegetables when cooking – peas, spinach, green beans, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, etc.;
I buy frozen meat first, because it is cheaper that way and secondly, because I prefer to buy a larger pack and be prepared for longer or when unexpected guests arrive;
milk, yoghurt, eggs and cheese I always buy fresh and never freeze them;
bread – sometimes I buy it fresh and still hot from the local shop, sometimes I prefer to use a frozen batches and have a garlic baguette or I just bake it myself;
I also have in my fridge a lot of frozen ready-made or just ready to bake meals (nuggets, potato wedges, pizzas, croissants) for these times when we are all in a hurry and have no time to slice and cook!
I’d like the people I love to eat fresh, home-cooked meals regularly and I serve hot dishes every day. But to be prepared to cook what your family loves, you need to make the choice between fresh ingredients (that don’t last very long) and frozen ones and balance the tastes.
That is why I stock frozen foods (meat and vegetables) and canned as well (usually vegetables) to be able to prepare something we all love quickly.
Supermarket Vs Local Market Vs Online Shopping
Where do you do your weekly shopping? Do you use a large supermarket chain, the local market or a small neighbourhood shop? Share with me the reasons behind your choice.
I like to shop in a branch of one of the big national supermarket chains. That is because the prices are cheaper, you can find a large range of products in one category and it is easy to browse around and choose.
I also, from time to time, go with my family to the local Sunday market where farmers from the county offer fresh produce – vegetables and eggs. I don’t buy meat from these markets.
Also, I like to go to the fish market to buy different kinds of fish and seafood. Of course, it is more expensive to buy these not from the supermarket, but they are still fresh and there you can find a much greater variety of things you can cook and serve to your loved ones.
In the recent years shopping online (even doing your weekly grocery shopping) has become very popular. It is easy to do, doesn’t take much time, the online store has a great variety of groceries to choose from, it is convenient to receive the shop directly at home without wasting any more time and you can always use your coupons, vouchers and loyalty cards to pay less.
Since I became a mother and I realised that the free time my family has is limited, we decided to start shopping online. We usually buy the bulk of things we are going to need next week online, and just leave some certain products that we buy from a determined place to get during the weekend.
Tell me where and how you usually find the grocery products you are looking for in an affordable price.
Do you have a budget when doing your weekly shop or just buy what you think your family would need?
I try to stick to a certain amount of money and usually I can achieve that, but it is difficult being wise all the time and keep track of things – what you need, how much it costs, can you substitute it for something cheaper, etc.
In the past couple of years sometimes I see a show on TV called Extreme Couponing, where people (usually in the USA) shop for the products their family is going to need by using a stack of coupons.
I like the idea that you could feed your family and stock food for months almost for free, but the main disadvantages of this I see are:
extreme couponers usually need a lot of space at home to store the products they buy (they usually buy almost wholesale quantities to make sure they utilise a given promotion or coupons to a maximum) and I don’t have so much space in our apartment;
but the other thing that worries me more is that, because I live in Europe, I haven’t come across so many coupons as the show participants find and receive.
Share with me what techniques, tricks and shopping apps you use when preparing and doing your weekly shopping so that to minimise the amount you are going to pay at the end and to do it as easily as possible.
And check the recipes in my blog. I like to cook easy and I try to present dishes that you can prepare effortlessly and sometimes very quickly by using not a lot of ingredients.
Have a great day!