Choose fruit and vegetables that will be ripe when you're ready to use them.
The way we shop influences how much food we use - or don’t use - in our homes. Shopping without a menu plan and list means you are more likely to buy more than you need – food that will end up in the bin.
Being a smart shopper means thinking carefully about the food you buy at the supermarket and how you will use it when you get home. How smart are you at the supermarket?
Some general shopping tips include:
- always take your own reusable shopping bags and avoid using plastic bags. Where possible buy products with minimal packaging or recycled packaging. If you can, buy your fruit and vegetables from local growers
- buy organic products that display the certification logo
- don’t shop when you are hungry – you are likely to buy a lot more than you need
- look at the cost of items by weight and compare value for money. Unit pricing now makes this a lot easier in the supermarket
- always look for the use-by and best-before date and make sure you will be able to use the product within this timeframe
- if items are on special, think carefully as to whether you will use them before they become unsafe. It is not a good deal or a special if you don’t use the product and it ends up in the bin
- choose more fruit and vegetables and less meat in your menu plan. Meat is almost always more expensive per kilogram than fruit and vegetables
- avoid overbuying. Remember chilled foods are perishable and have a limited shelf-life. The convenience and economy of buying goods in large quantities is lost if the food deteriorates or spoils before you can use it, creating unnecessary food waste
- to enjoy fresh foods, pack your heavy grocery items at the bottom of your bag or in a separate bag to avoid bruising and splitting. When skin is damaged this allows air to penetrate and encourages the growth of micro-organisms that cause food spoilage
- internet shopping. This may be the most convenient way for many to do their grocery shopping. In NSW there are a range of online food and grocery stores from large supermarkets through to small speciality stores. The great thing about online shopping is that you can order the quantities that you need. Many stores will deliver items on a weekly basis and within a particular region. Buying online, however, may not allow you to compare all products or read nutrition labels.