A typical city dweller visits the grocery store at least twice a week, each time leaving there an average of $ 25. And the average supermarket offers him over 40,000 different products. Why does a modern person have the feeling that there is nothing to eat at home? It seems that, making our raids on supermarkets, we do not think ahead of time of the list of necessary purchases. The tips in this chapter will help you not only to always keep a supply of healthy food in your home, but also to buy the best products at the right time and in the right way.
How to behave in a supermarket
First rule: buy fresh! This is the easiest and most obvious way to improve the menu. However, not the easiest. For the current city dweller, “fresh” does not always mean that the product hit the store directly from the garden, tree, farm, or directly from the sea-ocean. It is more about a maximum approximation to the natural state, that is, a minimum industrial processing by the food industry with its preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, colorants, etc. A “conditionally fresh” product can be frozen and, in principle, even canned, as, for example, "natural" canned fish. Nevertheless, we recommend focusing on fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, juices, meat, poultry, and dairy products. If your product list contains more than half of the "factory", that is, deeply processed, food, it's time to review your menu.
Move around the perimeter of the supermarket. It is there that the freshest foods are concentrated. The less you are interested in the central shelves of the store, the healthier your food. Make a habit: make the bulk of purchases on the periphery of the trading floor and only finally make a raid into its depth for something like cereals, cereal or noodles. These products do not deteriorate so quickly.
Look at the departments of the supermarket (vegetable, fish, meat, dairy, etc.) as independent stores. You do not stop in front of every kiosk? Do not try on, going for carrots, fur coats or gold necklaces in neighboring boutiques? Behave in the supermarket as well. Go immediately to the department you need (primarily the vegetable), without stopping at the shelves with cakes, chips and all kinds of semi-finished products.
See the list. List the products you need in the order that corresponds to the location of the departments of your favorite supermarket. Then you can rush along it with great speed. “It’s better for a woman to send husband or son for food,” says nutritionist Joan Salj Blake. Recent studies by the Institute of Food Marketing show that men are more likely to buy only what is listed. By the way, its benefits are not only in saving time and money. Having learned to buy products according to a pre-compiled list, over time you will stop responding to tempting shelves with products such as sausages, chips, cakes and other sources of harmful fats, excess calories and questionable food additives.
Buy food when you're full. Surely you have heard this advice more than once. “A hungry man,” warns Joan Blake, “being among all kinds of yummy, is at great risk of buying everything he sees, including fat and sweet (read - unhealthy)”. If you cannot go to the store immediately after lunch, be sure to drink a large glass of water before eating and eat at least an apple.
War Plan: Strategy and Tactics
- Before a trip to the store, eat tight, very tight. You can inspire yourself as much as you wish that hunger does not affect your mind, but British scientists know that a hungry person buys 15-20% more than a well-fed one.
- Take packages with you. This is a trifle that will save over the year the amount for which you can have dinner in a good restaurant.
- Never go to a store without a shopping list. All the marketers and merchandisers of the world are powerless against the buyer with the shopping list.
- Plan the menu. Making a shopping list on the menu automatically reduces food costs by 20-25% per month.
- Before going to the store, check what products are already at home: in the refrigerator, in the freezer, on the shelves in the cupboard, etc. Perhaps it is already possible to survive the winter with existing reserves :) Do not buy what you already have.
- Do not take children with you to the store. The child in the store will force you to voluntarily forcibly buy him something tasty. For example, if you go to the store 3 times a week and each time you buy your child something like a kinder surprise (47 rubles), then spend 7,332 rubles on this “trifle” for a year.
- Before going to the store, determine the amount that you agree to spend. Take only her, in cash. So you do not spend extra money, even if you really want to.
- The less you go to the store, the less you will spend money. Create a weekly menu and buy food once a week. If you are the Yoda Master in Menu Planning, then create a menu for a month and buy products in bulk.
On the territory of the enemy: shopping in the store
- In the store, take the basket, not the cart. If you plan to buy a lot, then take a small, not a large trolley. Subconsciously, your brain seeks to fill the entire volume of the basket or cart, which means it will treacherously seek to buy more than necessary.
- In the store, do not look into departments that you do not need. Even for fun. Even if something glitters there :)
- Washed vegetables are not only more expensive than not washed, but also worse stored. Buy unwashed potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.
- Do not buy sliced products (sausage, cheese, bread, etc.), they are more expensive than usual.
- Do not buy ready-made salads in the store. Prepare fast salads for a five-minute two-kopeck home: grated carrots with apple, cabbage with carrots, cucumbers with tomatoes, beets with green peas, etc.
- Buy domestic goods. They are often cheaper, because the price does not include customs payments, shipping costs and other overhead costs. It is also patriotic.
- The most expensive products are located on a shelf in front of the eyes of the buyer. Second in value - on a shelf at the level of the hands. Therefore, you need to start the selection from the lower or upper shelves, where the most inexpensive goods are located.
- Buy seasonal products: in the fall - beets, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, etc. In the summer - cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, etc. Seasonal products grown on the ground under the sun are not only cheaper, but also healthier than those grown in greenhouses under lamps in a nutrient solution.
- Do not pay for advertising. Products of well-known manufacturers and brands are more expensive than little-known. Moreover, the latter are often not inferior to the former in quality.
- Hypermarkets and retail chains often produce products under their own brand name, which are cheaper than peers by eliminating intermediaries between the manufacturer and the store.
- Products on the markets are the cheapest to buy on a weekday evening. And the most disadvantageous time and the most expensive prices - this is a weekend morning.
- In the markets you can and even need to bargain. Ask for a discount if you buy a lot. Ask for a discount if you are constantly buying something from the same seller. Ask for a discount even for a promise to buy regularly from this seller in the future.
1. The first step to saving - shopping list
One of the easiest recommendations for saving is a shopping list if you learn how to shop in strict accordance with it. A properly compiled list will help you not only don't forget anythingbut also save you from spontaneous shopping for unnecessary products.
In order to correctly make a shopping list, you need to carefully study the contents of the refrigerator to know exactly how much and what to buy. You also need to think about what dishes you will cook the next few days, and write everything that is useful for their preparation. In addition, it is not recommended to make a list on an empty stomach, as In this case, you will want to add extra.
It is most convenient to keep the finished list in the store at hand, deleting with a pen what is already purchased. So you can save as much as possible by buying products.
The list will also help you. avoid discounted purchases the product that you are currently not needed, and eventually go bad.
Cold head, warm heart and a calculator in the hands
- Go to the store with a calculator. Do not be afraid to seem a bore. In the eyes of store employees, you will be a person who knows how to count their money. A very dangerous person :)
- When choosing a product, first look at its composition, then at the price and then at the packaging. Choose not what the eye likes, but what the calculator likes.
- Read labels, compare composition. The same product with the same composition can be sold under different brands at different prices.
- Read labels, compare weight. It makes no sense to pay for a beautiful and large package. It is better to prefer a similar product, which is 20% more expensive, but 50% more.
- Read the labels, always check the expiration date. Perhaps a low cost or an impressive discount on a product precisely because the expiration date is already ending today or tomorrow? Take only those products whose expiration date will allow you to eat them on time.
- Pay attention to weight and displacement. Often a product is cheaper not because it has a really favorable price, but because it has less volume or weight. For example, a pack of butter is not always 200 g, and often 190 or 180 g. And in a milk package there may be not a liter, but 900, 930 or 950 ml. A trifle, but unpleasant.
- Sometimes it’s advantageous to buy in large packages. For example, a kilogram of flour costs 40 rubles. A 2 kg. the same flour is already 78 rubles. So, it is more profitable to take 2 kg.
- Sometimes it’s more profitable to buy in a small package. This is not a seller’s mistake, but a conscious calculation that you will take a large package on the machine because you automatically find it more profitable. Before buying, count on a calculator which package is more profitable at a price. For example, 5 kg. sugar cost 250 rubles. A 1 kg. sugar - 48 rubles. So, it is better to take 5 kg. sugar 1 kg. and thereby save 10 rubles.
- Round correctly. 1999 rubles is not a thousand rubles with a penny. This is two thousand rubles without one penny.
- Read the list of ingredients on the labels: they are arranged in decreasing order of quantity in the total mass of the product. For example, if you take spices, then the first one in the list should be exactly the spice for which you pay, and not salt. Thanks to this approach, you will get the maximum possible for your money.
2. Save on slicing and packaging
Sliced bread, sliced sausage, milk in a bottle, tea in bags, butter in packaging - all this is very convenient, but not very profitable. In most cases, such products are 5-10% more expensive. More in detail.
a) Sliced bread - convenient, but costs 5-10% more. It will be cheaper to buy whole bread, and spend a few seconds at home to chop it yourself.
b) Milk in a bottle - very convenient, but very unprofitable - for bottled milk you can overpay up to 20%. The way out is to purchase a special plastic container that will keep the open milk bag in an upright position. By the way, in order not to sour milk, it is not at all necessary to be a closed lid. However, storing any milk is not recommended for longer than 2-3 days.
c) Sliced sausage and cheese in sealed packages - also a very disadvantageous offer. Undoubtedly, you will have to overpay for such convenience, but if you are talking about saving, you should buy only whole sausage and cheese. By the way, sausage is a rather harmful product, and it is better to completely exclude it from the diet.
g) Tea bags - bad not only in terms of economy, but also in terms of quality. In India, for example, tea in bags is called "shameful" and is not drunk at all. The reason for this is that the remnants of tea and dust are poured into the bags - in general, everything that did not fall into the packaging of loose tea. But because of the convenience, packaged tea is still more expensive, so it’s better to buy a teapot and switch to loose tea, which, moreover, is tastier.
e) Bottled water - One of the most disadvantageous purchase options. Firstly, if you use an ordinary kitchen filter for water, then for the same money you can get 5-6 times more water. Secondly, the quality of bottled water often leaves much to be desired, noticeably losing the quality of filtered water. The main thing is not to forget to change the filter on time
Decisive battle near the box office
31. Have you ever wondered why even in a half-empty store there are always lines of at least 2-3 people? It's simple: in front of the cashier there are racks with different trifles: sweets, chocolates, napkins, chewing gum. While you are bored in line, your hands reach for this bright little thing. Or your child will “pick it up” from you (see paragraph 6). Buy goods on racks in front of the cash register only if they are on your list.
- Before the checkout, look again at what is in your basket. Remove from it what you were not going to buy.
- Without leaving the cash register, check on the check whether the seller correctly knocked out your purchases. Is there anything superfluous? Are there any goods not at the price that was indicated on the trading floor? A little trick to prevent such "mistakes" on the part of the seller: greeting the seller, immediately ask to break through your check. This will make him be more attentive, you never know, suddenly you are from a tax audit :)
- Pay in cash, not by credit card. Spending virtual money is much easier than breaking up with real ones.
Promotions and discounts: a trap or a chance?
- Install an application on your phone that allows you to track discounts in the nearest stores. For example, "Edil." Or use special sites that collect data on such discounts (enter in Google the “catalog of discounts in supermarkets of the city N”)
- Before going to the store and even before compiling the menu and shopping list, see what promotions are in place at the nearest stores. Make a menu and a shopping list, considering this.
- If the store where you are visiting has a system of discounts, then take a card and use it every time you go shopping to this store.
- The presence of a discount card is not a reason to buy at the store that issued it. Buy only where the most favorable prices for the goods you need are really.
- Do not buy at stocks and discounts those products that were not on your list. You don’t really need them. And if they are needed in the future, then in the future, buy it. Promotions and discounts are repeated all the time.
- Follow the prices to be able to determine whether real discounts or goods with a “discount” cost as much as before the promotion.
Victory is forged in the rear: we cook at home
- Gather a collection of frugal recipes and include them in your menu.
- Learn examples of economical menus, take them as a basis, creating your own.
- If you often buy bottled water, it will be more profitable for you to buy a water filter.
- Cook in large volumes and freeze (preserve) leftovers. For example, you can prepare a large volume of Bolognese sauce. Part can be eaten immediately, and part can be frozen. It will be cheaper than buying it in small jars in a store.
- Try to fry less, bake more. This will not only save oil, but also reduce the calorie content of the dish.
- Record the value of products. Compare prices in different stores. Yes, that is boring. But thanks to this, you will know in which store the most favorable prices for those products that you buy most often.
- To save on meat dishes, do not cook meat separately and garnish separately. Give preference to two-in-one dishes (such as pilaf, casseroles), that is, combine meat with a side dish in one dish.
- In large cities, chain stores often offer free delivery of their goods at the same price as in the trading floor. This is advantageous in that you can slowly compare all the products (by weight and composition) at home, choose the most profitable ones and at the same time do not lose time on a trip and choosing in the store itself.
- Clean your refrigerator regularly. To far corners, move products that can be stored for a long time. And in sight there should be foods that must be eaten first. This is especially true for small products such as a piece of cheese, sausage, cheese, which can be "lost" in the refrigerator and deteriorated.
- Take lunch to work. You can not cook it specially, but take part of breakfast or yesterday's dinner.
- Freeze seasonal foods in the summer when vegetables, fruits, herbs and berries are worth a dime. In winter, these stocks will become gold.
- Avoid shopping in convenience stores, buy in hypermarkets or at small wholesale food bases. The larger the store or chain of stores, the lower margin they can set. The lower the margin, the cheaper the products for you.
- Buying in small wholesale is cheaper. Organize a joint purchase with neighbors, friends, relatives.
- Buy the whole fish and cut it yourself. From the head, fins and ridge, you can cook soup for soup. You can make cutlets from the fillet, bake it portionwise in the oven, salt it, etc.
- Buy a whole chicken and chop it yourself.
- Осенью и весной на сельскохозяйственных ярмарках можно выгодно купить картофель, свеклу, морковь, капусту, яблоки и т.д.
- Зелень зимой стоит дорого. А вырастить ее на подоконнике в городской квартире можно бесплатно.
- У продуктов или готовых блюд истекает срок годности и вы не успеваете их съесть? Не выбрасывайте — заморозьте.
- Store perishable foods on a separate shelf in the refrigerator. So you remember that they need to be eaten first. By the way, the coldest on the third shelf of the refrigerator (+2 ° C) and the warmest in the door and drawers (+ 8-10 ° C).
- Try to keep food out of the house to a minimum. Homemade food is almost always cheaper than food in restaurants and cafes.
- Before placing an order in a cafe or restaurant, carefully study the menu. Almost every institution has the opportunity to have lunch / dinner inexpensively. These are set meals (or business lunches), “2 for the price of one” promotions, special promotions for specific dishes, etc.
- Buying a bread machine is a good investment if you often eat baked goods. Homemade bread is about 20% cheaper than store bread.
- Install one of the home accounting programs (applications) on your phone and computer and record all expenses for at least 3 months. This is the best way to find out where the money goes and how to keep it in your wallet.
- A summer day feeds all winter. Therefore, actively roll up, pickle, salt, cook jam, a kvast in the summer to please yourself in the winter.
- Experiment with inexpensive products. Millet porridge, pearl barley pilaf, chicken heart goulash, vegetables with ribs, stuffed necks - do you often see such inexpensive dishes on your table?
Code of the Crocodile
- Add to the jar, where the mayonnaise is left only on the walls, wine vinegar and your favorite spices and shake it well. You get a salad dressing.
- Pour the empty can of Nutella with hot milk and shake. Hot chocolate will turn out.
- When the oil or sauces in the bottles run out, turn them upside down to maximize the contents.
- Cut the plastic packaging, the walls still have a lot of delicious.
- If there is a desire and opportunity, pick and dry / freeze mushrooms and berries yourself.
- Tea packaged in bags, replace with loose tea.
- Instead of tea, you can brew herbs. For example, Ivan tea, thyme, lemon balm, mint, leaves and shoots of currants and raspberries, chamomile, linden.
- Try not to throw away food. From stale bread you can make crackers or croutons. From cooled porridge - cutlets. From sour milk - pancakes. From cottage cheese with an expiring shelf life - cottage cheese pancakes, etc.
- From the small pieces of all sorts of different things left in the refrigerator, you get great toppings for pizzaand pies
- Sour milk products can be attached in this way
Replacement and Substitution Wizard
- Replace expensive meats with cheaper ones. Instead of beef - pork. Instead of turkey - chicken.
- In winter, instead of expensive "plastic" vegetables, fruits, greens, buy frozen, canned or dried, which were collected and processed in the summer, fully ripened. Their nutritional value is comparable to that of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs, while they are cheaper.
- What about offal instead of meat? From the liver, heart, stomachs, kidneys, etc. You can cook a lot of delicious dishes that are cheaper than meat dishes. For example, the heart is no worse than ordinary meat, but it costs twice as much. And from the heart you can make good goulash, minced stuffing for casseroles, etc. And what a delicious filling for dumplings is obtained from the lung!
- Instead of expensive varieties of fish (salmon, trout, gilthead, etc.), buy inexpensive (hake, blue whiting, pollock, capelin, tilapia).
- Instead of cereal in bags, buy cereals. It is both more useful and cheaper.
- It is not necessary to eat meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few days a week, meat can be replaced with other protein-rich foods that are affordable: legumes or dairy.
- Save on purchased juices made from powder concentrate. An exception may be tomato, apple and birch juices (they are often poured into banks in their original form in our latitudes). Cheaper and healthier to cook compotes from fruits and berries frozen in the summer.
- If you do not live in a coastal city and are not sure that chilled fish splashed merrily in the sea (lake) for only a couple of hours, then buy frozen. It is both cheaper and in quality not inferior to thawed in a store and sold under the guise of “chilled”.
- To save on meat dishes, less often prepare dishes from pieces of meat (such as chops), and more often mince dishes, to which you can add a lot of everything tasty, healthy and inexpensive.
- Replace large plates with small ones. This simple tip will help you eat less.
8. Save on package purchases
At the time when supermarkets appeared, the packages in them were free. However now even for a small package, you need to invest 3-4 rubles. If you are one of those who buy in minimal portions and go to stores every day, then your package costs are about 100 rubles a month, or 1200 rubles a year. At the same time, you can choose a convenient package for yourself once, and take it with you to the store, and start saving good amounts on this.
What can be done at home
- Instead of snacks, fast food, ready-made food, buy quality products and cook at home. It is not only more economical, but also healthier.
- Yoghurts. You can cook them yourself in a yogurt maker, in a slow cooker, or even in an ordinary pan.
- Many types of expensive cheeses can also be prepared at home. For example, Philadelphia, Mascarpone.
- If you can buy whole milk, buy and cook at home cottage cheese and cheese.
- Cook cookies and pies at home.
- Make homemade seasonings. For example, in the summer you can dry the greens, prepare a delicious dried seasoning according to the type of “vegeta”
- Homemade sausages from turkey or chicken are suitable even for a children's menu.
- Home-made sausages: boiled, liverwurst, chicken, pork, liver, salmon.
- Cook homemade salted or pickled fish.
And finally: saving is voluntary. Take it not as a punishment, but as a sport that trains ingenuity, discipline and culinary skills.
Why do we need such a list?
Food stocks will not end suddenly, forcing once again to go to the store. If you manage to clearly follow the list, then you will not make impulsive purchases and save money.
The list is based on a predefined menu. All products will be cooked on time, and you won’t have to rack your brains over where to put leftover food so that it does not go bad.
Why make a menu?
It is difficult to determine what products are needed if you do not know what you are going to cook. Without a menu, the list will actually be taken from the ceiling, and in the middle of the week you will have to constantly buy something.
Perhaps, with the habit of developing a weekly menu, it will not be easy, and you will think that this is an extra waste of time. But just imagine what benefits you will get!
Firstly, the main task will be automatically solved - the purchase of products for a week. The list will be a simple listing of the ingredients of dishes on the menu.
Secondly, remember that thousands of housewives daily puzzle over what to cook today. They sort through the recipes, and then go to the store, because there are not enough trifles in the refrigerator. You can get rid of this hassle.
The diet will become more diverse, since it is unlikely that you will want to plan the same dinners in the form of pasta and salad in advance. You will learn how to cook new dishes.
Finally, the menu will help analyze how your diet is right and balanced.
How often do you need to make lists?
It is unlikely that you will be able to make your own standard list of products for a week once and forget about it. Firstly, you will not be constantly cooking the same dishes! Secondly, sometimes people celebrate holidays and go on diets, which requires adjusting the usual list. Thirdly, the summer menu is different from the winter.
How to buy vegetables and fruits
Buy a slightly immature one. What is the point of buying fresh fruits and vegetables for the whole week if in a couple of days the bananas turn brown and the peaches become moldy? Choose fruits that are still harsh to the touch (bananas should be green). Do not take fruit with stains from bumps, check the expiration date on the packages, keep away from bulbs and potatoes that have begun to sprout. If the fruits and vegetables on the shelves do not look good, do not rush to leave the store - talk to the manager. It is possible that a fresh batch has already been prepared in the pantry, part of which, at your request, will be in the trading floor. However, if you just want to feast on, buy a bunch of cherry tomatoes on a branch and eat them in the next two days. The taste is specific!
Buy in season. Strawberry in December - seductive? Sometimes you can afford such a luxury, but vegetables and fruits are most useful in their season, when they get to stores from nearby farms, and not from greenhouses and distant foreign countries.
Try to buy "organic", that is, environmentally friendly. Of course, it will be more expensive, however, organically grown fruits and vegetables are richer than regular antioxidants that protect us from cancer. However, if money is a problem, do not worry. Any fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet.
Buy frozen. If fruits and vegetables are frozen, then almost immediately after harvesting, when they are much richer than fresh (by trade standards) and canned foods with various useful substances. Filling the freezer with such packages, you can walk past the green department of the supermarket with calm heart for several weeks. You have something to season with soup and stew, what to submit to a side dish, from which to prepare a salad, compote, mousse, flavorful filling for natural yogurt.
Stock up on tomato ending. This is an important exception to the rule "The fresher, the better." Studies show that carotenoid antioxidant lycopene is much more affordable in dried and fried tomatoes, as well as in pastas and sauces prepared from them, than in fresh fruits. Tomato canned food is an indispensable product for an express dinner. Knead, if necessary, the contents of the jar, chop the onions, garlic, aromatic herbs, pour the chopped chicken breasts in the resulting sauce and stew in a clay pot. Add canned tomato to any soups and stews - for flavor and nutritional value.
Stock up on canned beans. Usually in these canned food there is more salt than we would like, but it is easy to get rid of it by washing the contents in a sieve. Cook beans with brown rice, add it to soups and stews, knead with onions and garlic in hummus, serve with pasta - you will get a traditional Italian dish “pasta e fajoli”. If you look at it, the ability of “pasta” (flour, that is, starch) to increase blood sugar levels - and insulin, which frightens many, depends on what it is mixed with. The soluble dietary fiber, which any legumes are rich in, prevents the rise of this level, and as a result, ordinary vermicelli in combination with beans or peas becomes a healthy and tasty dish.
Much depends on whether you have a habit of making stocks and preparations: do you freeze vegetables and fruits from the summer, do you make pickles and jams, do you cook home-cooked foods, do you buy sugar, cereals and potatoes for the future, etc.
If there are always stocks, in most cases a weekly grocery shopping list will be compiled based on what needs to be purchased. If you cannot boast of thrift, then the weekly grocery basket will include almost all the ingredients that are planned to be used in the next seven days.
There are also lists for special occasions. For example, if you plan to receive guests or decide to go on a diet from Monday.
Which products to give preference
Stay close to the seasoning shelves. The following products will not only allow you to pamper your taste buds, but also help you to do without the much less healthy traditional "flavorings" of food such as butter, margarine, mayonnaise and even table salt. So, write down: ketchup and barbecue sauce (without sugar), spaghetti sauce, soy, Worcester and hot pepper sauces, pesto and bruschettas (pour fish before baking), teriyaki sauce, salsa (Mexican tomato and pepper sauce), horseradish , mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil (that is, cold-pressed olive oil, also called "extravagant"), sesame and peanut butter, capers, olives (olives), sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, fried red peppers plus various marmalades ( for sandwiches).
Try new whole grain foods. Now you can buy whole grain pasta and couscous, steamed brown rice (it needs to be cooked for only 10 minutes, and not 50 minutes, as usual), even bran crackers. Some firms offer excellent whole grain spaghetti with the addition of flaxseed. The taste is really great, and the nutritional value is close to a record. Remember to buy a bag of wholemeal wheat flour - instead of plain white.
Buy Quisland nut oil (i.e. macadamia). It is richer than olive with cardioprotective monounsaturated fats (in fact, we are talking about a world record for this indicator). “Any meal made with macadamia oil becomes healthier for our hearts,” says Fred Pescatore, MD, and author of The Hampton Diet.
Buy dried mushrooms. Perhaps you will come across another name for this Far Eastern delicacy, for example, "shiitake." The scientific name for the fungus is lentinus, or edible pilovnik. Put the dried hats for half an hour in hot water and get a useful dressing for soups, stews, sauces, not to mention the unique filling for pies and scrambled eggs. Another plus: the product is stored extremely long.
If you think that it’s enough to find a ready-made list of products for the week on the Internet, and the problem will be solved, then you are mistaken. Of course, there are such lists, but they may not be suitable for you, because each family has its own taste habits, and everyone has different budgets. Half of the products from someone else's list may simply not be necessary for you.
To simplify the task, you can use someone else's list, adjusting it to your needs. But first, you still have to make a weekly menu so that there is something to start from.
Determine the day you will shop. Then you can plan your diet so that perishable foods are cooked first, and don't buy too much.
Bring all family members to this lesson.
Take stocks into account. Sugar, flour, groceries are usually purchased with a large supply, and there is no need to purchase them weekly.
Do not make a list of products for a week on an empty stomach, otherwise many unnecessary items will appear in the list. However, immediately after the meal this should not be done either, otherwise the necessary things will seem optional.
Do not forget that army discipline in ordinary life is useless. If you suddenly do not want to eat what is assigned on the menu, or if you don’t have the strength to get up early in the morning to prepare the planned pancakes, do not force yourself. Make sure you have a stock of home-cooked foods and include in the list of products that will help out in such cases. For example, it can be dumplings, granola, cheese and sausage, yoghurts, canned fish, etc.
What to avoid when buying products
Partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats (trans isomers of fatty acids), in the list of ingredients - a warning that the product is hazardous to health.
Avoid corn syrup. This popular sweetener in the USA is a classic example of "empty calories", that is, a complete lack of nutrients. Perhaps it is even more harmful than refined sugar. Nevertheless, syrup is added to a wide variety of products, including, unfortunately, those that are traditionally considered useful, such as fruit juices, spaghetti sauce and even bran bread. According to some experts, this ubiquitous high-calorie syrup is one of the main causes of the US obesity epidemic. If it appears among the first four ingredients of a product, choose something else.
Avoid minced meat. Go to other departments and buy turkey, chicken, and even better - soy. Тефтели, фрикадельки, котлеты, рулеты и т. п. получатся не менее вкусными, зато, если верить Джоан Блейк, их калорийность удастся снизить на 30% и более, а содержание жира, прежде всего насыщенного, - как минимум наполовину. Если подать блюдо с острым томатным соусом или добавить к фаршу побольше пряностей, никто и не догадается, что блюдо не из мяса. Если никак без него не можете, прокручивайте постное мясо через мясорубку и смешивайте фарш с индюшачьим или соевым (1:1).
Выбирайте острые сыры. Забудьте о швейцарском, голландском, эдамском, чеддере - переключайтесь на брынзу, пармезан, мягкий козий сыр. According to Joan Blake, these savory delicacies will completely satisfy your passion for cheese products without ruining your waist.
Bread, yogurt and cereal
Check what kind of flour wheat bread is made of. Read the labels. If the first ingredient is wheat (“psh.”) Premium flour (“premium”), then the product has almost no nutrients and dietary fiber: before you are typical “empty calories”. Don’t be guided by the color of bread - it can be tinted so that it looks not just white, but “healthy”. Look for whole-grain flour (i.e. peeled, 1st or 2nd grade), bran, grain in the list of ingredients.
Buy natural yogurt and flavor it yourself. The yogurts with the taste of various fruits are saturated with sugar, which negates the potential benefits of the product. Adding a little jam without sugar at home to natural yogurt will give you an equally tasty product, but much fewer calories. Plus - save money.
Buy healthy cereal supplements. We are talking about raisins, dried fruits, fresh and dried berries, bananas, crushed nuts, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds. The best way to have cereal breakfast is to mix their simplest (better whole grain) option with something tasty and healthy. This will allow you to get more pleasure from the dish and save you from the extra "sugar" calories. Always keep cereal in the kitchen cabinet and then in a couple of minutes you can cook a nutritious homemade breakfast or packed lunch on the go.
Writing a list
Each has its own methodology. When compiling lists and menus becomes a habit, you yourself will figure out how you find it easier. For the first time you can do so.
In order not to get confused, divide the list of necessary products for a week into groups: groceries, drinks, meat, chicken, sweets, etc. So it’s clearer and faster. You can even make detailed details, for example, divide the category “Vegetables” into “fresh”, “frozen” and “canned”. This technique will save time in the store - you do not have to run around with the trolley. And it will be even easier to do home bookkeeping if you do this.
Now start from the menu. Say, on Monday you have fried eggs with ham and coffee for breakfast, and for lunch - borsch and mashed chicken. Take the blank of the list with categories and arrange the ingredients into groups. In "Vegetables" - potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, beets and garlic. In "Drinks" - coffee. In "Meat Products" - chicken, beef, etc.
You can not list products immediately by group, but first make one big list according to the menu. Then calculate the amount of each ingredient and sort it into sections in the final list.
Of course, you can not waste time breaking down into groups and just list in a column all the products that are needed. Again, this is a matter of convenience.
After listing the required points, start adding optional items - sweets and delicacies. Next, add products with a long shelf life, the stocks of which are coming to an end (pasta, cereals, salt, coffee, tea).
In parallel, you can immediately sketch out several lists of products that will be needed in the week. For example, dairy products and bread are better to buy fresh.
As mentioned earlier, each family has its own sample menu for the week. The list of products, respectively, too. But first, you can use the template. For example, such.
- Milk products. Here we bring cheeses, milk, yogurts, sour cream, eggs, butter, cottage cheese, etc.
- Meat, chicken, fish and seafood. Include eggs, minced meat, stew, canned fish in this category.
- Spices and oils. These are any spices, vegetable oil, vinegar, mustard, all kinds of sauces.
- Vegetables fruits. You can list dried fruits, nuts, granola.
- Grocery. Macaroni, cereals, rice, soda, salt, sugar, flour, yeast, peas, beans, bread, etc.
- Beverages. Tea, coffee, cocoa. Do not forget to take into account your taste preferences. For example, add cream to dairy products if you add them to coffee.
- Delicatessen and sweets.
Let me remind you that for convenience you can detail your list of products for a week in any detail.
Disadvantages of menu planning
With all the advantages of the method, busy people may not like it. Your breakfast is coffee, do you have lunch in a cafe near the office, and in the evening prefer to cook a packet of ravioli or eat yogurt? Then compiling a detailed menu is not for you.
If you work a lot, then on weekends, most likely, you prefer to relax and engage in hobbies, rather than thinking about household chores. And, of course, after a hard working day, you least want to cook a complicated dinner.
In addition, it will take some time to search for recipes, distribute dishes by day and create a list of necessary products. Cooking according to the menu will take even more time. It turns out that the method is suitable only for people with a not very busy schedule.
Also, those who want to make weekly menus need to be able to cook at least basic dishes, otherwise it will be difficult at first. Of course, in the recipes the ingredients and their quantity are indicated, but, believe me, in practice everything may turn out to be different from what you think.
It’s psychologically difficult to obey a schedule all my life. There will be situations when, for example, yesterday’s menu for dinner, you have buckwheat porridge with a patty, and you (or someone from the household) really want fried potatoes. You will cook potatoes and the whole routine will go wrong, since the porridge is not eaten, and other dishes are already planned for the next day.
What if there is no time or desire to make a menu?
To pre-compose a menu and clearly follow procurement lists, you need to be fairly organized and disciplined person. In the frantic rhythm of modern life, there is not always time for scrupulous housekeeping. But you can make a rough list of products for a week.
Even if you cook according to your mood, you still know approximately what foods you need. We suggest compiling two lists. The first is what you eat almost every day. For example, cheese, sausage, instant coffee, yogurts, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, butter, mayonnaise, sweets, etc. Make a basis for a weekly list.
Next, each time you will only need to slightly adjust your regular grocery shopping list for the week. Before you go to the store, look at the stocks in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. Complete the list with basic products (cereals, pasta, potatoes, spices, canned goods) that end. It does not take much time.
Keep in mind that in this case situations will arise when you suddenly decide to cook something special, and you don’t have any necessary trifles (tomato paste, bread crumbs, gelatin, for example). Have to visit the supermarket once again. By the way, in total, constant trips to the store will take longer than if you “bought” once a week.
Once again about saving
Saving money is the main motive for those who decide to plan purchases. But an economical list of products for the week is a luxury, accessible only to prudent and thrifty housewives. Therefore, take note of the following tips.
- It would be nice to master such a useful quality as the ability to cook a delicious dish "from what it was" (casserole from the remnants of rice or mashed potatoes, croutons of browned bread).
- Eating semi-finished foods regularly is giving away money that could be spent on other nice things. Allocate one day a month to make semi-finished products. For example, wind a lot of stuffing and make cutlets, stuffed peppers and pancakes, stuffed cabbage, meatballs, dumplings for the future. All this can be frozen and, if necessary, simply brought to readiness.
- Check stocks from time to time to know which foods need to be cooked first, before they go bad.
- It is useful to calculate everything in advance and take exactly as much money to the store as there is enough to pay for the grocery basket in the list.
- Take the time to go to different stores and choose the one whose prices you like. Track promotions.
I hope this article has been helpful and you will begin to plan your purchases. If at the same time you will still collect checks and keep records of expenses, then very quickly learn to save.