Zoe’s Supermarket Hacks: Staying healthy on a budget

zoe bingley pullinNutritionist and Vitasoy Ambassador, Zoe Bingley-Pullin says, ‘I often run supermarket tours with my clients, and the same questions come up time and time again. Going to the supermarket doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s simply about arming yourself with trip and tricks! So, here are my Top 5 Tips for making your next trip to the supermarket easy, budget friendly and healthy.’

1. Go in prepared with a list

Ensure your list contains a range of foods to suit everyone’s nutritional needs – I always include specific items for my daughter, my husband and myself. Your list is normally the first thing to go out the window when you arrive at the supermarket, and preparation is key. You can even make your list using an app, and I often find this to be the easiest option, as it means I won’t forget my list at home! Some of my favourites are Grocery Gadget and Grocery Zen.

2. Learn the produce schedule

There’s nothing better than fresh produce! Take the time to chat with the store staff you see stocking shelves and cartons in the fresh food area of your supermarket. Ask them what days your favourite fruit and vegetables are stocked, and try to go shopping on these days. That way you’ll get the freshest fruit and veg. Again, if you like to use your tech, you can store the information in your calendar, so you’re super organised.

3. Look out for blended or combined foods

One of the biggest food trends at the moment is blending or combining unexpected foods together for double the nutrition hit. On shelf, products like Vitasoy’s new blended milks Oat & Almond and Soy & Almond, kids drinks that combine fruit with milk, and even rice combined with lentils, are all foods blended together for taste, texture and nutrition. For example, in Vitasoy’s Soy & Almond milk, the soybeans provide a protein hit, while the almond provides a great taste.

4. Learn to read labels

I’m a real believer that we should know what we put into out bodies. Always check a product’s ingredients list to see how much of the characterising ingredients it contains. Ingredients appear on nutrition labels in order from the main, or biggest ingredient, to the smallest. For example, if you’re buying a fruit jam, you can look on the label to see how much real fruit you’re getting. Also, if you’re comparing the nutrition labels of similar products, always use the ‘per 100g’ information. This is the clearest way of comparing two products.

5. Don’t just stick to one shop

We’re all on a time crunch, and popping to a one-stop-shop supermarket can be all too convenient. I’d actually recommend heading to multiple shops. You can shop at multiple stores to follow food specials, to help save money. Shopping at specialty stores is also recommended, as they often have fresher produce. Plus they’re often very knowledgeable in their industry, and can give advice in best cuts of meat, for example.

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