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How To Plan Your Weekly Shop For The Week Ahead



How To Plan Your Weekly Shop For The Week Ahead

The weekly shop is a bit of a chore, isn’t it? Finding the time to get to the supermarket, remembering our reusable carrier bags, remembering our shopping list and avoiding the temptation of too many treats and offers we don’t need. 

Even if we buy all our groceries online, it can still be difficult to find the time amongst work, family life and everything else, to browse the online aisles and remember to get all the essentials. How often have we had the email to say our cut-off time for amending our order is approaching and we then panic buy the things that we probably don’t need and we end with a shop that quite simply, doesn’t make sense. 

So here’s our tips on planning your weekly shop so that you can prepare healthy meals and make healthy food choices every week. 

1. It can be helpful to have a traffic lights system of foods that are healthy vs not so healthy. For example, your ‘green’ foods are the healthiest and should make up the majority of your shopping basket, around 60%. These include fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein sources such as chicken breast, eggs, low fat dairy, tofu, beans and pulses. ‘Amber’ foods can then make up around 30% and can include foods that contain good fats such as oily fish, hummus, nuts, seeds and avocados. The final 10% can then be the red foods, that include your favourite treats and if you drink it, alcohol.

2. Think of Ready, Steady Cook and base your meals around a few hero ingredients. These are generally our protein sources such as those listed above. You can then use these to make multiple meals. For example, lean beef mince or veggie mince can be made into a bolognaise one night and then a chilli the next night. Or, any extra can be eaten for lunch. The leftovers from a roast chicken on a Sunday can be turned into sandwiches or a salad the following day. 

3. Consider the foods that you and your family love, and make them staples. If your household adores fish, then perfect a few dishes featuring salmon or cod so that the theme is familiar, but that your meals don’t become boring to prepare or to eat. 

4. Knowing what you have in the cupboards and fridge is essential for a successful shop that doesn’t encourage food waste. So, take a shelfie! A picture of the contents of your food cupboards and fridge each week will mean that you don’t have to second guess what you need or forget the things you’ve run out of as you walk through the supermarket. 

5. When you write a shopping list (which is a must for careful planning!), try to write it in the order of layout at the supermarket. Most begin with the fresh produce and have fruit and veg at the beginning. Then there’s the chiller aisles, followed by the store cupboard and packet ingredients, the bakery and then the freezer section and drinks. Writing an orderly list will help to make your shop an efficient one. 

6. Finally, make good use of offers. If there’s offers on your favourites and staples, then by all means, stock up, as long as you know you’ll get through it all by the time it perishes. Avoid tempting offers on products that you know you either won’t use, know your household don’t enjoy, or those treats that you’d rather not have in the house!

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