How to get the best out of supermarket shopping!

Author : teriann

One of my favourite memory from childhood is going supermarket shopping with my mother.  She always made it feel as if it was an adventure and not simply restocking food items.  She didn’t seem stressed and she never seemed to react as if it was the end of the world when we got to the cashier and she saw the total at the cash register.

Appearance vs Reality

Of course looking back with mature eyes does change the way I view those trips.  Even though the cost of living might have been lower back then it was still a struggle for young families to be able to afford to meet all their needs.

There were times of scarcity which caused some consumers to be forced to buy products that were ‘married’ or not sold without other products. Since my father was the sole breadwinner it must have been difficult at times for them to afford the dietary needs of three children.

Despite the pressure however my mother still was able to put food on the family table and we never went to bed hungry.

So how did she do it then? How can we get the best out of supermarket shopping today?

Make a list

My mother never went anywhere without planning where she was going and exactly how much she was going to spend.  This also meant not going shopping if she didn’t have her list.  The list was her starting point and she never allowed us to add anything to the cart that was not on the list.

I still remember trying to sneak items such as my favourite surgery snacks on the list and being caught as she firmly removed it.  The loss of surgery snacks from my diet was a direct result of never getting to choose those types of snacks to bring in the home in the first place.

However being denied snacks did not detract from the pleasure of the shopping experience as I was able to choose nutritious snacks such as nut bars and fruit.

Check the items before you buy

I also noticed that my mother checked items before she put them in her cart.  This ensured that there were no surprises when we got home such as discovering that the cans were dented or the package was damaged.

Buy Supermarket brands

Another good tip for having the best shopping experience is to buy the supermarket brands of items.  They are often cheaper than the ‘brand name’ item but has the same quality and taste.

Build relationships

My mother went to the same supermarket for years.  This allowed her to build a rapport with the workers and owners of the supermarket.

Over time this relationship led to a mutually beneficial arrangement as they gained a loyal customer and my mother gained discounts or otherwise given latitude in how her shopping was paid for as credit was extended  in some cases.

So what are your thoughts? How do you get the best out of supermarket shopping? Let me hear from you.

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online writer


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