What better time to talk about the errors that trigger the price of the shopping basket, which in the middle of 2021, a year unfortunately still uncertain as a result of a pandemic that affects both health and the domestic economy . Going down to the supermarket or the store -even buying food online- is one of the few things that we all do on a regular basis, but do we know how to save while maintaining quality as much as possible? “The key is to adapt the management tricks of a restaurant to your own kitchen: find the best price for the products that interest us, have good suppliers, study the menus well …”, explains Román Forns, professor at the Barcelona school of restoration ESHOB. We have found no less than 20 very easy mistakes that can leave your wallet in the bones.
They have to do with the places where you buy, the pieces you choose, the products with a surname, and even the hunger you have when you take the cart or something as curious as WhatsApp groups. To counteract them, we provide you with simple and effective ideas. Although some are very logical – like making a good list before leaving home – rushing or laziness means that we don’t always keep them in mind. In a hurry or laziness you can’t read this article either. If something requires getting the best at the best price, it is time and attitude.
Not keeping a list of what you need
Shopping begins at home. It is very important to check your pantry or refrigerator to see what you need and to make a list of the products that you really need. You never have to go blind to buy. If your kitchen or pantry is organized, it will be easier to get it. The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) advises us that an orderly refrigerator allows us to see well what you have and what you lack. Likewise, storing well also lengthens the life of food.
It is clear that, the less you plan the purchase, the more chances you have of falling into the temptation of marketing and you will end up buying products on impulse. If you want to save, the list you make must be precise and never excessive. Better yet, if you order it by food groups.
Not Having Your Weekly Menus In Your Head
Deciding on the weekly menu is a good way to start shopping. “If we have in mind what we want to cook every day, it is easier that we do not end up buying food that will remain in the fridge, forgotten,” explains Professor Forns, with a long career in catering and hospitality.
This advice not only helps us financially but also allows us to cook in a more sustainable and responsible way. “It is important to think about a balanced diet in which there is no lack of eggs, meat, fish, vegetables …”, says Forns. If we are going to go to a large hypermarket to buy shelf-stable products, it is also worth taking into account our monthly needs.
Not Adjusting To Our Family Budget
Each family is different, in tastes and needs but above all, in budget. It is important before going out to buy, calculate how many we are, the amount that we are going to consume and be very clear about the budget we have. Our purchase will vary according to the amount of money we spend on food. If it is scarce, we must prioritize staple foods and be clear that we have to dispense with whims. It is helpful to write down the expenses at the end of the month to check if the accounts balance or we must adjust the budget.
The purchase is also different depending on the type of cohabitants. “At home, for example, we are parents of two teenagers in full development, who eat a lot, and that must be taken into account when planning,” says the ESHOB teacher.
Likewise, we must value our consumption. If we live alone, it is important not to buy the largest package of cereal in the store because it is comparatively cheaper than the smallest option. The biggest is not always the cheapest.
Go Shopping Hungry Or With Children
It is proven that if you go shopping hungry, the chances that you get carried away by marketing and acquire products in a somewhat compulsive way increase, even whims that you want to put in your mouth at that moment. You have to choose the appropriate time to go shopping. It is as important that we do not queue too much (the more we are, the more difficult it will be not to bite) as that we are not too tired or overwhelmed. “With a busy life, planning is best, knowing when you can go grocery shopping is just as important as finding a time when you can cook and freeze dishes for the whole week,” Forns explains. Similarly, if you want to save, it is not advisable to go to the supermarket with children, “because they are likely to fall in love with everything they see.”
Being Lazy And Not Knowing Your Area
Comfort is expensive. If we want to buy at a good price, we must be willing to spend time looking for the best offer and also do it with enthusiasm. “We must not be lazy, we must know well the stores in our area and also other places of interest even if they are a little further away, whether they are small stores or large stores, to know where they sell the best value for money of each type of food ”, explains Román Forns, who travels once a month from central Barcelona to a municipal market in a town in the metropolitan area where he has found some stalls with an excellent supply of fish. “When I go, I buy a lot of it, which I later freeze,” he says.
“If you have a good eye, in the end you end up having a list of reference suppliers for each type of food,” he adds.
An October 2020 study by the OCU indicates that it is possible to save between 276 and 3,000 euros per year (depending on the locations: the more competition, the better prices) by choosing the supermarkets with the best price. On average, the average saving for a standard basket is calculated at more than 900 euros, “without giving up anything, just buying in the supermarkets with the best prices in your area.”
Not Paying Attention To Mouth-to-ear
“Messages from the WhatsApp group from your child’s school or soccer team can be a wonderful source of interesting proposals,” explains the expert. Being attentive to the discoveries of other parents, to the conversations in the queue of the market or even at work, can give us many clues about the stores that offer the best value for money in our neighborhood. “You have to let yourself be advised, that you don’t mind trying new sites. If they work, you add them to your selection and if you didn’t like the experience, you discard them, period ”.
Do Not Go To Markets In Nearby Towns
If you live in the middle of the city, it is advisable to bear in mind that there are not only urban stores and supermarkets. “On weekends it is highly recommended to have fun doing excursions with the children to nearby towns and take the opportunity to buy in their markets because in addition to finding fresh seasonal food, good prices are obtained and enriching human contacts are established with people who can contribute also great buying advice ”, says Forns, who regularly visits the Collbató fruit and vegetable market in Baix Llobregat with his family.