Most women are responsible for managing both the office and home. They are often overwhelmed with balancing both, taking care of family members and providing healthy nutritious food without breaking the bank. Here are 4 tips to help you stretch the dollar while being a nutriwise shopper.
1. Don’t fall for BOGOF
Haven’t we all gone for the ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer at some point? Foods that are part of this offer are often found to have larger packing size and/or closer to the expiry date. In this case, you either eat more of the packaged food than you would normally have, or you miss the expiry date and need to throw the food away.
2. Avoid Overprovisioning
According to Ganglbauer et al., 2013 and Graham-Rowe et al., 2014 overprovisioning is seen to reduce stress and save time; on the other hand, lack of time is also seen to prevent cooking of planned meals from foods you’ve already bought. This eventually leads to food waste and possible consumption of quick on-the-go meals that may not be as healthy.
3. Choose smaller packaging
Smaller packs are often more expensive than larger packaging; to avoid wasting food, people tend to finish the opened pack. For example, 1 pack may have 4 servings but is consumed by just 2 people during the same meal. Consuming larger portions of food is known to lead to an increase in weight. Overweight is a common risk factor for many non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.
4. Read before you buy
A few important factors that you must check before buying any packaged food.
Use by date vs Best before date
Products with Use By date must be consumed by the specified date. These include fresh, perishable foods such as dairy, meat, other milk products and ready to eat products.
Products with Best Before date are best consumed by the specified date such as cereals, lentils, pasta, bee hoon etc. These foods may show a different texture or flavour if consumed beyond that date.
First 5 ingredients
Always check to see that the first 5 ingredients are names of whole foods that you know and understand. The ingredients list helps you check if a product is genuine. For example, when buying oats biscuit, do check if oats are the first or second ingredient, and if the percentage of oats used for making the biscuit is the first or the second highest. If not, do you really think it is an oat biscuit? Or a biscuit where oats is not a major ingredient?
Number of servings
Do check how many servings are in a pack. Do you consume the entire pack at a single sitting? Do you share the pack if it recommends more than one serving? Also, check with your dietitian or health coach if the serving size on the pack is the right serving size for you to achieve your health goals.
No added sugars
Many products are labelled as ‘No added sugar’. While this may be true, it is very important to check if the product naturally contains sugar. Look at the nutrition label and check below ‘Carbohydrates’ for the amount of sugar present in the product.
Being a smart shopper means buying only what you need, lowering your food wastage, buying the right pack size for your family and always reading the food label to choose wisely. Reach out to our team of doctors and health coaches at MyDoc to help you be a smart shopper and know the right portion size for you to achieve your health goals.
Always here for you,
MyDoc healthcare team
It will still take more than a lifetime to make equality a reality (no date) International Women’s Day. Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Missions/14537/It-will-still-take-more-than-a-lifetime-to-make-equality-a-reality
IWD: International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual (no date) International Women’s Day. Available at: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme
Schanes, K., Dobernig, K. and Gözet, B. (2018) ‘Food waste matters – A systematic review of household food waste practices and their policy implications’, Journal of cleaner production, 182, pp. 978–991. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.02.030.