Grocery Shopping For The First Time? We Have Tips For Buying Meat, Veggies, And Fruits

These are the shopping tips you need to know.

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Not everyone has grocery deliveries available to them during this time. If you are the designated shopper during the quarantine, you have a big responsibility to fulfill. You may have heard tales of those who didn't get their grocery shopping done properly because they didn't know or have the knowledge of how to grocery shop.

You may be a first-time grocery shopper but that doesn't mean you need to go out there without any help. These are the tips you need to know to prepare for and do on your shopping trip:

Make a grocery list so you know exactly what you need to buy.
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1 Make a shopping list and stick with it.  

The most important thing you can do is make a grocery shopping list. Ask everyone in the house what they need and list it down, including the brand (if applicable) and the quantity of each item.

Want to be an even more efficient shopper? Channel your inner organizer and make the list according to the kind of item, too. Group together similar items according to the aisles that you'll need to visit. List down all the non-perishables such as household items for cleaning and maintaining the home and person hygiene items in one column. Group the canned goods, bottled items, and other packaged items together.

Finally, list together all the fresh food you will have to buy as well since you can grab these before you head to the cashier. Remember to get these last. This includes fresh meat (chicken, seafood, beef, and pork), fresh produce (potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, etc), and the chiller and frozen food sections.

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If you make your list in an organized manner, you won't have to go back for anything that you may have missed. 

This list is important because not only will it make shopping easier, but it will also make shopping faster. The faster you can get through your shopping, the better for everyone. Plus, this shopping tip also ensures that you are able to stay within your budget as well since you know exactly what you will be buying and the quantities, too.   

 

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2 Check the bread and egg sections first.  

Since there is a high demand for bread and eggs, you should check out these products first before heading off to do the rest of your shopping. Just remember that these can be squished or cracked and it's best to remember to place these in a safe spot.   

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3 Shop for non-perishables and packaged food next. 

These are the packages that won't get squished and flattened or even start to leak, unlike your fresh food. These are also going to be the most heavy so these are best when placed on the bottom of your cart. You may want to go by aisle so take advantage of your grocery list and shop by aisle for the faster shopping experience.   

Load these in then prepare for the more meticulous part of your shopping. 

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4 Examine fresh meats carefully. 

Have you ever shopped for fresh fish or meat before? If you haven't, you need a few pointers to know how to choose the best of the bunch. It should be noted that you need to use your senses when choosing. Your nose might be offended but this is by far the most telling tip when it comes to freshness: if it smells bad, it won't taste good.   

For fresh meat, whether it's pork or beef, here are the tips to know:

  • • Meat should not have any unpleasant odors or feel slimy to the touch.  
  • • Meat looks pink for pork, red for beef. 
  • • Pork fat should be white, beef fat should be yellow.  

When choosing fresh fish, these tips should help: 

  • • Fish eyes are bulging and clear, not cloudy or red.
  • • The scales adhere tightly to the skin of the fish.
  • • If the fish has slime, it should be clear.
  • • The flesh springs back to its original shape when you press the body with your thumb.

When shopping for seafood, use your senses to check for these: 

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  • • Shellfish should be alive when bought, especially tahong, halaan, and even crabs.      
  • • Shrimps and prawns should have hard, firm shells and the heads still firmly attached. 
  • • Seafood should not have any unpleasant odors. 

When picking out chicken, you need to check for these:

  • • Chicken breasts should be firm.  
  • • Chicken skin should be attached to the meat.   
  • • Chicken should not have an unpleasant or chemical smell nor feel slimy to the touch. 

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5 Look for spots when shopping for produce. 

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, avoid pinching or pressing too hard on these fresh food since these will develop bruises and black spots at these spots. Instead, use your nose and eyes again to check for these key indicators of freshness: 

  • • For fruits which include tomatoes, avoid black spots, soft spots, or sunken spots. 
  • • For leafy vegetables and vegetables with leaves, avoid wilting, yellowing, and or brown spots. Leaves should be bright in color and crisp. Cabbages and some lettuce should have tightly wrapped leaves, not loose ones.   
  • • For root crops such as potatoes, carrots, and singkamas, the harder, the better.   

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6 Separate your fresh food from raw chicken. 

Once you're ready to go to the cash register, remember to segregate your fresh raw chicken bags from your other purchases, especially from the ready-to-eat food, just for food safety reasons.  

 

Grocery shopping doesn't have to a mentally and physically taxing experience. There may be a lot of information you need to keep track of but you do need to know these so you can adult better, too. Once armed with these tips and tricks when shopping, you will become a better shopper.   

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