Published 10 February 2021

Many of us have walked into a supermarket to buy a carton of milk and left with a basket full of groceries. This is not surprising, as supermarkets are designed to make us buy more than we need.

The two most effective ways to avoid temptation and reduce your food are to plan your meals, write a list and stick to it.

A list will help keep you focused in the aisles and ensure you have all the ingredients you need at home.


Check your fridge, freezer and pantry

Before writing your list, check your fridge, freezer and pantry to see what you already have. This will help avoid perfectly edible food getting thrown away to make space for the new. It will also help save you time in the supermarket.


Size it up

Write down the quantities of the ingredients you need. Remember that some recipes use the same ingredients, which could help save money and use up leftover food items. This is where planning your meals for the week is essential. It’s also a good idea to check the packaging for portion size information to help you avoid buying too much of something.


It’s not a bargain if it ends up in the bin

When well-planned, buying bulk can be value for money. But specials and two for one deals are only good value if you can use it all up. 

If it’s an offer you can’t pass up, make sure you have enough room at home to store it correctly. It’s also a good idea to check the ‘used by’ and ‘best before’ dates to make sure you can use the product in time.


If your tummy is rumbling, don’t go

Don’t shop when your tummy is empty. Research suggests that hungry shoppers spend over 60% more! Hungry shoppers are also likely to purchase more high-calorie foods.


Try online

If you are prone to impulse purchases, removing yourself from the shops and purchasing your groceries online is a great way to stay focused and avoid temptation.