Taking control of your spending whilst carrying our your weekly or even monthly food shop can be daunting task for many. Endless offers for the latest product, multi purchase discount and clearance items for next to nothing prices are just some of the causes for filling your shopping trolley with items that rack up your final bill.
Here’s a quick but effective list of ways you can make sure you leave the shop with things you actually went in for and nothing more – courtesy of the Healthy Hideout:
Choose a basket – Although you may not enjoy using them as they require a lot more effort, go for a basket instead of a shallow trolley. With less space, you’ll be heading to the checkouts when your baskets full rather than trying to fill your trolley with extras you simply don’t need.
Make a shopping list – It’s almost a given to make a list before you go shopping, but many of us still choose not to make one. Make yourself a list of the items you need and stick to it. There’s a reason why the milk and bread are often far apart or on the other side of the store at your local supermarket – You’ll have to pass many different aisles to get there buying items you don’t need.
BOGOF’s (buy one get one free) are not your friend – Realistically, ask yourself how many biscuits you can eat in a week or how many apples you’ll consume in the same time. Supermarkets often provide offers on stock they need to clear quickly. This normally means means the consumer ends up with a years supply of Pringles they didn’t actually want simply because it was a “good deal” at the time. Buy loose fruit and veg as it often works out cheaper!
Carry cash – By taking a set cash amount to the supermarket with you, you’ll be bound to stick within the allowance you have to spend on shopping. Taking cards tempts you to spend more than you actually need to on items you don’t really need.
Get rid of the vouchers – Many of us find ourselves surrounded by vouchers offering savings for our weekly shopping bills. Stop and ask yourself if you would have bought that product or item if you didn’t have the voucher? Vouchers tempt us to buy items we wouldn’t normally buy!
From top to bottom – When browsing the shelves at your local supermarket be sure to look from top to bottom at the products available. You’ll often find that supermarkets will place the most profitable products at eye level, causing the consumer the buy what the supermarket wants them to buy.
For many of us, there will be an abundance of food around the house this Christmas and it’s not difficult to get carried away. One of the key elements to try and avoid this festive season are the man made fats known as trans fats.
Trans fats are produced during hydrogenation: a chemical process that manufacturers use to convert vegetable oils into semi-solid fats. This helps to extend the shelf life of the food and tends to give food a creamier taste. Cutting out these trans fats could reduce UK deaths from from heart disease by up to 20 percent! Take a look at the Healthy Hideout’s top tips for keeping the trans fats at bay this Christmas:
When choosing margarine for baking or sandwiches, try to keep away from hard block recipes, looking out for brands that have low trans fat content. If you can’t see this information, look out for hydrogenated fat or oil levels.
When light frying in the pan, use a good quality olive oil rather than sunflower or vegetable. It’s that much better for you!
When preparing side salads for Boxing Day lunch why not try Sunflower seeds or chopped pumpkin seeds instead of bacon bits – Bacon bits are soaked in trans fat!
If you feel a craving for something savoury whilst watching your favourite Christmas movie, try substituting potato chips and crisps for something a little more imaginative. Peanut butter smeared on celery sticks is a great option!
Try spending a little more time in the fresh food aisles of the supermarket – Research has shown that foods with high trans fat content are kept in the centre of the supermarket.
Substitute the goose fat soaked roast potatoes for jacket potatoes this Christmas. Jacket potatoes are naturally low in fat and high in carbohydrate.
If you need to stock up on processed foods such as biscuits, cereals or desserts try to stick to lower-fat versions of them. It may seem a little tedious, but it really is worth it!
Make your own – Here at the Healthy Hideout, we can’t encourage making your own baked goods enough! Try your cakes, muffins and biscuits and pack them with contents that you enjoy whilst keeping the trans fats to a minimum!
We don’t want to start scaring you into thinking Christmas is just one big opportunity to gain weight, because it isn’t. It’s a time to be enjoyed and remembered! Just try to keep long term health in perspective – Your heart will thank you for it!
As the Christmas period starts to swing into full flow, our lives will start to become increasingly busier, often forgetting that our bodies and minds need time to stop, unwind and relax.
Relax this festive season!
We know that the Christmas shopping needs to be done, family visits need to be organised and penciled into the diary, and Christmas menus need to be planned. Why not try a few of the Healthy Hideout’s top 10 ways to unwind this festive month;
Have some quiet time – Before continuing with anything after arriving home from the office, be sure to spend at least 5 minutes sitting in a quiet place to relax your mind. Close your eyes and breath deeply during this time. It will allow your mind to empty the stress of the working day.
Make the work commute fun – Enjoy this time by yourself in the car or on the train doing something you enjoy. Why not try taking your favourite novel to work and reading through a few chapters, or perhaps listen to a few of your favourite musical numbers. You could even throw in a few Christmas classics for good measure!
Write things down – If you have too many things on your mind, or are trying to juggle too many tasks, grab a pen and notepad and start to jot things down. Give yourself a quick time frame for each task, and then work through them one step at a time. There’s simply no point in trying to remember 100 things at once!
Tidy your home – Clutter around the house can quickly become overwhelming, and can often make you feel like you’re out of control. Take a few minutes each day to tidy away any mess, and try to keep on top of general cleaning bit by bit.
Leave work, at work – Try to avoid bringing any work from the office to your home. Mixing your working life with the comforts of your home can quickly become stressful. If you must bring work home, try to limit yourself to just a few nights a week.
Drop it at the front door – Get yourself a container or box large enough to hold your work bag or office brief case and place it next to the front door. When you get in from work, put it all in the box and don’t touch it until the next working day.
Take a bath – The bathroom is often one room in the house with a catch or lock on the door. Run yourself a nice hot bath, lock the door and escape for at least 1 hour. It’ll do wonders for your stress.
Spread your chores – Try not to pack all your “must-do” chores into a single evening. Try doing the laundry one evening, followed by Christmas shopping the next night. Spreading the load makes it easier to handle.
Recognise the ritual – Set yourself a standard “start to the evening” that you’ll look forward to at the end of each day. Even if it’s something as simple as a cup of tea at the dining table. At this point, you know your evening has officially begun.
Play it loud – Playing enjoyable fun music throughout your home, lifts both you and your families spirits! A few sing-along Christmas carols can’t hurt now can they?
With these tips, you’ll find the uncountable stress of Christmas becoming easier to manage. Remember this is the season to be jolly, and Christmas is meant to be enjoyed. How are your Christmas preparations coming along? Is your Christmas tree up yet?