Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Make your grocery shopping more efficient

By Rose Reisman

(NC)—For some shopping is a pleasure, for others it's a chore. Whichever it is for you, when you have a family, grocery shopping is a necessity.

I enjoy grocery shopping and I like to take my time picking the best-looking fruits and vegetables, scanning all the new product offerings and reading labels. The problem is, most of us don't have the time to enjoy the experience. Here are a few tips for grocery shopping that I developed as the national spokesperson for Balanced Living for McCain Foods.

• Make a good grocery list and stick to it, carefully crossing out items that are added to the cart. The best list is based on a weekly meal plan and meal planning is an important tool in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

• Keep the list in a handy spot like the fridge door. Jot down things when you're using them up.

• Start shopping from the outside aisles where you usually find the fresh fruits and vegetables – I call it the healthiest section of the store and starting there puts me in the right frame of mind to complete my purchases.

• In recent years food labels have changed significantly. Take a bit of time and become familiar with the labels. Being knowledgeable about labels will allow you to make better decisions in the grocery store. A good source of information about labels can be found at www.healthyeating

• Did you know that some words commonly used on labels such as "light" or "lite" can mean different things to different shoppers? The term "light" means that the food contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the regular product. "Lite," on the other hand, is often used to describe the product – light in taste, color or texture.

Try doing your label reading at off-peak times. Many supermarkets are open late so this may be an option that works for you. The shopping aisles are not as congested then and you'll feel more comfortable pushing your cart to the side to review labels more completely. If possible, avoid shopping on weekends or the day before a holiday because it's a lot easier to get help from a store attendant when you are one of only a few customers.

Finally, try to always shop at the same supermarket. Familiarity with the layout of the store means quicker and easier shopping! More information is available online at or www.

Rose Reisman, one of Canada's best selling authors and nutrition consultants, is the national spokesperson for Balanced Living on behalf of McCain Foods. This is the last in a series of four articles on how to achieve the Balance of Living Well in today's busy world.

- News Canada