Let’s face it, be it food or clothes or shoes, we all love shopping. But most of all, we love a bargain. So with payday quite a way off, we spoke to TV presenter Cherry Healey to get her top ten tips for supermarket shopping. Her new series Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods hits our screens tomorrow (Thursday 18 July) on BBC1 at 8pm.
If, like me, you are a browser, get into the habit of always putting three things back at the checkout. This will minimise the frustration when you get home and wonder what you'll do with sun-dried chilli pumpkin paste.
If shopping with a child, order all heavy items online so the shopping experience will be less of a bicep-pumping-survival-test and more of an enjoyable(ish) activity.
Buy the best fresh food you can possibly afford. With anything that you consume but don't cook, such as milk, fruit and salady items, buy organic wherever possible. Or, if too expensive, research online farm deliveries (less of a faff than it sounds - took me about three years to get around to it and wish I'd done it sooner).
Don't be embarrassed about taking your time to read the labels. It's worth having a glance at the back of the packet as if you don't understand many of the ingredients it might not be something you want in your body. Anything that sounds like a character from Star Wars is to be avoided.
To make the most of the 2-4-1 deals, team up with a neighbour and split the cost/food. I wish I was organised enough to do this.
For a healthy snack; buy a bulk pack of almonds, cover in soy sauce and paprika and roast in the oven on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Make sure you keep checking on them as they can burn very quickly – I have ruined so many batches! Almonds are the food of gods - fiendishly high in nutrients and leave you satisfied for a long time. Plus, they aren't as high in calories as the packet might suggest (* as explained in my programme Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods!)
At home, take all of the fruit and veg out of the plastic packets and put into clear bowls. They will look inviting in the fridge and might distract from the Kit Kat's at Snack O'clock.
Another healthy snack; buy a large pack of sugar snap peas (the fattest ones you can find). Cover in a little sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds, and chill in the fridge. When the peas are fat and fresh they taste almost as good as crisps. Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but they're pretty darn lush. This also works really well with carrots.
Careful of 'low fat' products. They can be low in fat but packed full of sugar - often hidden in the form of fructose or other mystery names that essentially boil down to the same thing as fat. It's a different route with the same destination. Cheeky.
Coconut water and Coconut milk are wonder products. If you've had a heavy night out, make sure you drink a big glass before bed - this will minimise any damage! It's also a brilliant pre and post exercise drink, especially when it's straight out of the fridge. Coconut milk from a carton is a fantastic substitute for the fattier, tinned coconut milk/cream when cooking Thai dishes and is also my favourite of the milk alternatives - all of which I think taste pretty urgh!
Cherry is presenting Britain’s Favourite Supermarket Foods which starts on Thursday 18 July at 8pm on BBC 1
Words: Lottie Lumsden