« Honey, I forgot to thaw the turkey – and other holiday woes (and how to work around these) | Main | SafeFood© at The Office »

SafeFood© - Good Food

Boy – a trip to the grocery store can sure make a dent in the wallet! Like many, I try to buy foods that have value – that is, they are good for my body and good for my pocketbook. It can be a challenge, but also a fun activity to see if I can outsmart the marketing folks.

Some tips:
Consider store brands for packaged foods as many of these are made in the same place as the name brands. Remember the black and white generic concept of the early 80’s? Well the store brands are similar. Try a taste test at home – I can’t tell the difference for many products and I bet you won’t either. The packaging ends up in the trash, so why pay for the glitz?

Look at what level of convenience you are buying. For side dishes, you still have to cook the rice or noodles at home so your convenience is not having to add the spices – for the money difference, I can add my own spices! And the sodium content is much less typically if make from scratch.

Fresh produce is usually rotated – so reach to the back of the display to get that head of lettuce (dark green rather than ice berg) rather than taking the one positioned in the front. You will get the newest product rather than the oldest – which means it will have a longer shelf life at home.

Read the labels – find out where the product was packaged. Country of Origin labeling should help you in making decisions. The food safety laws in the U.S. are some of the toughest in the world. Didn’t a food safety czar in one foreign country get the death penalty for his actions which resulted in harmful food?

Take control - if a lot of the food you intake is from sources you don’t control – think about taking some food preparation classes. Cooking is not just for Home Ec Beckies – we all enjoy eating and should know how to do it right. A USDA study found that foods with poor nutritional quality are often less expensive than more nutrient dense foods – but smart selections can save money. And with today’s economy, I would just as soon hang on to my money!