Do the shopping it is the first step to healthy eating and it is important to know which foods to buy in order to make informed choices that are good for you. To avoid poor quality or over-bought foods, it is essential to be able to make one efficient and organized spending .

I also prepared one product list which I buy more often and which I use practically every day. Now I leave you to the tips to follow to shop efficiently.

1. Make the shopping list

The most important thing for me is make the shopping list . It's something I've always done, but over the years I've learned to manage it properly. First, I check what I have at home. My house is not big and I don't have much space to keep things. This helps me a lot, because I avoid hoarding food that would remain forgotten in the back of the pantry or in some corner of the fridge for too long. So it's easy for me to take a look at what I have and write down what I'm missing. Another thing I do to make sure I buy everything I need is a add a product to the list as soon as it finishes . If, for example, I am starting to cook zucchini, I immediately mark the zucchini among the things to take in the next shopping. I have tried several applications over the years and, although some are interesting, I don't feel like recommending them, because the most comfortable thing for me is mark me the list in the Reminders app of iPhone. Any program that allows you to mark the items taken and customize or enter your own categories is fine. For example, the Notes app on the iPhone can also have the same function.

2. Divide the shopping list into categories

I share the shopping list in categories . It is not necessary to make such a detailed list, I find it very convenient because it allows me to go around the supermarket and the different departments already knowing what to buy in a specific department and shelf.

My categories are:

  • Fruit

  • Vegetable

  • Dried fruit and oil seeds

  • Cereals

  • Aromas and spices

  • Fresh aromatic herbs

  • Frozen foods

  • Bread

  • Vegetable drinks and yoghurt

  • Pasta

  • In oil

  • Oils and seasonings

  • Flours

  • Desserts

  • legumes

  • Sauces and preserves

  • Drinks

  • Other

For the order of the categories, I try to follow the supermarket order , in order to facilitate and further speed up spending.

3. Buy fewer and better quality products

I always bought a lot of things when I went shopping. Now I try to take as little as possible of excellent quality . As I said, my house is not very big and this helps me keep my shopping tight necessary . I hate clutter and unclear food arrangement. I cook a lot and I like to have everything in order and close at hand. I go to the biggest grocery store once a week and buy fresh produce like fruit, vegetables and bread every two days or so. I often hear that eating vegan costs money. No, eating vegan also costs less than any other type of diet. Eating well costs money. Even when I wasn't doing a plant-based grocery shopping, I was shopping Organic products or in any case of good quality. So, for me, the cost of shopping has dropped .

I mainly buy vegetables, fruit, legumes and cereals. Clearly, processed products and packaged meat substitutes are not part of the discussion. A packet of vegetable burgers from Beyond Meat, the US fake meat giant, can also cost € 10. I don't often buy products of this kind because I don't feel the need. It's nice to know you have many different options and that they are also arriving here in Italy and every now and then I like to try, but I don't usually buy them.

4. Bring your shopping bags and bags with you

Even though most of the vegetable bags we find in the supermarket today are biodegradable, it is still one waste that we can avoid . I took reusable sachets that allow me to weigh the vegetables without having to put them in some useless bag. I learned to keep both those sachets and the shoppers in a drawer and got into the habit of put them in your bag before going out from home to go shopping. I also have a foldable shopping bag that I always keep in my bag for safety, in case I ever buy something unexpected or forget the shopping bags at home for some reason. I usually take two shopping bags and three vegetable bags with me. If you go shopping in the car, I recommend that you keep two shopping bags in the trunk.

5. Check the list while shopping and mark the items taken

A error I've been doing for so many years has been making a shopping list, reading it while I was shopping and don't mark the things I took and the ones I still had to take. In doing so, I was always leaving something out. Now I hold the phone in my hand while I shop and mark everything I take at the exact moment I put it in the trash.

Is there anything else to keep in mind?

  • Take the trolley only for the weekly shopping. The basket fills up earlier and helps contain impulse purchases. How many times have you actually filled the cart?

  • Read the list of ingredients before buying a product. Even if you know a brand and have been buying that product for years, it is always best to check all the ingredients. Once you have verified the validity of the product, you can buy it with confidence the next time.

Vittoria Tomassini