Earlier this week, Miss G and I were invited to one of our neighbourhood grocery stores to find out more about a new online resource recently launched by Healthy Families BC. The site, called Shopping Sense, was developed in order to equip shoppers with the knowledge and skills to make healthier, budget-wise options for their families.
Shopping Sense is really easy to use… So easy, in fact, that I could see it being used with elementary-aged children as a multi-media learning tool. It includes fun virtual tours of grocery store departments led by Global TV’s Melodie Yong, and is chock full of great shopping tips.
During our tour, Melodie shared many of these useful tips with us, and though they weren’t completely new, they were great reminders. Here are some of my favourites:
Shop in season. Not only will the produce taste better, but it’ll be less expensive too.
Buy local. You’ll be supporting local farmers (and artisans), and because the food doesn’t have to travel far to get to you, it’ll be fresher.
Frozen can be just as nutritious. When it comes to out of season fruit, frozen is often the way to go – just be sure it doesn’t contain and added sugar (this is especially helpful given the amount of smoothies we consume in this house).
Shop the perimeter of the store. This was my favourite tip and we do this naturally in our day-to-day shopping, but I hadn’t thought about it this way before. Shopping the perimeter means getting the majority of your grocery items from the produce, dairy, bakery, meat departments, and getting fewer of the processed and packaged items from the centre of the store.
Melodie also introduced us to one of my favourite parts of Shopping Sense – a simple printable meal planner and shopping list. I’ve talked about my meal planning / grocery shopping routine before, and this printable works perfectly into my little system. It allows you to plan your meals for the upcoming week, make a coordinating shopping list, and have everything neatly organized in one place, all while avoiding over shopping (or coming home with a ton of stuff that really equals no decent meals).
While I found the whole event very interesting, I must admit this little monkey was slightly less enthused… I managed to keep her happy for most of the trip with a mini colouring pad, healthy snacks (avocado! clementines! tofu cubes! homemade crackers!), and 2 sheets of scented stickers, but by the end of our tour she was done and she certainly let me know it. She’s lucky she’s so cute. ☺
Now for the really fun part… We’ve graciously been given a $100 Safeway gift card to give away to one of our readers. (Yay! Who doesn’t love free groceries, right?!) This contest is open to BC residents and the winner will be chosen at random on Monday, March 18th, 2013.
There are FOUR ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each:
–> Visit the Shopping Sense resource and tell us one thing you learned or like about the site.
–> ‘Like’ Mama.Papa.Bubba. on Facebook and leave a comment saying “I like(d) you on Facebook”
–> Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment saying “I follow(ed) you on Twitter”
–> Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment saying “I tweeted” (
#BC Residents: Win $100 FREE groceries on MamaPapaBubba.com! http://mamapapabubba.com/2013/03/08/shopping-sense-free-groceries/ #giveaway)
Obviously the more times you enter, the better your chances of winning. ☺ Don’t forget to leave your email address! The winner will be announced on March 18th and contacted via email. Good luck!!