By Shelby Boyer, UT Extension Agent

Hey everyone! It’s your FCS Agent, Shelby Boyer, and it is now time to move onto the second portion of Shopping Safe during the COVID-19. The last time you heard about what to do before you head to the grocery store and what precautions to take when you go. You also learned ways that can help you save money. This week, you will be learning about what to do while you are at the store.

There are four things you want to keep in mind when you are shopping at the store. These are as follows: cut food costs, resist store temptations, check cost per unit pricing and compare nutrients. Let’s go over each one briefly!

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1. Cut food costs. When you shop, you want to avoid snack foods that have a lot of calories but are low on nutrients, such as chips and snack cakes. Look for better things like granola bars and fruit. Also cook at home more instead of eating out. Write out daily meal plans for each week and when you go to the store, buy what you need and plan for those things. Also, take full advantage of surplus foods and make sure the kids are getting those lunches that are being handed out during this time. This will help more than you know!

2. Resist store temptations. Grocery stores are designed to encourage shoppers to buy more than they have planned. Be aware of these strategies, such as the displays at the end of the aisles. They promote products not on sale and woo you in! Bakery aromas, deli and coffee bars, and other things related to that area smell nice. Don’t cave! They want you to buy those things you don’t need and want you to eat as you shop. Candy, snacks, gum and magazines are placed up front to tempt you as well. Don’t fall to temptation and check out like normal. These add extra calories and are usually not healthy whatsoever.

3. Check cost per unit pricing. Most grocery stores have a shelf tag with product cost per unit. Choose the lowest cost size. If not, calculate the cost. Divide the price by the number of units and see which one costs less. Once you figure that out, you will know which ones to pick.

4. Compare nutrients. Look at the serving size. Compare the percent daily value in the nutrition facts section of the label. Read the labels and compare products. There are products that can contain less fat or less sodium compared to others on each serving. Once you see it, that’s when you know what to go with!

If you follow these tips, grocery shopping will become much easier and will save you money! Next time, we will see what we can do after we get home from the store. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]