During this Covid-19 pandemic it is highly recommended to stay home as much as possible. This is not an easy task if we are used to run to the store every time we run out of supplies or food. Times are currently more complicated than they used to be. You have to make sure that you are 6 feet apart from everyone else, that you wear your mask and don’t touch your face, that you wash or sanitize your hands often and mainly that you don’t bring the coronavirus home with you. For all of these requirements, you are better off avoiding unnecessary trips to the store.
Here is an easy way you can help your clients reduce trips to the store and, why not, save money too.
Start a shopping list.When you run out of an item, write it down. It’s easy to forget what you need when you are at the store.
Check what’s on sale.Do you get magazines from stores and supermarkets? Clip coupons of the items you need.
Create a menu for the week.Based on the coupons you have, pencil a healthy menu for the week. Don’t forget to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains for each meal. Learn more about healthy eating tips with the AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors.
Complete your shopping list.Based on your menu, identify the ingredients you will need for the week. Add them to the list you started above. Don’t forget to include spices and topping if necessary.
Clean your shopping list. Once you have your list, start checking your pantry for ingredients that you might already have and delete them from your list. When you buy extras you end up wasting food and waste costs money.
Supplement your list.Are there any other things you need besides food? Are you running out of toilet paper, laundry detergent, sponges or soap? Don’t wait for these to be completely gone. Buy them in your next trip and avoid having to do another trip just for this. Also, think of other errands or places you might need to go to, such as the pharmacy or the pet shop. If you are already going out of the house, try using one trip to get all your errands done before coming into the house again. Write down these places on your list too.
Buy enough for the week. Buying in bulk helps you save money, saves you trips to the market and helps you save gas.
I would add one last step, maybe the most important. Now that your list is done and you are all set, don’t forget the list at home! Take a picture of the list on your phone just in case.
If you decide that you prefer to shop online, follow the same steps. Having a longer list will save you time, help you meet the minimum purchase requirements you need to avoid shipping charges and save money.
About the Author
Sandra Arevalo, MPH, RDN, CDN, CLC, CDCES, FADA
Sandra works as Director of community and patient education at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York. Her work in nutrition, obesity and diabetes for the underserved has received numerous awards and presented at national conferences, published in peer reviewed journals, and featured in national and international television. Sandra is a recognized speaker and expert in food and culture.
She has dedicated her time to train people working with food understand the cultural factors that lead to food choices. She is the author of Microwave Chef, a book inspired by people living in shelters in New York City. Currently, she is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists.