7 Chef Tips For Smart Grocery Shopping

chef tips smart grocery shopping

Anybody else hate the weekly food shop? We can’t be alone in finding that it’s stressful, expensive and often leads to surprising purchases we never knew we needed… 

We talked to the chefs at Sorted Food to find out their absolute top tips for grocery shopping, helping everyone shop smarter, save money and avoid food waste. Here’s what they said!

What are your top tips?

  1. Buy Long-Life Ingredients in Bulk When They’re On Offer

Good quality ingredients don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Our chefs suggest buying them in bulk when they’re on offer, especially if they have a long shelf life – this is ideal for things like tinned tomatoes, beans & pulses and dried pasta & rice. They’ll last forever, and they’ll also do just fine for knocking up a spicy tomato, chickpea & pancetta pasta this evening!

  1. … but Be Smart About Offers 

That said, be wary of some of those tempting offers! Only buy the ‘3 for a tenner’ or ‘3 for the price of 2’ deals if you actually need that amount, or can easily stash it away or freeze it. It might seem like better value, but end up wasting it and you’ll only be losing money in the long run.

  1. Shop Outside the Box

It’s natural to head straight for the usual aisles at the supermarket. But those aisles can also hit your wallet a little harder. Our chefs recommend buying spices from the ‘World Foods’ aisle, or even checking out your local speciality shops – they will usually be fresher and much cheaper. Not convinced? Check the price per weight/volume to find out if you’ll make a saving. 

  1. Be Realistic About Reductions

Tempted by those dramatically reduced vegetables, potato salads and cheesecake slices in the ‘to clear’ section? If you’ll cook with them that day, go for it. If not, go for items with the longest shelf life. There’s no point spending on items you’ll end up wasting.

  1. Hungry? Have a Snack (Or Stay at Home)

Numerous shopping trips resulting in bags of crisps, biscuits and strange yoghurt snacks have taught us that hungry shopping just isn’t a good idea. It often leads to purchases you don’t need and may regret – and research suggests that they’re likely to be unhealthier items too! Do yourself a favour and have a snack before you head out shopping.

  1. Shop With a List

We hate to be boring, but it’s true – arm yourself with a list and you’ll be unstoppable when it comes to the supermarket. Work out what you actually need for the week, make a list and don’t deviate. 

  1. Plan Meals Ahead With Your Favourite App

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that gave you recipe ideas and cooking instructions for the week AND came up with a whole shopping list of ingredients to use across those recipes? Oh wait – our revamped Sidekick app does just that! There’s a new selection of Smarter Recipe Packs every Friday, each containing three awesome recipes that work together to make sure nothing is wasted. You’ll then get a full shopping list of ingredients to buy.