Some student’s view grocery shopping as a chore, I view it as a fun activity. As a first-year student, I was scared at first of doing all these things for myself for the first time. Before even moving to U of T, I did a very me thing to do and did my research in order to be prepared. From the information I gathered, I found that it isn’t always easy to shop smart for a student budget. From experience, I came to realize that sometimes things aren’t all about the budget but instead spending my money the right way and buying things with high nutritional value that are not only quick and easy to make but also will keep me feeling full throughout the day.
The following are my personal top three tips that I follow on my weekly visits to the grocery store.
Tip One- Be Organized: I always plan what I intend to do with my ingredients before I purchase them and this way I can make sure I eat all the food I bought before it goes bad. I find myself throwing out bananas quite often, but I recently discovered the magic of blenders and now once my bananas start turning black I cut them up and put them in the freezer making them perfect for a strawberry and banana smoothie.
Tip Two- Don’t Go In Hungry: I try to never ever go to the grocery store hungry. If you are into sticking to a budget (just like me) I find this tip is extremely important. The other day I skipped lunch and went to the grocery store and ended up buying really unnecessary things I would never normally buy like for example, an obnoxiously large bag of Cheetos I ended up throwing away anyway to keep myself from eating them.
Tip Three- Try Out Off-Brand Items: I always like to experiment with is buying off-brand items. The idea of off-brands I discovered when I moved to Toronto since where I come from you do not really get the option of buying a cheaper off-brand product for less price. The only difference in products that I noticed is that the packaging seems to be plain and less expensive looking, but as far as my first-year university student taste buds go it is all the same.
There are so many tips out there, the resources are endless. I find it fun to do some research before I set myself to do something new, this way I always feel ready and well prepared. It can be a bit overwhelming to shop when there is so many different products and brands, especially when you always want to try out new products.