To save time (and money!), shopping is a matter of organization. Shopping list before you leave, shopping in the store and storage afterwards when you get home: here are our tips.
Before you leave
Prepare your list and menus
It’s best to plan the menus for the coming week according to your schedule (no time to cook, meals outdoors, etc.): this avoids the lack of inspiration while shopping and when preparing the meal. To help you, consider using the Menu Factory.
Make a quick inventory of the contents of your cupboards and, as a result, establish a food shopping list for the meals of the coming week. This will save you time in the store but also help you avoid being tempted by products you don’t seem to need.
In the store
Buy variety to cook in larger quantities
Don’t be afraid to buy in “large quantities”. This will allow you to cook for two meals without requiring more preparation. Be careful, this recommendation does not apply to products that are subject to snacking (cookies, chips, chocolate bars, pastries, etc.), buy them in small quantities: by limiting the ease of access to these products, you will in fact reduce their consumption.
Don’t forget to provide your cupboards and refrigerator with “essentials”:
- Grocery products: starchy foods (in packages or canned), canned vegetables and fish.
- Dairy products: UHT milk, yoghurts, cottage cheese, grated cheese.
- Condiments: oils (walnut, rapeseed, olive), freeze-dried spices, vinegar.
- Some frozen products: vegetables, meat, fish.
Also think about fresh seasonal products. Harvested at maturity and grown in our latitudes, they are generally cheaper in high season.
Beware of promotions and large formats
While “buy one, get one free” type offers are financially attractive, they actually tend to drive consumption. Numerous studies have shown that a gain in quantity/price favours the accumulation of food in the cupboards, which translates into an increase in consumption.
Likewise, the large formats, which are economical if we look at the price per kg, encourage people to use larger portions, and therefore to eat more without even being aware of it!
Nutritional information at a glance
Complex formulations, nutritional claims, dense and not always clear labels… When you’re shopping, understanding product nutrition information to compare different product categories to each other or different brands for the same product can take time, a lot of time.
To help you make your choices faster, a complementary logo will appear on the front of food packaging, the Nutri-Score. This nutritional logo, thanks to a letter (from A to E) and a color (from dark green to dark orange), informs you in a flash about the nutritional quality of a product.
Everything in its place
Each product is stored according to the temperature at which it must be kept:
- When returning from shopping, the first products to be stored are those that go into the freezer (frozen products, between -18°C and -9°C). Store your products in such a way as not to overload the compartments. Indeed, the cold must be able to circulate between the products to ensure a constant temperature and to allow a good freezing.
- Then place in the refrigerator (between 0°C and 8°C) the so-called “fresh” products, i.e. products that are packed in airtight packaging and kept at a cold temperature after manufacture. Make sure that the refrigerator temperature is set on the thermostat 0°C to +4°C. This temperature is optimal for the preservation of the products and limits the development of microbes (bacteria in particular).
- Finally, in your cupboards, at room temperature, keep all other products. To limit waste and better monitor the expiration dates of products, place the products you have just bought at the bottom of the cupboard, and bring the oldest ones to the front.
In your refrigerator, there are zones, more or less cold, for an optimal conservation of your food :
- The cold zone (< 4°C) – top of the refrigerator: for raw meat and fish, shellfish, delicatessen, prepared dishes, cheeses (raw milk), freshly started products, products in defrosting.
- The fresh zone (4-6°C) – middle of the refrigerator: for dairy products, dairy desserts, fresh cheese and cream, cooked fruits and vegetables, cooked meat and fish.
- The temperate zone at the bottom of the refrigerator (6-8°C): for fresh fruit and vegetables (in the tray provided)
- The temperate zone in the refrigerator door (6-8°C): for drinks, eggs, butter, opened jam, condiments in tubes or jars.
Tips for storing in the refrigerator
- Remove the cardboard wrappers around the packs to keep only the necessary packaging.
- Open the refrigerator door carefully to maintain a good cold chain and avoid water condensation.
- Do not overload it to allow cool air to circulate.
- Clean it with white vinegar or disinfectant regularly (every 2 weeks).