Food shopping tips – essential hints and tips
Most of our shopping is done at a local supermarket but an increasing amount is now done online. Here are some great food shopping tips to get you started.
- Get to know your local butcher, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby, where you can buy locally produced, well hung meat and, in many cases, free range – animals that have had a happy life and have been well looked after.
- Don’t be fooled by the bright red meat we can buy – it is tenderness and flavour we are after.
- Try to find a local greengrocer for your fruit and vegetables. Don’t be put off by a little dirt on your vegetables – it will soon wash off!
- Also, try to find a farm shop, or a farmers’ market is well worth a visit, and look out for farms that allow you to pick your own, especially soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries.
- If you are very lucky you may find a good fishmonger. Like your butcher, they can be a great help in your food preparation, filleting your fish for you. A good tip about fish is to look at the eyes – fresh fish should have bright eyes. It’s so nice to go to a small fishing port and buy your fish direct from the fisherman. They will give you many tips on how to cook their catch.
- Look out for fresh, free-range eggs (well worth a few extra pennies) with deep yellow yolks and, when cracked into a frying pan, don’t instantly spread all watery and very pale in colour.
- If you buy frozen food such as chicken, get it home and into your freezer as soon as possible, so it doesn’t start to defrost and begin to drip onto your other shopping.
- Certain foods come into season at different times of the year, such as new potatoes, strawberries and asparagus.
- Help to sustain your local shops such as butchers before they all disappear, who in turn support the local farmers.
Food shopping tips – storing food
The following food shopping tips are all about how you store food:
- When you get your shopping home, try to store it correctly. Stock your fridge in a hygienic way, with the raw meat at the bottom so it can’t drip onto uncooked foods such as salad items. Always try to avoid any cross-contamination between foodstuffs.
- Don’t overfill your fridge so air can circulate freely.
- Foodstuffs such as potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place. Try not to buy more than you need, to avoid vegetables going off and having to be thrown away.
- Take extra care not to mix together raw food and foodstuffs that are not going to be cooked, such as salad items. You don’t want blood etc. dripping onto uncooked food.