Grocery Shopping At Big Box Chains

Store Aisle

Between managing our busy schedules and complicated family budgets, many of us have joined the millions of people who do their shopping at "big box" retailers. Whether it is Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's, these retailers provide low prices and bulk items. However when it comes to food, we want to make sure you don't fall into the trap of over-buying, loading up on bad foods, or letting fresh foods go to waste. Here are a few tips to help you the next time you head out to your favorite "big box" retailer.

Splitting Fresh Food Orders: While picking up 10 cucumbers for a low price can be appealing, chances are nearly half of them will spoil before you can use them. Team up with a friend or family member with each of you buying different items. At the end of your trip, split up the fresh food between the two of you so there's less chance of waste.

Know the Codes: Many stores use hidden codes within their pricing for inventory purposes. Knowing these codes can help you shop smarter. Take Costco for example. Their original prices typically always end in $0.99 and deviations from this can mean several different things. A price ending in $0.97 means the item has been marked down recently. An asterisk in the upper right corner of the sign means that item will not be reordered, so you may want to stock up. And if a price ends in $0.88 or $0.00 the store manager may have marked it down to move it faster.

Ingredients Matter: As part of your Metabolic plan, you're focusing on eating whole real foods and less artificial ones. When choosing between a few similar items, check the ingredients lists. Often the cheaper item has less healthy ingredients than the more expensive ones.

Invest In a Vacuum Sealer: Fresh, single-ingredient foods are always the best. If you're buying fresh food, which can be frozen, spend a little extra and invest in a vacuum sealing freezer system. This will allow you to stock up on food and make sure it lasts far longer than standard zipper freezer bags.


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