ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- "Maybe we don't meal plan and don't know much many meals we need throughout the week." This is one of the issues that Dietitian Molly Sleger sees when it comes to grocery shopping, something that many people don't start on the right foot with. People aren't planning as well before going to the grocery store.
She says, "I think sometimes, people end up spending so much at the grocery store because maybe they're rushed. Maybe they feel like they should be eating healthier and they shouldn't buy any of the fun foods, like Oreo's."
Food is the third largest living expense after housing and transportation for the average American family. We often end up paying for more food than we should, for reasons that are basically our own fault. We don't take advantage of ways to save money and we waste food. Buying things that never end up getting used or consumed. Some of these things, especially healthier foods and fresh produce may end up spoiling before they reach our tables.
J.T. Quillen, Vice President of Retail Banking for Northwest Bank says that this is a continuing pattern. He says, "The average consumer shouldn't be spending more than 10 to 11% of their monthly wages on food." If you find yourself shopping without a grocery list, not planning your meals before you shop or even shopping hungry, you may spend more than 10 to 11% on food each month. However, there are ways you can beat these habits.
Quillen says, "Have a white board on your refrigerator and this will be good to help prep for shopping. Knowing what you'll need to purchase, you can write it down on there and only buy what you need. It's the same story for throwing away food too. You could start to track things that you're throwing away because then you're purchasing too much of those items."
When buying foods with a short shelf life, think about much much you'll use. Sleger says, "To combat fresh produce going bad, count how many days you'll be making dinner. Try to buy vegetables or maybe split a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables."
But in the end, make sure you follow the easiest step to combatting bad habits while shopping. Sleger says, "Stick to your list. Making sure we eat enough meals that decreases our desire to binge on things."