Shop Carefully & Buy the Food You Want

j0422831 I shop at numerous grocery stores, but not every week.  Therefore, if I get home and find I bought something that is bad or damaged, I’m not likely to return it.  The hassle of going back to a store that is not “on the way” is just not worth it to me.  The result is wasted money.

Since I dislike returning items, and I dislike wasting money, I try to avoid the situation altogether by making sure I buy what I want.  Here’s what I mean:

  • Check packages of cheese, grapes, berries, or bread for signs of mold.
  • Take the lid off a coffee can, yogurt container, spice jar or other similar item to make sure the seal is intact.
  • Look carefully at the bag of potatoes to make sure they are not green.
  • Move the baby carrots around in the bag to make sure they are wet, but not slimy.
  • Check cans for dents.
  • Make sure you are buying the right item and not a different variety your family doesn’t like.
  • Check  jars of pickles or fruit to make sure they are sealed.
  • Look over all produce well.
  • Check expiration dates, particularly on dairy products.

Doing these things does add time to your shopping trip, but not that much.   It only takes seconds to check most items and usually the total time you spend checking will be significantly less than the time it would take to return something.

I’m sure there is something I missed in the above list.  What would you add to it?

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  1. The Chatty Housewife says

    This is a very useful list. Under the category of mold I would add tortillas (regardless of best-by date) and under the category of expiration dates, I would add salad dressings. Other than those two items, I think you covered all my past mistakes! :)

  2. Sherry says

    Thank you for sharing this! I definitely need to be more observant. I haven't really checked dates except for on milk.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Mom2fur says

    I totally agree! I'm also one to 'pop the yogurt lid.' But I have another suggestion, if you don't mind. Any time you buy creams or lotions (or any personal items, for that matter), but sure to check those lids, too! More than once, I've found hand cream that was opened and tried in the store–then put back on the shelf. Ewwww. And I, too, have no desire to go driving all the way back to a store for an exchange. They don't reimburse your gas, LOL!

  4. The Happy Housewife says

    Great post! I need to spend the extra few minutes doing these things. I have found that it is meat that is bad, but I didn't notice it in the store… I usually end up sending my dh back to return it, but it would be better to avoid it in the first place!

  5. Heather @CeliacFamily says

    I think I'd add: read the ingredient label to check for gluten or other allergens. You never know when a product is going to change. As you know, gluten often shows up in unexpected food products. Maybe that seems obvious, but I know I still make mistakes from time to time. :o) I usually give the product to someone else who can use it, rather than return it to the store.

  6. gfe--gluten free easily says

    Helpful post, Linda. :-) I'm not always good about checking everything out properly. I like to get in and out of the grocery store quickly, but like you said, doing these checks doesn't take much longer. If you buy eggs at the grocery store, be sure to open the carton and check for cracked eggs. I thought it was unbelievable how many eggs were cracked in the cartons at my grocery store until I realized they were placed under the tubes of refrigerated biscuits. LOL Not a great idea. I also check out my salad greens well. I like to buy the boxes of organic salad greens, but some are really past their prime. And, I actually put my nose to packages of fresh seafood to make sure I don't smell any overly strong fishy/seafood smells. Fresh fish/seafood should smell "light."


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