Supermarket shopping: Is what we put in our trolley good for our wallet and our waistline?

I love the weekly trip to the supermarket: I have the list ready, I know what I want and generally I can power shop and be in and out in about 35 minutes.  Doesn’t everyone shop like this?  Well it appears not.

shopping trolley (1)

Last week when I did the usual 30 minute supermarket dash, the check out operator commented on how healthy the contents of my trolley was.  I was a bit surprised, there was a bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate, as well as the other necessities of life, milk, eggs butter and so on.

So this week I thought I would pay a bit more attention to my fellow shopper’s trolleys and their shopping behaviour.

This is what I observed.  I only noticed one other lady (one of the older generation) with a shopping list.  Everyone else seemed to be aimlessly selecting items from the shelves, sometimes in consultation with other household members with them.  You could see the concentration on other  faces as they tried to recall whether they needed that jam or honey.

That led me to wonder, if they were just a little more organised, how much money (and food) would they save each week.

What was going in the trolleys was even more interesting.  So much of it was pre-packaged and pre-prepared food, as well as junk food and other instant ‘stuff’.  No wonder waistlines are growing at an alarming rate – and before you ask, mine’s fine thank you…

Now I know the average family with children is time poor, but come on, it doesn’t take that long to plan school lunches and the evening meal for the week does it?

There are a host of great publications out there that provide us with weekly meal planners (Healthy Food Guide) that are good for us as well as tasty.   Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals are a real favourite in our household.  Even the supermarket is doing its bit with their ‘Feed a Family of Four on $15.00′ promotion.

We have a very busy household like most of you, I imagine, and I have to be organised.  Maybe I’m a bit over the top – my pantry has a full inventory management system, much to the amusement of my family.  The shopping list is firmly attached to the fridge and woe betide the person who doesn’t fill it in when something is used.  But guess what, our weekly shopping bill is consistent.  We have very little food waste, left over’s get turned into lunches the next day and best of all, meal times are family time, both in the preparing and the consumption.

So let’s get back to basics, clean out the pantry, plan the weekly meals, start a shopping list and help your waistline and your wallet.  Lynda Moore


4 thoughts on “Supermarket shopping: Is what we put in our trolley good for our wallet and our waistline?

  1. great blog and excellent food for thought. I really like the Countdown app, which helps you with your shopping list. It allows you to scan products as you consume them at home, shows you specials and even navigates you through the aisles at your favorite store (providing you shop at Countdown of course.

    I think I’m a typical guy. I don’t like shopping unless its for guy’s stuff, so the better organized I can be the quicker I’m out of the supermarket.

    I’m not into keeping an inventory, but its good to know what you have an what you need. The classic is buying food to put in the freezer because it is on special, only to find you have plenty of those products already.

    The one thing that is a shame is that often the healthiest food is the most expensive.


  2. I’m 23 with a near 5 year and the excuses people come up with are simply laughable. I cook for my family every day. I have a spring/summer meal plan and a autumn/winter meal plan, each plan consists of 3 weeks worth of meals that roll constantly until the clocks change to the new season or it warms/cools too much for the particular plan. Not one single meal features in the meal plan twice in the 3 weeks, so we have 21 summer meals and 21 winter meals that rotate. 3 nights a week vegetarian, 3 nights a week meat and generally 1 night a week/fortnight where I have a night off and we just stick a pizza in the oven. I do my grocery shop online and am meticulous in my plan, I have a strict budget that cannot be breached and I make sure all the fresh ingredients for meals are allocated before a household packet of biscuits goes in to the mix. I love doing my food shopping and love the planning of it all but most people think I’m just too organised (I’m actually probably one of the most unorganised people you could ever meet, just not when it comes to money). Its plain lay behaviours that land junk in your trolley, or no education on cooking, it takes little to learn for yourself I was never taught only by watching my mother from a distance.



    • Hi Gina,
      Thanks for your comment, I think your plan is fantastic, lots of variety and a focus on healthy eating.
      Just goes to show how a bit of planning goes a long way.


  3. I will generally go with a list – however, buy very little at the supermarket. Most of what they sell – three aisles in particular – is complete rubbish and / or sugar laden junk food. Give me the fresh butcher and the green grocer every time!! Or, even better still, a trip to the Farmers Market at the weekend – that is really an adventure and also supports small business / enterprise!


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