Shopping Smart

Update: 11/19/2012 - View: 19061


  • Having a plan helps you save money because you don’t spend haphazardly on “discount” items and so on.
  • Know your budget and stick to it
  • Decide where and when to shop. Don’t shop with an empty stomach. Studies show that you may spend 17% more if you do.
  • Make a ‘to buy’ list. Your list should have the 5 food groups from the Malaysian Food Pyramid.


  • Stick to your ‘to buy’ list. Don’t be tempted by attractive promotional ads.
  • Read nutrition labels to compare and select suitable products.
  • Check the expiry dates of foods you’re about to purchase. Select the one that has a longer expiry date.
  • Watch out for dented/rusted tins or crushed packages - food contained inside may be spoilt.
  • Visit the chilled/dairy/frozen sections last because these foods spoil easily.

Head home!

  • If you’ve purchased fresh foods or chilled items, go straight home to avoid spoilage.
  • As soon as you get home, store perishables in the fridge/freezer.
  • Separate raw from cooked food by storing food in containers before placing into the refrigerator.

Healthier Picks

Now with your shopping list in hand, you’re all set to pick up items you need. To gain value for your money, choose affordable quality items within your budget.

Below is a list of some common food items and some tips for healthier picks.

  1. Rice – Choose brown or unpolished instead of white rice.
  2. Bread – Go for wholegrain, wholemeal, and fortified products.
  3. Cereals – Go for wholegrain and those fortified with vitamins and minerals.
  4. Fruits and veggies – Aim to buy a rainbow of colours of different vegetables and fruits every week.
  5. Biscuits – Buy plain biscuits or those made of oats or with nuts/raisins instead of sweetened cream-filled varieties.
  6. Milk – Buy full cream milk for your child; sweetened creamer and condensed milk are not considered milk.
  7. Meat – Choose fresh lean meat rather than processed/canned meats.
  8. Processed food – Choose brands with lower sugar, fat and salt content.

Shop with your child

It’s never too early to spark your child’s interest in nutrition, and one of the best ways to do it is to have him tag along your grocery shopping. Food shopping together creates a great opportunity for you to teach him about food and making wise selections. Children are generally more interested to eat the food served if they’ve been involved in the selection and preparation of foods and ingredients.

  • Get your child acquainted with food in its raw forms, such as vegetables or fruits of different colours, textures and smells.
  • Point out the benefits of each food, e.g. milk for strong bones and rice/bread for energy, and which foods should be consumed less.
  • Let him help you pick up certain foods, such as fruits and canned foods.
  • Show him that food labels contain useful information.