Food Shopping Tips: Buying Basic Commodities
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Published by TOP4 Team
The taste of your food doesn’t totally depend on how you cooked it. It also depends on the product you bought at the supermarket. Here are some tips when buying basic commodities.
- Don’t buy damaged cans; their contents may be spoiled. Make sure that any packets have not been opened or tampered with.
- Never buy frozen food covered with frost. It has probably been defrosted and then refrozen.
- Check the expiry dates on perishable foods carefully. The fresher ones usually are towards the back of the display cabinet.
Although quick cooking rice is more expensive than polished white rice, it contains less nutrients. Brown rice, which hasn’t been processed, is even more nutritious but it takes longer to cook. Don’t waste money on packets of flavoured rice. Cook plain rice together with your own choice of herbs and spices.
When purchasing fresh fish, make sure that the eyes are as clear and as bright as those of a live fish — if not, don’t buy it. Also, if the gills don’t smell fresh, decomposition is well on its way. Try cheaper kinds of fish fillets, such as hake, gemfish or mackerel. They’re often good substitute for the more expensive fillets such as snapper or sole.
When buying frozen fish in plastic wrap, look for the ice glaze that should cover the fish. If it’s dented or cracked, the glaze is no longer protecting the fish from losing moisture and quality.
Salami and other cold meats purchased in bulk and sliced at home are cheaper than packaged slices. If you need just a little ham for a recipe, ask for inexpensive ham ends at the delicatessen counter. Canned hams that require refrigeration have more flavour than non-refrigerated hams.
The most tender pork chops are those with pink rather than red meat. Chops with red meat are from older, tougher pigs. For the best value in a T-bone or porterhouse steak, buy the one with the largest fillet part and the smallest tail. To select the most tender sirloin steak, look for the cut that most closely resembles the shape of a T-bone steak.
Don’t use top-quality steak for long, slow cooking — the flavour is better in the cheaper cuts.
Generally, if there’s no more than a 7-cent difference in price per dozen eggs between one size and the next smaller size, you’ll get more for your money by buying the larger size. To save money, buy plain cottage cheese and plain, unflavoured yoghurt and add fresh cut-up fruit, herbs or vegetables at home.
There are times when you can’t really cook your own food. That’s fine. If you’re dining out, consider one of these top restaurants.