Secrets of Supermarket Traps with Phil Lempert
End of the aisle displays. This are impulse buys the same as the ones at the checkout. Don’t let them fool you. Only about half the time are these products actually on sale. Always look carefully at the sign - if it doesn’t say its on sale and what you’ll save it’s probably not.
Shop for produce at a store that does not have “misters” - yes the extra water adds weight especially to leafy greens and yes the extra water will actually reduce the shelf life - but most importantly have you ever seen someone cleaning the nozzles? Nope! These nozzles are full of bacteria, calcium deposits and other minerals that may actually create a food safety issue.
Can Frozen Be Better Than Fresh?
Go to the frozen food aisle to buy produce when it is not in season. Fruits like blueberries when out of season are grown thousands of miles away and flown here - and cost $5 for a half a pint. Even worse they were picked before ripe to look best when in store - that means they were on the vine less with less nutritional and taste benefits. Buy frozen that were packed at the peak of freshness - taste better, more nutrients and you’ll get a pound for about $2.
The same goes for frozen seafood. Take a look at the “signs” at the fresh fish case…carefully…surprised to see that most of the fish there says “previously frozen” on the tags? Well don’t be! Boats go out to sea for weeks at a time and freeze their catches on board - then they get defrosted at a distributor or wholesaler - then delivered to the store who puts them back on ice and partially freezes them. Head right to the frozen food case where the fish has only been frozen once …and get this…depending on the species (salmon, tilapia, flounder, etc can be 25-40% less expensive. Are Supermarket Artisnal Meats And Cheeses Really Better?
Certain cheeses have what is known as a “standard of identity” which is set by FDA - natural cheeses such as cheddar, swiss, monterey jack have to meet these requirements. So, 90 day old sharp cheddar from Wisconsin is 90 day old cheddar from Wisconsin - regardless of the brand or package… go to the cheese table and in that fancy package you could pay 40% more than you would for the same cheese sold in clear plastic in the dairy case!
Are “Natural” Products Always Worth The Extra Money?
Not always, why pay more for brown eggs? Nutritionally and taste wise brown eggs and white eggs are identical. But brown eggs always cost more! The only difference is that white-feathered chickens with white ear lobes lay white eggs and red-feathered ones with red ear lobes lay brown eggs!
Check out more Supermaket Tips & Tricks from Phil Lampert at supermarketguru.com.