December 13, 2010
Before seniors and their family caregivers think about the types of healthy meals they need to prepare, they must first overcome the obstacles of shopping. Here are some tips to help make a caregiver's next trip to the grocery store a successful one.
- Make a list. Sit down with your senior and make a list of what she wants to eat for the week. This pre-planning can cut down on the time and money you spend at the store.
- Don't shop hungry. Shoppers are always tempted to buy more when they're hungry, so share a sandwich or snack before hitting the aisles.
- Review store ads, clip coupons and organize them at home. You'll save money, time and hassle at the checkout stand.
- Invite a friend. Have Mom bring a neighbor or friend along for the ride. The resulting companionship makes the task of grocery shopping easier and more fun. If a senior can't shop alone, arrange for grocery delivery or a caregiver companion to go along for help and support.
- Sign up for a grocer's bonus/discount card. Seniors can reap additional savings and take advantage of grocery store specials by signing up for special programs.
- Try store brands. The most costly brands are often placed at eye level. Store brands that may be cheaper and just as good are often placed higher or lower on the grocery shelves.
- Think variety. It's easy to get in a rut. Encourage Dad to try new foods or ethnic alternatives.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That's where most of the fresh, healthier foods are located.
- Stock up on sale items by choosing only as much as your senior can use in a timely manner. Buy in bulk for quality and value, but serve healthy portions.
- Use your food budget wisely. For the price of a large bag of chips and a box of cookies, you can buy a good supply of apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, peppers and other healthier foods.
For more shopping tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, visit www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines
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