Shopping Sense {& FREE GROCERIES!!!}

IMG 6269Earlier this week, Miss G and I were invited to one of our neighbourhood grocery stores to find out more about a  new online resource recently launched by Healthy Families BC.  The site, called Shopping Sense, was developed in order to equip shoppers with the knowledge and skills to make healthier, budget-wise options for their families.  

Shopping Sense is really easy to use… So easy, in fact, that I could see it being used with elementary-aged children as a multi-media learning tool.  It includes fun virtual tours of grocery store departments led by Global TV’s Melodie Yong, and is chock full of great shopping tips.  

IMG 6280During our tour, Melodie shared many of these useful tips with us, and though they weren’t completely new, they were great reminders.  Here are some of my favourites: 

Shop in season. Not only will the produce taste better, but it’ll be less expensive too.

Buy local. You’ll be supporting local farmers (and artisans), and because the food doesn’t have to travel far to get to you, it’ll be fresher.

Frozen can be just as nutritious. When it comes to out of season fruit, frozen is often the way to go – just be sure it doesn’t contain and added sugar (this is especially helpful given the amount of smoothies we consume in this house).

Shop the perimeter of the store.  This was my favourite tip and we do this naturally in our day-to-day shopping, but I hadn’t thought about it this way before.  Shopping the perimeter means getting the majority of your grocery items from the produce, dairy, bakery, meat departments, and getting fewer of the processed and packaged items from the centre of the store.

IMG 6275Melodie also introduced us to one of my favourite parts of Shopping Sense – a simple printable meal planner and shopping list.  I’ve talked about my meal planning / grocery shopping routine before, and this printable works perfectly into my little system.  It allows you to plan your meals for the upcoming week, make a coordinating shopping list, and have everything neatly organized in one place, all while avoiding over shopping (or coming home with a ton of stuff that really equals no decent meals).  

IMG 6277While I found the whole event very interesting, I must admit this little monkey was slightly less enthused… I managed to keep her happy for most of the trip with a mini colouring pad, healthy snacks (avocado! clementines! tofu cubes! homemade crackers!), and 2 sheets of scented stickers, but by the end of our tour she was done and she certainly let me know it.  She’s lucky she’s so cute.  ☺


Now for the really fun part… We’ve graciously been given a $100 Safeway gift card to give away to one of our readers. (Yay!  Who doesn’t love free groceries, right?!)  This contest is open to BC residents and the winner will be chosen at random on Monday, March 18th, 2013.  


There are FOUR ways to enter.  Please leave a separate comment for each:

–> Visit the Shopping Sense resource and tell us one thing you learned or like about the site.

–> ‘Like’ Mama.Papa.Bubba. on Facebook and leave a comment saying “I like(d) you on Facebook”

–> Follow us on Twitter and leave a comment saying “I follow(ed) you on Twitter”

–> Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment saying “I tweeted” ( Residents: Win $100 FREE groceries on! )


Obviously the more times you enter, the better your chances of winning. ☺  Don’t forget to leave your email address!  The winner will be announced on March 18th and contacted via email.  Good luck!!

For extra fun, like us on Facebook here and find us on Instagram here. 


117 thoughts on “Shopping Sense {& FREE GROCERIES!!!}

  1. I really loved just how smoothly it ran and I also appreciated the work more knowing there were there in the middle of hte night filming lol!

  2. I learned (from the kids and sodium section) that bran and raisin cereal can be high in sodium! I try to keep us as low-sodium as possible, so I guess we’ll have to keep our raisin bran consumption to a minimum! :)

  3. I like the interactive videos on the Shopping Sense page. (This is right up my alley, btw, since I blog about being a thrifty mom too. Love you blog and the gorgeous photos!)

  4. I like the website, except where it says, “buying organic or non organic is a matter of personal taste.” I disagree. I think for a lot of people it comes down to price…organic is often more expensive.

  5. I relearned that you should have a snack before grocery shopping and have the plan of your written list.

  6. I think that the most useful part of the virtual tour for me was the section on food safety. I liked this tip on discarded leftovers that have been unrefridgerated for more than two hours.

  7. I like the meal planner and grocery list. It’s something I do already, but it’s laid out simply and it’s so prettily organized that it makes my OCD heart go pitter patter.

  8. I learned that In most parts of Canada, especially in the winter, most people do not get enough vitamin D from sunlight so we need to include foods that are fortified with vitamin D. The need for vitamin D also increases with age so people over 50 years should take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 ug or 400 IU

  9. I learned that you are not supposed to thaw your meat on the counter. I often try to get it in the fridge the night before, but some days I am just not that prepared. I thought the microwave was a no no, but now I know!

  10. I liked the meal planning and pantry planner on the site. It’s on my list of things to do, and it’s great to have somewhere to go that I can start…it seems a little overwhelming at this point.

  11. Hi there! I learned “Shop the perimeter of the store first!” – so helpful to avoid those extra calories and salt! I follow you on facebook via Natalie Van and followed on twitter via @OceanScented

  12. I visited Shopping sense and learned that some restaurants have website where they provide nutrition information about their products. I”ve never seen such information on the website of a restaurant. I’ll have to check before I go out next time.

  13. I’m a big fan of the grocery lists. That’ll make it easier when I’m tired and not super excited about going shopping..

  14. I learned that using a digital thermometer inside the fridge to make sure it is at 4 degrees Celsius can help keep foods safe and fresh longer.

  15. After taking the Shopping Sense virtual tour, I learned that leftovers that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours need to be discarded!

  16. I think the pantry planner is a great idea, so that you don’t end up as a penne pasta hoarder because you buy a bag every time you go shopping, not knowing how much you have. ;)

  17. The virtual tour had many great ideas. Some I knew, but many I had forgotten, or needed some reminding about! Therefore, I really liked the food safety portion, and needed to hear that information again.

  18. After going through the online tour, I liked the organization aspect – how we should meal plan and create list for shopping.

  19. I liked how the site was informative and relatively easy to use. Even my son can navigate the site with no problem. I learned the importance of shopping the perimeter of the store first.

  20. Thought the virtual tour was cool, interactive and contained lots of great info! Part on food safety most useful for me as I don’t know much in this area. Can be quite a careless person when it comes to food safety.

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