FOOD shopping is a huge part of our lives, taking up quite a lot of time and money, but with some forward planning and buying food that you know you need and will help you with a good balanced diet it can actually become quite a pleasure rather than a chore.

I get all my fruit, veg, fish and meats from Bolton Market. Not only is it a great shopping experience every time I go with everyone having a good chat and laugh with me whilst I am there, everything is fresh good quality food. I have recently taken clients to the market with me to show them the great quality and variety of foods there are to buy and how much cheaper it actually works out.

Start your shopping off with a well-planned list of what you need before you go out. This will save you a lot of time, effort and money. Check your cupboards and fridge before you write a list and this will stop you buying extra from the last trip out.

My wife and I love food, and a great way to encourage your family to love it too is to get them shopping with you. My little girl loves going to the market, helping us pick out all her fruit and veg for the week. Also try farmer’s markets and local farm shops where there’s so much more variety and sometimes some very different and interesting foods there.

Try to avoid going shopping when you are hungry, this is a recipe for disaster. More often than not you end up buying far more than you actually need. You may even buy a little something for the journey home just to see you through which is extra, un-necessary, calories. It’s the same if you do internet shopping, have a healthy snack before you log on so you only buy what you need. I don’t do food internet shopping myself but I am told it sometimes saves your last shop, which can help to stop you buying extras if you know it was enough last time round.

All packaging should also have a list of ingredients in descending order according to quantity by weight, therefore if sugar is one of the first ingredients then it’s one of the largest ingredients!!

Always read the label before you buy. Check dates on the labels as in the UK alone the average family wastes £700 of food each year.