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6 Smart Shopping Tips That Protect Your Family

Pro tip: when you're at the supermarket, make sure to grab those cans and jars first.

It's where the action is, you know? They're the ones that are all tappity-tap-tapping on their lid like they're trying to get out of there. You can hear it from across the aisle. It's like,"Hey! Hey! I'm talking to you! Pick me up already!"

But you can't just pick them up without looking at them first. Make sure they don't look like they've been doing cartwheels all over your grocery store, because that means the inside might be slimy and gross. And if you look at their expiration date, you'll know how long they'll keep for before they go bad.

And eggs? Eggs are pretty important too. I mean, have you ever had a really bad egg? A broken egg? It's not pretty. On a scale of one to ten, it'd be more like a negative fifty. Eggs can do some serious damage to your insides if they aren't fresh, so be careful when picking them out (and not cross-contaminating other things with their grossness).

Oh, you were going to just pop some fish sticks in the oven?

We can't let you do that.

There are so many things you don't know about seafood.

1. If it's on ice, it's probably thawed—and therefore not safe.

2. Frozen seafood should be rock solid—if there are any signs of frost or ice crystals, the fish has been thawed and refrozen (probably multiple times).

3. If you're buying cooked shrimp, make sure it's not lying on a bed of ice with raw fish.

4. If you're planning to harvest your own shellfish, check the area for posted warnings about unsafe water conditions.

We've all done it. Shopped. And then shopped some more. We wander around the grocery store, filling our carts with everything we need to prepare dinner tonight, get a snack to share with our spouse later that night, and maybe a treat or two for the kids (if they're good). And then we go a little crazy, tossing in those items we DON'T need—you know, for fun!

But when you shop this way, you could be exposing your family to needless health risks from food-borne illnesses and one's that could spawn unsought allergies. Here's how to avoid the worst of it:

5. Drive immediately home from the grocery store. This will give cold or frozen food less time to warm up before you get home. If the destination is farther away than 30 minutes, bring a cooler with ice or commercial freezing gels from home and place perishables in it.

6. Save hot chicken and other hot foods for last, too. This will give them less time to cool off before you get home.

But next time your cruising the isles, you can skip the bread section and indulge in these hearty alternatives!

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