How Not To Throw Money Down The Drain - Choose Quality Products

Mark Velov Author: Mark Velov Time for reading: ~11 minutes Last Updated: December 04, 2022
How Not To Throw Money Down The Drain - Choose Quality Products

Choosing a quality product is not so difficult. All that is required of you is basic vigilance. Pay attention to the appearance, smell and structure of the product, and if the product is packaged, read the package carefully. First of all, be guided by your observations β€” the product should look and smell so that you want to eat it. Check the expiration date. AND,

How to choose products

Choosing a quality product is not so difficult. All that is required of you is basic vigilance. Pay attention to the appearance, smell and structure of the product, and if the product is packaged, read the package carefully.

In order to choose a quality product and not throw money down the drain, be guided by the following principles:

  • First of all, be guided by your observations — the product should look and smell so that you want to eat it. Usually, we buy products that we have already bought, eaten and cooked more than once, so we know perfectly well how they look and smell. Therefore, in order to choose a quality product , be guided not only by the information on the package or the words of the sellers, but by your own senses - the taste, smell and structure of the product should be characteristic. Any extraneous odors, defects in appearance or damage indicate that its properties have already changed. If these are packaged products , pay attention to the packaging, it should not be crumpled or damaged, because this affects the quality of the product .

  • Pay attention to the name of the product . Usually, the standard name of the product is a synonym of quality that meets state standards. That is, the product with the name "Sour cream" is subject to the same requirements as sour cream, while "Sour cream" is already a sour cream product that may have other properties.

  • Choose the manufacturer carefully. In fact, the choice between different brands and manufacturers has confused us all more than once. Of course, it is better to choose well-known large manufacturers - they will rarely risk a good name for the sake of minute savings on the product . The only downside is that well-known brands can set a higher price for their goods due to the publicity of the brand. And less well-known manufacturers may turn out to be no worse. The best thing here is to be guided by your own experience — to try several different brands, choose your favorite and continue to buy products made by it.

  • Read the label carefully. Not only the name of the product and the manufacturer. The information on the packaging is not printed for design purposes. There you can find whether the products have E-additives (harmful and not so), substitutes for natural components, and also the nutritional value of the product . Study the information in detail - the product may look perfect and have no extraneous odors, but the composition may not suit you.


  • Check the expiration date. We all know that every food product has its expiration date, after which it should not be consumed. By the way, the shorter the shelf life, the fewer stabilizers and preservatives in the composition. If you see numbers crossed out several times on the package, the product has been repackaged, it is likely that it is not very fresh. If you missed it and brought home an overdue product, you have the right to return it to the store. Read more about checking expiration dates in stores in the following article -

  • Don't choose a product based on price alone. Expensive means high-quality , and cheap means bad. This rule is no longer valid. The expensive price of the product does not guarantee its quality . It often happens that cheaper goods are not inferior in any way. However, here too you should not go to the extreme and fill your basket with the cheapest products to save money - because if the quality of the product turns out to be not the best, you will throw this money in the trash. In addition to the price of the product , be guided in your choice by its appearance, composition indicated on the package, and after you try it, and your own experience.

  • Always remember your rights as a consumer - you have every right to ask for additional information about the quality of the product , if you do not understand everything from the appearance or the label, from the seller or consultant. When buying meat, dairy products, fish, eggs and other agricultural products, especially at markets, ask the seller for documents confirming the quality and safety of the products - in cases where the law requires it. The seller is obliged to have them with him. Such documents include certificates of conformity and hygiene reports. If there are no such documents, it is better to refrain from buying.


Signs of product quality

What should fresh, high-quality products look like , and how not to make a mistake? Let's look at the dream categories and selection criteria.


The main criterion for choosing bread is its softness. Don't be shy and don't be lazy to try the bread by touch (if you buy bread in a store where the products are displayed on open counters in direct access) - only if the bread is without packaging, then touch it with your hand in a special polyethylene glove, which everyone has store, next to the shelves of the bread department. The harder the bread is to the touch, the older it is. If you buy already packaged bread, pay attention to whether mold is visible under the package. In general, packaged bread does not go stale for a long time, but it quickly loses its fluffiness, crispy crust and becomes like rubber - give preference to stores where the bread lies without packaging, and is wrapped in a bag, and the buyer is already satisfied.


Meat (fresh)

The fresh meat of young animals up to 6 months of age should be light pink to light red in color, the subcutaneous fat should be white and dense. The meat of young animals up to 2 years old is light red, the fat is almost white, dense. Good meat from animals under 5 years of age should be rich red in color, and the fat should have a yellowish tint. The meat of old animals has a dark red color and slightly less dense fat with a yellowish tint.

Quality meat also has a pale red or pale pink skin, the place of the cut is dense, elastic and slightly moist, the liquid in the cut is transparent or red. The smell of such meat is clean, without unpleasant notes of decay. When pressing on good meat, the hole quickly disappears.

Meat (frozen)

Of course, it is much better to buy fresh meat and, if necessary, freeze it at home. However, if you still need to buy frozen meat, then remember the following.

Frozen meat of good quality , as well as its fat, are characterized by the usual colors described above, only slightly faded, as if covered with a layer of dust. And when such meat is touched with a finger (which can also be done through the packaging), a bright mark will remain on the surface.

Thawed and refrozen meat has a red, even, beet color, pinkish fat and bright red tendons. If you touch the surface with your finger, no bright mark remains. Be very attentive to the color of the product , as you will not feel the smell and integrity of the frozen meat.


Fish (fresh)

High - quality fresh fish should have a characteristic, sea or river, mild-spicy smell, without any hints of acid or decay. The gills of such a product are light or deep red in color, without mucus. The eyes of a good fish are clear, clean and bulging. The body is elastic, uniform, covered with a thin layer of transparent mucus, and the scales are clean and tightly attached to the body. The abdomen is not distended. The meat itself is dense and elastic and difficult to separate from the bones. If you press, the hole will quickly disappear.

Frozen fish

As in the case of meat, give preference to fresh fish.

The gills of a good frozen fish are paler than those of a fresh one, and the eyes are a little more sunken (a little!). There are no more differences between frozen fish of good quality and fresh . If there are any spots on the body, this is not a reaction of the fish to the cold, but a sign of oxidation of fish oil. What happens during prolonged exposure to air. A dirty gray or yellowish color is a sign of the beginning of the rotting process, as well as an excessively bulging belly (this also happens when there is caviar in it, but you cannot check it while the fish is solid, so pay more attention to other characteristics).



Quality and fresh milk should be liquid in consistency, saturated, but not viscous, without lumps, flakes or any other inclusions. If you drop such milk on a flat surface, the drop will not spread, otherwise the milk will be diluted with water. Also, pay attention to the color: if the milk is diluted, the color will be almost transparent, and the smell will be barely noticeable. Good quality whole milkit should be bright white, sometimes with a cream shade (depends on the grazing period), have a thick, slightly sweet smell. Spoiled milk has a sour smell. The color of milk should not be bluish or other shades. The taste should not have the aftertaste of water - it slows down acidification, salt - increases the density of milk, sweetness or acidity. The taste of quality milk should be exclusively milky. When choosing milk, do not hesitate to ask that they give you a sample of the milk, having mixed it thoroughly beforehand.


The color of high- quality oil should be white or calm yellow. If you see a bright yellow layer on the surface of the piece, it is oxidized fat, it is harmful to health and unfit for food. It is better not to buy such oil, as a last resort, cut off the top layer and use the remaining piece.

Sour cream

Good sour cream is uniform, thick, white or ivory in color (depending on the fat content of the sour cream, the fatter it is, the more yellow it is). A product of good quality has a barely noticeable, delicate smell, without bitterness, noticeable acidity, and, especially, mustiness. A non-uniform structure, lumps or the presence of serum on the surface of sour cream are signs of unfitness for consumption.

Cheese (cottage cheese)

The color of cheese, like sour cream, can vary from white to pale yellow, depending on its fat content. The consistency of the cheese should be medium - without large lumps, but not completely fine, neither too wet, nor too dry. The smell and taste of good quality cheese is pleasant, slightly sour. The spoilage of the product is indicated by an excessively sour and moldy smell, as well as slipperiness.


Choosing cheese is perhaps the most difficult, because there are many different varieties of cheese, each of which has its own characteristics, quality criteria and shelf life. However, let's highlight the main things that you should pay attention to when choosing hard cheeses - after all, they are the ones that are consumed the most every day. Pay attention to the size and position of the holes in the cheese - their size varies in different varieties, but they should be more or less the same and evenly spaced throughout the cheese (not, for example, large in the center, but small on the outside, which means poor quality milk used in the production of cheese). The color of the cheese should also be uniform. It is not allowed to have any spots or streaks either inside or on the surface of the piece (with the exception of cheese varieties with mold. But we are talking about hard cheeses). The undesirable presence of a white coating on the surface is a sign of the activity of microorganisms. And a crust that has dried out elsewhere will indicate non-compliance with storage conditions or a respectable ageof the product . Like meat, cheese should have a dense structure - when pressed with a finger, the cheese should return to its original shape. And finally - the smell - the presence of the smell of ammonia indicates that the processes of rotting have already begun inside the cheese.



To check the freshness of eggs without breaking them - firstly, look at the production date, secondly - if in doubt - look at the egg in the light - you will not see dark spots in a good egg. Also, you can use a special device - an ovoscope - a special device for illuminating eggs, as a rule, it should be in every store that sells eggs.

The smell of the egg, unfortunately, will not tell you anything, because the egg becomes unfit for food long before a noticeable rotten smell appears.


Cereals, flour, loose products

It is better to buy such goods by weight or at least in transparent (at least partially), because in this case you can better see what is inside. Check whether the product is free of bugs, moths or other insects, whether the grain is dry and free of lumps - this is also a sign of the presence of small pests.

Vegetables, fruits, berries

As in the case of cheeses, there are many vegetables, fruits and berries - and each of them has its own signs of ripeness and taste. However, there are elementary indicators that will indicate whether a product is safe for food consumption. Quality vegetables, fruits and berries should not have visible damage on the surface, dents, darkening, spoiled and moldy areas, etc. They should be elastic to the touch. A damaged surface is an easy way for microbes to get inside the fruit. Root crops must be dry, otherwise moisture will cause rotting. The absence of previous factors indicates that the products are fresh and of good quality .


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