Lynda’s take on shopping

LYNDA Tabuya prefers to shop on Mondays and Tuesdays simply because the produce are fresh in stock and to avoid the crowd.
Ms Tabuya shops weekly and spends $100 to $150.
“It’s just me and baby Justice (son)at home, so for baby it’s mostly formula, diapers, wipes and cereal. For me I usually cook my own meals so I get porridge, milk, Weet-Bix, fruits, vegetables, tuna, corn, eggs, fish, chicken and dalo,” she said.
She said she shops at New World Supermarket, Kundan Singh Supermarket, Nayans Supermarket, Flagstaff Market and Cost U Less.
Ms Tabuya, a strong advocate for non communicable disease, said she usually leads zumba training sessions in Suva and Nasinu with Litiana Miller and education on healthy living to combat NCDs.
“I personally live healthy and enjoy being fit. I do not diet, I eat all foods but the secret is portion control. I prioritise sleep. It is my favourite pastime. Catch me on a day when I have not had enough sleep and it’s pretty dramatic! I drink lots of water, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day,” Ms Tabuya said.
“I prioritise Sunday as day of rest. We all need rest from the busy week. Fasting is the best way to give your body a rest, detox and meditation is good for the soul.
My fast includes being off social media. I enjoy church fellowship as part of my wellness routine.
“Fiji is so blessed to have an abundant supply of fish, the best source of protein rich in nutrients for healthy growth.
Feed your children more fish and greens and less processed foods that contain preservatives harmful to the body and does not contribute to their development.”
She eats a lot of fish because they are her main source of protein, she eats red meat once in two weeks and enjoys all the local produce available in our markets, which is easy to cook and meets her daily nutritional requirements.
“With the increased congestion in traffic as well as the rising cost of goods and services, it has become an inconvenience and costly to run to the shop every time an item runs out.
“I would like to emphasise the concept of self-reliance, which is maintaining a food storage supply at all times, as we deal with increasing natural disasters and traffic congestion.
It is wise to store ample non perishable items to last at least a week in case of emergencies.
“As witnessed recently in Tropical Cyclone Keni, the province of Kadavu was hit the worst with crops being destroyed in most villages.
Food supply as well as the ability to fish were limited. I would suggest storing at all times a big bucket of biscuit, canned tuna, canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, bottled water, matches, candles, mosquito coils, batteries, torches, toiletries and candy (for the kids:) that would last at least a week.
You will also become part of the solution in times of emergencies to help out in the community.”
She said maintaining a garden at home where you can plant rourou, bele, as well as tomatoes and other vegetables to save money and to make use of the fertile land we have been blessed with was a good idea.
Ms Tabuya said she preferred New World Supermarket (off Grantham and Namena St) because it had a huge supermarket with one of the cheapest prices.
She likes to shop at Kundan Singh Supermarket. She says it has ample parking, wide shopping aisles, friendly staff, great variety, and owner Billy Singh is often around to add personal touch to your shopping experience.
Ms Tabuya added that Nayan’s Supermarket often surprised her with a good sale and variety, targeted for foot traffic and USP students.
“It is a hidden gem of surprise sales, fresh fruit, vegetables and convenience.”
“At Flagstaff the market master always has the good stuff in stock, dalo, tavioka, bananas, pawpaw, rourou, tubua, lemons, chilli, even apples and oranges that I prefer to buy from her.
Every now and again you can also meet internet celebrity Ranadi kei Viti who is managing the market.
“Cost U less: great place for buying nuts and trail mixes (my favourite snack) in bulk which is cheap when you calculate the savings.”
Shop on Mondays when the items are still fresh and in stock, but discounted.
Shopping on Saturdays is madness as there is just too much traffic and angry drivers as well as congestion in the supermarket aisles, she says.
Ms Tabuya prefers to shop alone, take her time and enjoy the experience.
She likes to see more basic food items to be VAT exempted, to help Fijians living below the poverty line afford three decent meals a day.
“I would also advise citizens to prioritise health in their shopping, with a greater emphasis on our fresh produce/ market shopping rather than processed foods in the supermarket.
“It is cheaper and healthier.
“Plan, plan, plan: write up a shopping list of needed items. Check newspapers for specials. Think about when and how you’ll shop.
“A lot of times we get carried away with work and stop by the supermarket to pick up a few things only to realise when you reach home that you forgot so many things. As soon as you run out of something, write it on a list on your phone.
Tuna and corn salad recipe.
* One can tuna;
* One can whole kernel corn;
* Grilled baigani slices;
* One boiled egg (sliced);
* Lemon, salt, virgin coconut oil as salad dressing;
* Mix all ingredients and enjoy.

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