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11 Tips That Can Help Make Your Shopping Experience Disappointment-Proof

Sometimes it’s not that easy to find what you need in a store because there are too many choices. So, shopping can be really time-consuming. But it’s especially disappointing if the quality of the chosen goods leaves a lot to be desired. So, these tips can really make your life easier and save you quite a lot of time.

At Bright Side, we’ve prepared a guide for you that will help you get a less frustrated shopping experience.

How to choose coffee

If you want to find coffee you’ll enjoy, you should take into account the following things.

  • The 2 main types of coffee beans are Robusta (more bitter and strong) and Arabica (more mild and sour).
  • Single-origin coffee is a great choice if you like your coffee black, and blends are a better option if you prefer coffee with milk.
  • It’s recommended to use coffee beans within 1-2 weeks of the roast date for the best taste.
  • Ground coffee contains more caffeine than instant coffee. It’s available in different grind sizes. The very fine, powdery form is typically used for Turkish coffee and espresso. The medium-fine grind size is good for filter coffee and Moka. A medium-coarse grind size is better for pour-over. And a coarse grind size is good for French press and cold brewing.

How to choose a frying pan

Usually, we choose a pan depending on the size of our stove and the foods we want to cook in it. But we rarely pay attention to the material it’s made from while it can give certain advantages to the pan. The main thing to decide is which advantages you really need. This is what you should keep in mind while choosing a pan:

  • Stainless steel: these pans are used by professionals. They are durable and completely non-reactive, and food cooks evenly in them. But these pans require oil for cooking.
  • Cast iron: these pans can be put in the oven, they heat evenly, and they hold heat for a long time. Food doesn’t burn in them when you use these pans correctly. They are very durable and work with induction burners but are quite heavy.
  • Aluminum: this is a budget option. These pans don’t rust, they are lightweight, easy to clean, and heat up quickly, but you can’t use them on induction burners.
  • Ceramic coating: these pans are environmentally friendly, can be heated to high temperatures, are easy to clean, and allow you to cook without oil. This coating is non-stick (especially if the pan is new). However, these pans heat unevenly, are less durable than other options, and don’t work with induction burners.

How to choose a bra

To choose a bra that will fit you perfectly, pay attention to the following things.

  • Band: it’s important that the band fits firmly across your rib cage, as this is what supports your breasts. So, you shouldn’t rely on the straps. Slide 2 fingers underneath the band at the back and have about an inch of give when you pull it away from your body. Also, the belt should be comfortable and fit you properly when secured on the last hook because as you wash and wear your bra, the fit will become looser.
  • Straps should sit comfortably on your shoulder, they shouldn’t be too tight or slip off.
  • Cups should fit you. If your breasts are spilling out of the bra, then the cups are too small. And if the cups get wrinkled or are gaping, this indicates the cups are too big.

How to choose meat

The tips below will help you choose fresh meat.

  • Smell: fresh and natural. For example, pork that has gone bad has an ammonia-like smell.
  • Color: good beef and lamb are purple red (the freshest meat) or bright red (fresh, exposed to oxygen), fresh pork should be pink all over (however, shades may vary depending on the part of the carcass), gray or brown spots are a bad sign.
  • Color of the fat: if cattle were fed with grain, then the color of the fat would be white, and if it was grass, it would be yellowish-white. But it’s a completely different matter with pork: the yellow fat is a sign of stale meat.
  • Elasticity: if you press the meat firmly with your finger, the fresh meat will spring back nicely and the old meat won’t.

How to choose a toothbrush

  • A head that is half an inch wide and 1 inch tall will even help you clean hard-to-reach molars.
  • Bristles can be soft, medium, or hard. Choose a soft-bristle toothbrush for sensitive teeth or for children’s teeth. If you have tartar, go for a hard-bristle brush, but it’s not recommended to use it on an ongoing basis. The best option that suits many people is a brush with medium bristles.
  • Synthetic bristles are safer as they inhibit the growth of bacteria rather than accumulating it, like natural bristles do. Besides, synthetic bristles are easier to wash and dry. A natural toothbrush should be replaced every 6 weeks, and a synthetic toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months.
  • Multi-level bristles clean teeth much better, but silicone inserts on the working surface of the brush are a useless attribute.

How to choose soy sauce

There are different types of soy sauce, which differ in composition and use.

  • Light soy sauce is a Chinese sauce that is made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. It’s used for seasoning.
  • Dark soy sauce is a Chinese sauce, in which, in addition to the main ingredients (wheat, salt, water, beans), various additives are used, like starch or shrimp. It’s thicker and is usually used in the cooking process. When heated, it improves the aroma and appearance of the food and makes its taste brighter.
  • Tamari is a Japanese-style soy sauce that is considered gluten-free because it usually doesn’t contain wheat. It’s less salty than other soy sauces and is therefore used as a dipping sauce for dishes like sushi.

How to choose an avocado

  • Since the color of an avocado may depend on its variety, and it’s not always possible to use color to determine its state, it is best to pay attention to its firmness if you want to choose a ripe fruit. If it’s too soft or mushy, it’s overripe. If it’s too hard, it isn’t ripe yet. A ripe avocado should yield to firm, gentle pressure but shouldn’t feel overly soft.
  • If you don’t plan to eat the avocado on the day of purchase, you can choose a slightly firmer fruit. In this case, it will ripen within 1 to 4 days. The firmer the avocado, the longer it will take to eat it.
  • Check the stem: If it comes away easily and you find green underneath, then you have a ripe avocado that is ready to eat. Brown spots indicate that the fruit is overripe and is also partially brown inside. And if the stem doesn’t come off, the fruit hasn’t ripened yet.

How to choose olive oil

The highest grade of olive oil is Extra virgin olive oil. This oil is the healthiest and high quality, and it has natural flavor and aroma. You can recognize it by the following signs.

  • Cold-pressed: This means that no heat was used to extract the oil from the olives. Adding heat to the olives allows manufacturers to extract more oil from the olives, but this simultaneously destroys the delicate flavors and aromas that a good extra virgin olive oil is famous for. It should be noted that “cold-pressed” means that the temperature of production doesn’t exceed 80.6°F.
  • Age: Oil doesn’t get better with age. Typically, the period between the date of extraction and the expiration date is 1 year. It’s recommended to consume it within a month to maintain fresh olive oil.
  • Taste: If possible, it’s recommended to taste the oil before buying it. A high-quality extra virgin olive oil can have a spicy, floral, nutty, fruity, buttery, or herbal taste, but this can only be judged on the nose and the tongue, not with the eye. The effect of swallowing high-quality extra virgin olive oil is called amato. It can be described as a peppery finish that begins on your tongue, and then migrates to back of your mouth.
  • Color: Unfortunately, color doesn’t help in determining the quality of the product because good extra virgin olive oil can vary in color from dark green to golden yellow.
  • Origin: Good extra virgin olive oil should be grown, pressed, and bottled in the same country. “Product of Italy” doesn’t necessarily indicate that the olives are grown or pressed in Italy, only that the oil was bottled there.

How to choose a pillow

The choice of a pillow depends on the position you prefer to sleep in. Its main task is to make your body feel comfortable. The right pillow should keep your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position. You can check this as follows: make sure your ears are in line with your shoulders and your chin is in line with your sternum. So, you should choose a pillow in accordance with your sleeping style.

  • Stomach sleeper: Sleeping in this position is not recommended, but to minimize harm to health, you will need a soft pillow 2 inches high or lower made from down, feathers, or compressible synthetic fill.
  • Side sleeper: You need a high pillow that will take pressure off the shoulder (if your shoulder is deeply digging into the mattress, then your pillow might not be lofty enough). It should be firm or medium firm, with a fluffable or shapeable filler. It’s recommended to place another pillow between your knees as it helps to align your upper hip properly.
  • Back sleeper: A pillow of medium height and medium firmness, which will support your head in the necessary position in relation to the spine, is ideal.

How to choose bananas

  • If bananas are yellow with a small amount of green at both ends, you can safely buy them. This means that this fruit is right in the middle of the ripening spectrum, and you can eat it later.
  • If bananas are yellow with small brown specks, they can be eaten immediately. These specks are known as sugar specks, and signify that the fruit is ripe.
  • If the stem breaks off easily, then the fruit is already ripe.
  • Bananas that are hard to peel and have a greenish color are more likely to taste bitter and may also cause indigestion.
  • Choose bananas that are bright yellow, plump, and free from dents or signs of damage.
  • A dull, gray color indicates that bananas have been either chilled or overheated during storage.

How to choose fish

  • Chilled fish has a fresh, mild smell, it shouldn’t smell fishy, sour, or ammonia-like.
  • A fish’s eyes should be clear and shiny.
  • The body of a fresh fish should be firm. When pressed, it should bounce back. Soft or gray fish is old or bad.
  • If the fins are wet and the gills are bright red, the fish is fresh. If they are dry, slimy, and smell bad, the fish is old.
  • Fish fillets should not be darkened or dried around the edges.
  • Frozen fish doesn’t always have shiny eyes or firm flesh, but it should have a fresh smell, not a sour smell.
  • The skin of fresh fish should be unharmed, and the scales must be tightly attached to the body. The surface should be tight and shiny so that fish slides out of your hands. If the fish has already started losing its scales and has cracked skin, this means that it’s old or bad.

Do you have shopping life hacks of your own? Share them in the comments below.

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