Menu planning and grocery shopping go hand in hand.
How do you feel about grocery shopping? Love it or would rather not? The thing is I love to grocery shop. Part of the reason I love it is I’ve learned a thing or 2 (or 10) from experience that makes grocery shopping efficient and enjoyable rather than a dreaded time consuming chore.
You have your menu planned now what?
You are menu planning right?
It’s time to do the shopping. Many view grocery shopping as a chore, but it has to be done. So, whether you love it or hate it the following tips can make it less of a chore, efficient and, yes, even enjoyable.
Make a list and stick to it. Shopping is more efficient with a list. After you plan recipes for the week write down what is needed. Check to see what ingredients you already have on hand and cross them off the list. Double check with your recipes just to be sure you’re not missing any ingredients. It only takes a few minutes to double check but it will save you time compared to not having what you need when you go to make the recipe.
Eat before you shop. If you shop when you’re hungry everything looks good and that can lead to unexpected and unplanned items in your grocery cart.
Support your local farmers. Before heading to the grocery store stop by your favorite farmer’s market. You can save on organic and conventional produce by buying locally and you know who is growing your food.
Shop with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiled 2 helpful lists for consumers. The fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list tested high for pesticide residue when grown conventionally and should be purchased organic. The Clean 15 list includes fruits and vegetables that tested lower in levels of pesticide residue. Visit http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ to download the most up to date lists.
Save with coupons. Save money by visiting the coupon section on the websites of the stores you shop most often and by asking the store clerk for the coupon handouts/booklets. We’re not talking extreme couponing here. Just simple and convenient ways to save money on your next grocery shopping trip.
If not fresh buy frozen. Frozen foods are a fast solution that adds convenience to hectic schedules. Some fresh produce won’t stay fresh for the whole week so frozen is a great option for fewer mid-week trips to the grocery store to buy fresh fruits and veggies and food thrown away is at a minimum, if any at all.
Shop the perimeter. Packaged and processed foods are the bulk of what is found on the center aisles.
Skip the junk food. If tempting “treats” aren’t conveniently in the house you’re less likely to eat them. This may be an opinion provoking tip but hear me out. If sweets and treats are not conveniently and readily available in your pantry you’re less like to eat them often. That’s not to say don’t ever enjoy a a treat. Instead, find a healthy alternative to satisfy a sweet or salty snack craving.
Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is cost effective and a convenient way to keep your pantry stocked with the foods you use most often and in the right amounts. You can customize the quantity needed specifically for your recipes.
Know your PLUs. The price look up code on produce are usually four and five-digits. Four-digits indicate conventionally grown. A five-digit code beginning with the number 9 is for organic items and a five-digit code beginning with the number 8 indicates the item was genetically modified.
I enjoy grocery shopping. My husband and I almost always go shopping together and include eating out for lunch. Grocery shopping is an opportunity to learn about new and different foods to try. Some might even say grocery shopping is relaxing.
If you’re not the grocery shopper in your house share these tips with whoever does the shopping.
What tips do you have to make grocery shopping less of a chore? Where do you do most of your grocery shopping? Do you menu plan?
You might also like:
be the best version of YOU
Let’s stay in touch!