Are you like me and love grocery shopping? Or are you a get in and get out as fast as you can grocery shopper? Anywhere in between? Wherever you are today, these tips can help! I’ll aim to make grocery shopping less stressful, debunk some myths, and provide practical tips to make your life easier. Ready? Let’s get right to it.
Do Not Shop Hungry…
Shopping hungry goes about as well as…well nothing. It often results in us having more frantic thoughts about food, lots of should/shouldn’t (i.e, I shouldn’t buy this, I should buy that) thoughts, impulse buying, and eating. To me, that all sounds stressful so to decrease the stress around shopping we want to maintain a more level hunger point. If you want to learn more about how to respond to hunger, read all about the hunger/fullness scale here. Have a balanced snack (I recommend at least two food groups) before you go or if you shop hungry, purchase a granola bar and an apple or banana right away, give yourself 5 minutes to eat and head back in. This will literally take you 10 minutes at the most and it’s worth it.
Make that List and Check it Twice…
I know, I know. You are probably really good at knowing you need a grocery list! To make it easier, I use the Cozi app on my phone. You can have your family members sign into the same account and have everyone add to the list. We keep our grocery list (which is mainly for weekly Aldi trips), Meijer trips (for staples Aldi doesn’t have), and Target trips because…Target. Make that list and then shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer to check and see what you have on hand.
While you’re in the freezer/pantry…
I recommend at least once a season that you take a dive into your pantry, freezer, and cupboards to take a manual inventory of the food on hand. Do you have eight jars of spaghetti sauce already? Frozen meat that either needs to be used or toss because it’s super old? Mystery frozen food? This will seriously help you cut down on food waste AND use up what you have on hand. When you meal plan, always plan at least one to two meals starting with ingredients you already have.
Fridge Forage / Encore night…
This sounds more fun that leftovers, am I right? Plan a night in the week where you know you could benefit from reheating food or letting everyone do their own thing. We also call this, “Fend For Yourself” night. We always choose to do this on a night where I’m teaching late, Steve is picking up Lincoln and we all simply won’t be able to eat together. To add some fiber to this meal, I plan a frozen or canned veggie (or fresh / cooked if we have them still). You can’t go wrong with adding more veggies or some fruit!
Shop MORE than the Perimeter…
I recently made a funny reel on Instagram about influencers who tell people to only shop the perimeter. They say, “well that’s where the healthiest food is.” Number one, ranking food doesn’t serve ANYone well. It only adds to the dialogue that certain foods are good/bad and therefore you are a good/bad person based on what you eat. Number two, what about whole grains? Beans? Lentils? Nutbutters? Oatmeal? Spices? Frozen back up meals?? There are tons of food items in the middle aisles to choose from. If there’s one in particular you’re struggling with, maybe we need to figure out what that food is a struggle and work together on that.
Spending a little less money…
Try taking a look at what you spend on food as a whole in a month. Total up your grocery bill, take-out, coffees, restaurant foods, and gas station snacks. Looking at that total, where you could you take away $25.00 per month? I know that doesn’t sound like much but it’s a nice gradual way to spend less money on food. It’s a savings of $300 per year and I know I would love $300 to spend elsewhere or to put in savings! Need a more advanced option? Aim to spend $50 or $100 less on food per month!
Anything you would like to add?
I’m all about learning so tell me below what helps your grocery shopping be more successful? How do you determine whether or not your grocery shopping was successful?
PS Are we friends on Instagram yet? If not, c’mon over and say hi! I love meeting people where they’re at and I share a ton of daily tips and ideas for making nutrition livable, doable, and fun! Click HERE to find me!
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