Either you love it or you hate it. I rarely hear an ambivalent expression when it comes to going to the grocery store. The bright lights, flashy signs, confusing labeling, smells of all sorts, random music coming from random speakers and squeaky shopping carts are enough to overwhelm every sense of our being.
Unfortunately, it has to happen so we might as well make it somewhat of an enjoyable experience…i.e. Shop Online! 🙂 Just kidding.
Grocery Shopping Goals:
1. Arrive with list in hand.
2. Walk out of the store with only the items on said list.
3. Complete the whole thing in 60 minutes or less.
4. Only make 1 or 2 trips to the store a week (Sticking to the same days each week is a time saver!).
If you do this already, then you are a superhero! Pat yourself on the back. If you’re like the rest of us, then keep reading.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that planning ahead is the theme. I’m not sure who originally quoted this but I love the statement: “The failure to plan, is a plan to fail!” If you are attempting to go to the grocery store sans list, stay home. Meal plan for the week, make your list, then go. You will save money, time, and lower your stress for many hours in the upcoming week by doing so.
The Most Common Grocery Shopping Tips:
1. Go with a list
2. Plan your trip right after a snack or meal time
3. Shop the perimeter to limit the more processed foods
4. Read labels (read this for more info)
5. Have a budget in mind and run a tally during your trip
6. Don’t forget your coupons (keep them in your car)
Parent Corner: Entertaining the Kiddos in the Store
6-24 months: point out the different colors, tell them what the items are you are putting into the cart, allow them to hold one of your foodie treasures (keep wipes around in case you need to sanitize.)
18 months-4 years: tell them what the items are you are putting in the cart, have them point to colors, types of produce, shapes. Go fishing: take 3-4 feet of string and tie one end to an empty can/container, when you get to the store tie the other end to your grocery cart handle. Have them “go fishing” by lowering the line. When they aren’t looking put an item on your list into the can and tug. Have them pull up the string to discover what they’ve caught.
5+ years: Produce Treasure Hunt-tell them a few of the items you need in the produce department and see how fast-without running, they can find those items. When they return send them for more things. You can continue to shop for produce but in half the time. As the kids get older it can expand to different food groups.
Weekly Challenge: Designate 1 day each week to grocery shop (whether online or at the store) and pick 2 items on the tip list above to try out. See you next week when we talk about How to Cook: shortcuts, tips, resources to get us going.
Zen Recipe Corner:
Mollie Katzen’s Spring or Summer Frittata: click here