Shopping can truly be a weekly frustration if you don’t have a system in place. Going through what you already have at home, planning meals, making a shopping list, and then actually getting to the store and staying on track can be incredibly overwhelming.
But what if I told you that a few simple guidelines could not only make your shopping experience much more pleasant but also may save you money?
Here is the lowdown on making grocery day as painless as possible:
Plot your path.
You’ve already decided which meals you’re having this coming week, so now it’s time to make your list. As you create the list, group items and ingredients into categories. List all of your produce together, anything from the deli, all of your chilled items, and anything frozen you may need. This allows you to do a once around the store, which is much quicker and more efficient than shopping for each recipe individually. You’ll save some steps and have less chance of being distracted and adding items that weren’t on your list to the cart.
Shop the outside.
Much in the same vein as plotting your path, if you do happen to hit the store with no list, try to shop the outer edges of the store. The outside path around the store typically houses the departments with whole foods. You’ll find fruits and vegetables, eggs, bread, and more.
Buy what is in season.
As you shop, try to choose items that are bountiful. For example, root vegetables are in season during the fall/winter months. By eating fruits and vegetables that are in season, you’ll avoid the extra costs that may be associated with importing out-of-season items, and they taste way better, too!
Choose store brand.
When you do have to wander into the middle of the grocery store for spices or grains, try to go for the store brand option. Not only is it a cheaper option, they usually taste just the same, if not better.
Watch for sales.
If you’re diligent when it comes to keeping an eye out for sales, you can stock up on a few things here and there to fill your pantry. As you add non-perishables, you may see that your favorite berries are on sale. Grab a few to freeze. This doesn’t add much to your total bill but saves you time and money in the long run.
By spending a little more time planning on the front end, you will definitely benefit from it on the back end. When we sit down to create a menu for the week, we end up eating much healthier and filling foods. Often, we even have an extra portion or two to pack for lunch the next day, saving us mental space in the mornings.
Try these tips to save time and money at the grocery store!
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