An Easy Guide to Grocery Shopping

Some people hate it and some people love grocery shopping. For me, I can’t start my week on a good foot unless I go grocery shopping so I know I have what I need for the week. My schedule during the week is always busy so I try to get my grocery shopping done on Sundays so I can meal prep that night and be ready for the week ahead. With some extra planning, I can keep my grocery bill reasonable and prevent myself from buying lunch every day. Food delivery is sooo easy these days so I try and limit it to just maybe once a week as a special treat and try not to rely on it when I’m starving. The worst feeling is being hungry and not having food at home because I didn’t plan better. Over the years, I have created some easy tricks to make grocery shopping easy and useful for the week.

Create a note in your phone just for grocery items. It makes shopping so much easier and you’re more likely going to remember that thing you ran out of while using if you put it into your phone. If you live with a roommate or a significant other, you can add people to a note so more than one person can view and make edits to it.

Create a menu for the week so you can go to the food store knowing what you actually need for the week. It’s silly to plan on eating sandwiches all week and then realizing in the middle of the week that you ran out of bread! After work, I spend most nights sitting on my couch snacking on something trying to figure out what I’ll have for dinner but I’m too tired to think of something. This is where the meal plan comes in and I can get started on dinner knowing I have all of the ingredients that I need.

Try couponing or taking advantage of sales in the grocery store. There are some items I only buy if there is a sale and then I stock up on items if it’s a buy more and save sale. This is when I stock up on pantry staples like mac & cheese, soups, cereal – basically anything that I can quickly turn into a meal when I have zero motivation to cook!

Avoid pre-cut and snack sized items if you can. I love to eat fruits and veggies throughout the day. While it would be easier to grab the pre-cut fruit containers and individual size snacks, I have found it so much cheaper to buy regular sized fruit and veggies and cut them up and then make individual bags of snacks for myself.

Before you go food shopping, make note of what already is in your fridge. For some reason, I always buy more of certain items because I forgot I already had them in my pantry. Are there items that never go used? Are there items you always over buy? These are the things you should pay attention to so you know what to buy and what not to buy.

If you are on a budget, make a list and only buy the items on that list. Yes, there are always chips that end up in your cart or cookies that look delicious when you walk by the cookie aisle. However, if you budgeted for only a certain amount of items, be sure to stick to your list and avoid the cookie aisle! While most people think that fresh produce is what makes your grocery bill so high, it’s actually the snack foods that always add up very quickly.

Finally, be nice to the planet and bring your own grocery bags! It also helps me be mindful of what I’m purchasing so I don’t buy too much. I like shopping at Trader Joe’s because they use paper bags which we then use as a recycling bin at home.

Below are some of my must have items that I buy every week! Let me know what your must have grocery items are in the comments.

  • Eggs // Are not just for breakfast! Hard boiled eggs are perfect for an easy lunch.
  • Yogurt // I grab a yogurt every morning on my way out the door in the morning. Easy and filling breakfast!
  • Quaker Oatmeal Packets // These are perfect for keeping at work for an easy breakfast!
  • Bread // Can’t go wrong with a sandwich for lunch or dinner.
  • Frozen Veggies // My freezer is always full of them so I can eat healthy and make a quick dinner.
  • Lettuce // If I have lettuce in my fridge, I’m more likely going to make a salad for dinner. It always gets eaten so it’s a great way to encourage me to eat healthy.
  • Baby Carrots // Oh my gosh, I eat so many bags of these a week. They are a lunch staple for me.
  • Pasta // So much pasta in my pantry for the I’m too tired to make anything for dinner nights.
  • Seasonal Fruits & Veggies // I like to buy them at Trader Joe’s because they are so affordable.

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