Grocery shopping list, did you say? How many of us are guilty of walking around the grocery aisles grabbing things that we did not plan to buy?
At one time or another, we all have done that- loading our shopping carts with things we did not need or worse still, not using all the produce you brought home, haven’t we?
Let’s begin with a clean slate on smart grocery shopping beginning this year, if we haven’t already.
Allow us to show you how , with our tips that follow, because when you look back at how much you spent on your grocery bills, you will thank us for all the time, stress and money we saved you. Not just that, but the nutritious and healthy food you got to cook and share with with your family, because you were smart at grocery shopping using our helpful tips.
A win -win both ways!
First things first. When we fail to plan , we essentially are planning to fail.Everything starts smoothly and is effective when we plan ahead.This is true for grocery shopping, as well.
Without an effective grocery shopping list and meal plan, you may end up having to shop more often and wasting a lot more food.A lot of time and money wasted on just that, not to mention the added stress of re-runs through crowded produce aisles.Get 25% OFF your first order and a FREE gift when you join Thrive Market! (1 year and 1 month memberships available)
How then, do we make an easy and effective grocery shopping list, that makes grocery shopping a breeze? Make sure you have our helpful monthly produce guide handy and follow along with our helpful tips below.
Table of Contents
Take stock of your pantry
Before you head out the door, with your grocery tote, make sure you take an inventory of your pantry.This will help you jot down the items that you need and those that need to be replenished.
We all have some basic essential staples like sugar, spices, rice, salt that we need year round.Then, there are those staples that go into our simple meals like pasta, tomato sauce, pickles and such – make a note of all that you need.
A simple trick is to use some magnetic dry erase boards in your kitchen, like I do.Each time when a certain staple is near empty, I quickly jot it down on my magnetic board. Then, when I head out on grocery shopping day, I click a picture of the list on my phone and off I go – easy-peasy!
Take an inventory of your refrigerator and freezer
Using what you already have is a smart way to save dollars. Not every meal requires you to run to the grocery store.Unless you continually use up the supplies you already have in your refrigerator and pantry, without letting anything go a waste , a well stocked up kitchen means nothing!
Then when you make your grocery shopping list for the fortnight, you can plan to buy what you need and to supplement those you already have.
Digital Tools, the best way to stay organized
We now, live in a digital era. Using a grocery app like Mealtime or AnyList can help you integrate your grocery shopping list with your meal plan. These apps not only allow you to plan better, but also lets you check your previous shopping list. That way you know exactly what you need this week and what you have already stocked in your pantry from last month’s shopping.
If your grocery store has online shopping and allows curbside pick up, even better.You can completely avoid the crowds and the distractions that come with in-store shopping, once again saving you precious time and dollars.
Check for weekly deals and coupons
Look for weekly deals and coupons on your grocery store website, before making any meal plans for the coming week. A smart way to save dollars is to grab the deals on non-perishable items. You can buy them in bulk and store them for future, since it is unlikely they will go waste.
Have a detailed weekly meal plan
Meal planning, not only saves us dollars, it helps us lead a more organized life.We can skip the last minute frustrations on, “What to cook for dinner/” completely, when we meal plan ahead.
Read all about How to do healthy Meal Planning to save time, money and sanity , in our blogpost here.
Based on what you plan to cook that week, you can tweak your grocery list to suit your needs. It won’t be easy at first, but when you make it a habit to regularly practice the skill of grocery list making, it will become easy .
Make cooking a fun family chore
There might be days when you absolutely don’t have any energy to come home from work and cook dinner. We are all human. It is perfectly OK to delegate and share responsibilities with your family members, then. This also makes them more aware and responsible with the grocery list requirements and what is needed for a certain dish .
Shop your own freezer
Have you ever found yourself staring at the forgotten soup container in your freezer, like you found a $100 note in your old coat pocket? Especially during, cold winter days, like you won the lottery or something. I have, and it has brought be immense joy when I could skip the dinner prep altogether.
Yes, check the ready to go freezer meals that you had prepared earlier and long forgotten, before you go grocery shopping for the same items again.This will prevent you from doubling up on things you already have and wasting food you paid money for.
Plan to use your fresh produce first
Cook your produce heavy meals earlier in the week, knowing how soon the herbs and veggies perish.They are best used when the are at their peak nutritious value. It also means you spent your dollars wisely without letting anything go a waste.
Even some food like non-frozen sea food is best used, as soon as you bring them home.They taste better, soaking in all the flavorful spices you coat them with.
If you are someone who prefers frozen or canned fruits and shelf stable veggies, by all mean use them up before you plan your grocery list.
Always eat seasonal
Buying and eating seasonal food is not only smart budget wise, but you are essentially eating food that is healthy and has a high nutritious value. You can read all about the importance of buying and eating seasonal produce in our blog post here.
You and your family will stay healthy, when you eat seasonal. When produce is in season, they cost much less because they are abundant. You will also be contributing towards the economy by helping your local farmers when you shop and eat local.
Grocery shop by aisles
Does your local grocery store have areas marked for Produce, Bakery, Dairy, Freezer, Meat etc? It’s a good idea to then, to make your grocery list with the headers of the grocery aisles in mind. You will save yourself the hassle of maneuvering around with your shopping cart from aisle to aisle, amidst crowds .
Never shop hungry!
Last but not the least of the tips for grocery shopping, is to never shop hungry. In other words, HANGRY! Yes, you read it right, you will be hungry and angry at the same time, when your stomach is growling for food. You cannot focus on the list you wrote, nor will you make wise decisions with your budget when you shop hungry.
Most of us will grab the first thing we see in the aisle and usually unhealthy snacks and head home, when we are hungry while shopping. Neither is smart, on your wallet or on your waistline, so choose wisely, when to go shopping.
The best possible shopping list won’t help you if you’re going to the store hungry.
The Bottom Line
The next time you go grocery shopping, use our helpful tips to make an easy and effective grocery shopping list .It will make your grocery shopping experience a breeze, and what’s more you will come home with a cart load of healthy food for you and your family.
When you make it a habit you will save yourself dollars, time and the anxiety of wondering what to cook for dinner.
We would love for you to share your comments about how our post helped you in learning smart tips on grocery shopping and making an effective grocery list for your family’s needs in the comments section below.
We are open to any suggestions you have on grocery shopping from your own treasure chest of ideas! Each day we learn and grow!
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