It may not surprise you that I love grocery shopping. If you follow me on Snapchat you’ve seen my standard Saturday trip to Trader Joes. But that love is not shared by all – and I can understand why; the crowds, the cost and the options.
The top 5 reasons people don’t like to grocery shop are; the cost of food, not being able to find food within the store, feeling judged, not knowing what you want to eat, feeling judged and overwhelmed.
I used to be one of the ‘haters’ not long ago. But, I have found a way to enjoy grocery shopping and know you can too. Believe me, it isn’t difficult, you just need a game plan. Here is what I do:
1) Set a grocery shopping day. Know that you go to the store on Saturday, or Thursday night after work. Find a time that works for you and go every week at that time much like a date. Much like dating, you may need to do a few trial runs before you find the perfect fit. I tried after work, Sunday afternoons, etc. but ultimately landed on first thing Saturday morning. Now I know that grocery shopping happens at 8 am on Saturday. Knowing this also helps me organize in the days leading up to the shopping day.
2) Look at your calendar. A few days before your GSD, take a look at the week ahead. Do you have plans? Going out or hosting a dinner? Something that would change the amount of food you need? Make a note. From there, write in your thoughts on dinner for each day of the week.
3) Find inspiration. Pin, dogear, bookmark – whatever your method, find a way to compile recipes that you want to try. Each week, add one into your meal plan. Doing so helps you expand your culinary skills, taste buds and breaks boredom. Walking into a grocery store with no idea of what you are there for is a perfect way to hate the grocery store. Set yourself up for success. You wouldn’t go to a pool without a bathing suit would you? (OK, don’t answer that.)
4) Write it down. Or use an app, but list out every item you need for your meals. I use a magnetic notepad that stays on the side of our fridge. Everyone is asked to add to the list throughout the week (if we run out of an item or need something for the upcoming week). Before my GSD I snap a picture and know what I need at the store.
5) Go early. One reason I used to dislike grocery shopping was the crowds. But the “chore” can be enjoyable if you find a time that works for you. I go shopping first thing Saturday morning after the gym. The store is quiet, clean, and well stocked. I can take my time and not worry about weaving in and out of carts and aisles.
On that same note, a game changer for me was finding a store I like. I love (yes LOVE) Trader Joe’s. The store is small so I don’t feel overwhelmed, it is clean, organized in a way that makes sense to me, the employees are friendly and the prices are great.
6) Use your food. There is nothing worse than throwing away food (basically tossing money). Wasted food is discouraging. When we first focused on eating at home more, we also made sure to schedule a day to eat out. It felt like a reward – the food tasted great and I enjoyed taking time away from cooking.
I’d love to hear your tips on grocery shopping, planning and sticking to your plan.