It excites me to announce that this blog was featured in the online Posh Paleo magazine, January edition (page 26 if you want to look it up!) Check out more info on the Posh Paleo magazine here.
OKAY! Now onto the solid information for which you came here for!
Grocery shopping can be one of life’s most tedious tasks. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, you get home only to realize you’ve forgotten the prime ingredient for tonight’s pot roast. Even worse is when you are trying to eat healthier and end up spending an hour and a half at the grocery store reading labels and hand-picking every item in your basket, hoping you got it right.
Thankfully, there is an easier way to grocery shop to not only save you loads of time, but also to make sure you leave the store with the healthiest cart possible. I have been utilizing these strategies for years and rarely do I have to make a second or third trip to the store.
1. Have a day of the week that you go to the grocery store and stick to it.
Scheduling the grocery store for the same day every week makes it a part of your routine. Since we as a human race love to check things off the to-do list, making this part of your weekly routine will make sure you do it.
By postponing your grocery trip then you will end up having to either scrounge for food, dine out, or choose less healthy options. This does not help you promote a healthy lifestyle change or save money.
Now that you know what day of the week you are going to the grocery store it is important to make sure that before you run out the door you take a few minutes to do these next steps.
2. Start by taking inventory of the fridge and freezer. Do you have food in there? Awesome! Use that food up first in step number 3. Is it empty as can be? Great news! That means you didn’t waste a drop of food.
3. Make a list and check it twice. No, not to find out who is naughty or nice, but to make sure you have your game plan set. Write down what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day of the week. Start with the foods that you might have leftover in step number two. Then take that little menu and create your shopping list out of it.
Pro Tip: Make yourself a goal to try ONE NEW RECIPE EACH WEEK. This will build your recipe knowledge quickly and will help prevent boredom. Make this fun by utilizing Pinterest to get new ideas.
Okay. So now you are in the grocery store with your list in hand. Now:
4. Stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the inner isles as much as possible.
Did you know that the inner isles of the grocery store are mostly non-paleo, highly-processed junk food? Think about it. Typical inner isle foods include cereals, popcorn, pastas, and boxed meals. None of these foods promote a healthy lifestyle and should not be most of what we eat.
Sticking to the outer perimeter means you are focusing on the real food like chicken, fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. The best part is that when you stick to the perimeter and avoid going up and down the isles you easily save yourself 15-30 minutes. Now, you will need to make some exceptions for paleo-approved items like nuts, coconut oils, olive oils, coffee, and teas. Otherwise, stick to the good stuff and save yourself some serious time!
5. Do not shop while hungry to prevent impulse buys. This is the old classic grocery store tip. Almost every sitcom touches on the travesty that ensues when you shop hungry, and there is a reason behind that. When you are hungry you are more susceptible to quick, convenience foods. Going to the grocery store with food in your system ensures a successful visit where you stick to your list and don’t spoil your supper in the process.
[Aimee's Advice] My ideal grocery store time is on 2:00 pm on Sundays. Yes, Sundays can be a little bit crazier in the grocery store, but it is harder for me to find time during the week. If you can find a hectic-free time to go then you are golden! I find this time is ideal because it is after lunch on Sunday, I have time to take inventory, create my menu and list, and hit the store prior to immense hunger setting in. Also, I can get everything home and unloaded before I need to start working on dinner and meal-prepping for the week. Bonus: Sometimes I will even meal prep for the week. If you need help coming up with a meal plan, click on the image below and sign up for a free 15-minute phone consultation to learn more.
With the right preparations in place, going to the grocery store can be an easy, stress-free necessity. Put these steps in place and see your food-waste decrease, your health increase, and your sanity stay intact.
For great recipe ideas, check me out on Pinterest!
The Functional RD