Grocery shopping is serious business. What you bring into your home has a serious impact on what your family eats. I’m a creature of habit, and I’ve certainly found some patterns in my grocery shopping routine.
RULE #1 : Do Not Go Shopping on an Empty Stomach
This is my cardinal rule. I’m a frequent eater. It’s actually a joke with people who know me well that at any given point in time, I’m hungry. I also know myself well enough to recognize that if I wait until I’m starving to choose foods, I’m going to live on queso dip and diet soda. No bueno. I always pack a granola bar in my bag. Not just to shop- in life in general. I cannot be held responsible for my actions while hungry.
RULE #2 : Shop the Outside of the Store
The outside perimeter of the store is where all of the perishable foods are. You WANT to eat food that goes bad- that means it’s full of living nutrients! Most things that can sit on a shelf for months without spoiling don’t contain anything worth eating. There are a few gems in the center aisles, like nuts and rice, but always circle the outside of the store first to fill your cart with fresh healthy foods.
RULE #3: Always Have A Back-up Plan
I like to have a meal sketch or rough draft, rather than a solid meal plan. I have an idea what meals I’d like to make, but I also leave a little wiggle room. I don’t plan a week of salads, either. I make sure to include more ‘splurge’ meals towards to ends of the week. Statistically, we eat our healthiest meal early in the day at the beginning of the week. As the week goes on, we make less and less healthy choices. By planning a more extravagant dish for Friday night, I can avoid an even worse choice of ordering take out. Yet, even the best plans sometimes fail. This is why I think it’s important to have some ‘pantry meals’ on hand… for when what’s planned just doesn’t sound good.
RULE #4 :BYOB, Bag that is!
I’d love to say this is just because those plastic bags are terrible for the environment, but in reality I’ve worked in grocery stores and seen too many bag breaking horror stories. Plus, I’m one of those death-before-another-trip people when carrying groceries inside. Reusable bags certainly can be packed fuller which equals less trips from the car to the house! Does that make me lazy?
- Apples, an afternoon snack necessity
- Bananas, for smoothies
- Bell Peppers
- Escarole/Kale/Greens, for smoothies & side dishes
- Lemon & Lime
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- Ground Beef, obviously for tacos
- Greek Yogurt, I like Chobani brand
- Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, perfect for strong flavor payoff
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Diced peppers & onions, for every single thing I eat
- Peas, for tossing in pasta or rice pilaf
for artichoke dipfor pasta dish add-ins
- Mixed Berries, for smoothies
CENTER AISLE STAPLES:
- Rolls, for when my hungry manfriend needs a little extra somethin’
- Tortilla Chips, my favorite here
- Seltzer, proclamation of love here
- Rolled Oats
- Low Sodium Chicken Stock
- Granola/Granola Bars, my favorites here
- Jarred Pasta Sauce, my favorite here