Do you ever feel stumped when you go to the grocery store, as if you just don’t know what you should be buying or what part of the store that you should be shopping in? If so, then you will find the following Grocery Buy Guide to be helpful to you.
When my husband and I got married, we realized that the way we went food shopping was totally opposite from one another. He goes down every isle and I want to get in and out as quick as possible. We realized that going down every single isle is nice and all but causes us to end up with a lot of junk food, stuff we don’t need, and a high price tag. So, we got into this habit of planning our meals for the week. Let me tell you, it is a great feeling being prepared for the week!
Making a grocery list before you go shopping at the end of the week is a great way to save time food shopping so that you can enjoy your weekend, save money, eat good healthy foods, and eliminate unnecessary waste. Therefore, for those of you who want to make your lives easier, here are 4 pro tips that you and your family can use today and some helpful shopping tips.
1. Plan you Meals BEFORE you go Food Shopping
Pick 3, 4, or 5 recipes, depending on how big your family is. Go ahead and work in a night for takeout and a few nights of leftovers. Do an inventory of which ingredients you already have in your house and make a list of what you still need. If you do not want to go back and forth to the grocery store more than once a week, making a thorough list is crucial!
2. Don’t Cook Every Single Day of the Week
Cooking every day is exhausting, even for those that enjoy it. Let’s be real, we all have busy lives, whether you are working or are chauffeuring your kids from activity to activity. Your meal plan should suit YOUR life. So here is my advice. Cook fewer and larger meals. Double that recipe so that you can take leftovers to work the next day for lunch. Generally, make more food so that you have leftovers. I have found that casseroles make a lot of food and last us a few days! Overall, the key is to be realistic! If you try and take on too much, you will end up eating out more often which can be costly and not so healthy.
3. Plan Menus Around What You Already Have
To save money each week, you can plan meals by choosing recipes with ingredients that you already have. Trust me, it is the best feeling when you are making four recipes and only have to pick up three or four items. It makes the supermarket visit super quick and easy.
4. Use a Grocery List Template
Using a pre-designed template can help you create a grocery list that will be very helpful as you head to the store. Our grocery list template is free and pops up automatically when you visit our website www.homeofcooks.com. This template has an area for you to jot down which meals you are making and on which day. It has a section to write down the “staples”, which are items you always have in your home, whether its milk, eggs, water, etc. The template allows you to categorize your list by sections to make it easier when you visit the supermarket. This way, you are not running from the dairy section all the way back to produce, right before checkout.
OK, YOU ARE AT THE SUPERMARKET. SO NOW WHAT?
HERE ARE A FEW HELPFUL TIPS
Do Not Shop While You Are Hungry
We have all heard this before and oh boy is it true! To keep from buying food that you do not really need, you should always go to the grocery store on a full stomach.
Purchase Frozen Foods
Frozen foods can be stored in the freezer and eaten at a much later date. This prevents waste and saves you money, as you may buy something that will spoil before you get to eat it!
Buying popular brands can be very expensive and not so healthy. To cut down on the expenses, buy generic whenever possible. I personally think the Stop and Shop brand is excellent. I am also a big fan of Kirkland (from Costco) which is cost effective and much healthier than popular brands. (No paid affiliation)
Buy Fruits & Veggies in Season and a Few Days before they Ripen
If you want your fruits and vegetables to taste good every time, then you need to buy them when they are in season. A simple Google search will tell you! Also, buy them a few days before they ripen. As soon as you arrive home from the grocery store, you do not want to have food that you must eat right away, unless you are planning a recipe for that day!
Get the Discount!
I was never disciplined enough to cut coupons, but if I see two items side by side, I will be more likely to go for the discount. If you have a coupon, go ahead, and use it! You can find coupons online and in your local newspapers.
Purchase Sale items in Bulk
If you have a Costco nearby or a BJs Wholesale Club, I recommend becoming a member. I often go to both a regular grocery store and Costco, and you will find that the same batch of tomatoes are cheaper at Costco AND you get twice the amount! I try not to buy twice the amount if I don’t really need it, but you can’t beat the deal.