Having to plan for personal chef clients, private events and of course our own family means going to the grocery store a lot. Because of that we have had to become very strategic in our shopping. Here are 5 tips that are helpful for anyone looking to simplify their shopping trips.
#1 Make sure you have a plan
One of the biggest mistakes Tony and I have made in the past was having a list of some things we need or think we need but no actual plan for the week. This left us having to go back to the store and realizing that we bought things we didn’t need. Since then we started choosing about 3 set meals each week that we plan to make and go from there. Three set meals for us is usually enough because we make some extra for leftovers. It also gives us enough wiggle room to freestyle a few meals during the week if we want or need to. Your number may be different depending on a want in variety or whether you prefer leftovers, but either way setting a plan can be super helpful.
#2 Make sure you have a list
Once we have our menus set we make a list of everything we need. This helps with making sure you get everything. This has been especially helpful for me and my newly inherited mom brain with making sure I don’t forget anything. Having a list also helps with sticking to a budget because with a guided plan it’s easier to follow and stick to.
#3 Set your list up in the order that you go in or sections of the store
This one has been super helpful since Wyatt has been born. Not wanting a fussy baby, we’ve set our list up into sections that we follow while shopping. For Tony and I we split the sections into dairy, meat, dry stock and produce. This helps us know where in the store we need to go. It also helps us get in and out as quickly as possible whether shopping for business or for our family.
#4 Don’t go to the store hungry
One of the biggest ways to bust your budget and buy things impulsively is to go to the store when you haven’t eaten. From experience we have learned that going to the store hungry means a cart full of snack foods, random ready to eat foods and even candy because that’s what sounds good. Impulse buys in the store go wild when all you can think about is how hungry you are. Now we go to the store after eating or with a snack in our bag to have if we need it. We also make sure Wyatt has already nursed so he isn’t going to get fussy in the store. For children it’s also a good idea to have an extra snack for them in your bag for shopping so they don’t want anything and everything.
#5 Shop the perimeter
This tip is great if you are looking to get healthier or trying to lower the amount of processed foods that you eat. Most grocery stores have more of the whole foods located around the perimeter of the aisles. Focusing on this will help you make healthier choices with minimal effort. This has been a huge help for both Tony and I through our journey in a healthy lifestyle. It has also helped us save money because we aren’t getting a bunch of processed food we don’t need.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Let us know if there are other areas we can help give tips on for shopping and let us know how implementing some of these tips goes for you.