Do you remember the show Supermarket Sweep? I'm telling you... if it were still on, I would totally win!
Grocery shopping is something I actually enjoy doing, but I realize that's not the case for most folks. I hear from clients, friends, and family that grocery shopping is "such a chore" and a dreaded one at that.
Despite this, grocery shopping is a key component of meal planning and The Meal Planning Method. Today, I'm going to share three of our top tips to make grocery shopping easier and more efficient so you can keep up with meal planning, even during the busiest of times.
#1: MAKE & TAKE YOUR GROCERY LIST
Make and take your grocery list. Sounds like a no-brainer tip, but many times life happens, we know we need to get to the grocery store, so just pull up, "make do," and "wing it" when we get there. This is 100% an equation for more grocery store trips and/or more eating out because there's just no way we can remember everything we need to execute our weekly meal plan.
So make that grocery list, friends. (And don't forget a pen or marker as well!) Even if you tend to buy the same things each week, making your grocery list takes out the guess work, extra time, and unnecessary stress of grocery shopping and obtaining the ingredients you need each week.
If you tend to lose lists, paper, etc., there is no shame in opting for a more accessible solution for you and your family. Grocery lists can be kept in a notes app on your smartphone, in an email draft, or you even on a Google Doc -- tools you likely already have in your life.
Use our FREE WEEKLY MEAL PLANNER to get started with your grocery list making!
#2: PICK ONE STORE TO SHOP
Pick ONE grocery store to shop at and purchase all of your ingredients. With all the options to shop at different specialty stores these days, that can actually add up to a lot of unnecessary time spent on visiting various stores.
Now, I totally get that certain stores have their own unique products and prices -- I'm not saying that you can't shop at other stores! -- but for this particular week, pick just one store to purchase the ingredients you need for the week. By choosing one store as your main go-to grocery store, you will become very efficient at shopping at this store -- mastering the layout of the store and knowing just where you can find what down which aisle.
Getting in and getting out of the grocery store will free up time that you can spend doing other important things! Really don't have time to grocery shop? Outsource it to get groceries delivered or even opt for curbside pick-up to ensure you get the ingredients you need for the week.
#3: KEEP IT ON YOUR CALENDAR
Since grocery shopping has to happen before any cooking can come into play, it's important to pinpoint WHEN works well for you to shop.
Look at your week-to-week schedule and pick a day (and time) that typically works. I commonly recommend grocery shopping on the weekends because that's when we tend to have more time and less stress going on. It's important to not feel super rushed, tired, or hungry when we grocery shop, because this is when grocery shopping feels like a dreaded chore and we tend to skip/forget items and buy things not on our grocery list.
So choose a day and time that works best for YOU -- no matter if this is Friday nights or Wednesdays during your lunch break -- and make a reoccurring appointment on your calendar. (Keep in mind that this may change over time as life changes and that's a-OK!)
Let us know if these tips helped at your next grocery shopping trip! Share with us in the comments below or tag us at @themealplanningmethod.
christy & lindsey