Grocery shopping may seem like a simple task. But for healthy, well-planned meals, and minimal waste it is helpful to implement some strategy. Make sure that your next grocery store visit is given sufficient planning and is efficiently executed. This is no menial Sunday afternoon chore…this is grocery shopping. And it sets the course for your entire week to come.
Best tips for doing this exceptionally well…
1. Regularly clean out your refrigerator and pantry.
It’s easy to buy too much of an ingredient and soon after forget that it exists…until it starts to rot in the back of your fridge. We’ve all been there. In fact, you likely have some wilted cilantro or old yogurt hiding behind your gallon of milk. So, be sure to keep track of what’s good, what’s about to go bad, and what needs to go. This will clear up space and keep you conscious of your waste. Be sure to check your pantry as well. Before you go out for a can of black beans, check and make sure that you don’t already have some. This habit will save you money with each trip and ensure efficient use of your food storage space.
2. Keep a running list going and make updates when you run out of an essential item.
This can be on your phone, attached by a magnet to your refrigerator, or on the notepad in your junk drawer. However, you keep organized, this tool will help you keep track of what you need and refresh your memory when you’re at the store.
3. Plan out a weekly menu.
Letting food go bad is not only a terrible waste but a burden on your wallet as well. That’s why planning your meals with an idea of your required ingredients is a great pre-grocery store strategy. It will also aid in the habit of forgetting integral items. Consider each aspect of the meal not to leave anything out.
4. Make a shopping list.
Once you’ve taken inventory of what you already have, compiled a list of what you need, and decided what you need for meals, you can make a list. Consider all aspects of the week- what you use most frequently and what you’d like to have during your workdays. Think of every meal and don’t forget snacks!
5. Bring your own cloth grocery bags.
If you’re a California native, you may have already picked up this habit as plastic bags come at a cost. However, if this isn’t yet second nature, we suggest making it a part of your grocery store routine. In California, you’ll save some money, and no matter where you are, you’ll do your small part for the Earth!
6. Eat before you go.
7. Be discerning with your produce purchases.
While you may have good intentions of eating lots of fruits and vegetables this week, consider what will actually get used. Produce is not likely to last more than a week or two. So be sure not to make unrealistic, and consequently wasteful decisions.
8. Buy meat in bulk
Meat can easily be frozen and thawed at any time. So, save some money and purchase meat at bargain bulk prices. And while most meals will center around your choice in meat, this is an easy item to have in plenty.
9. Check your receipt
Cashiers can make mistakes every once in a while. And when they do, you could be charged twice or for the wrong item. So make sure to develop the habit of checking your receipt after checkout. A few mishap catches can go a long way in saving you money.
With a little bit of planning, your grocery store trips can be made perfectly efficient. And in the end, you’ll save yourself time and money. So, be sure that this weekly trip to buy groceries is strategic and awarded some thought. And never forget, when you search for the best deals on food, that we at Redlands Ranch Market have it all from produce to meat to baked goods. Stop by today for whatever’s on your pre-planned list!