We’ve all done it at some point: Grocery shopping on an empty stomach. It results in a cart full of chocolates, chips, cookies, pastas, and everything naughty in between! For me, having a house full of bad food makes it very difficult to stay focused, especially if I bought that food with the mind set of I’m so hungry, I’m going to eat all of this when I get home!! So how do we stop this binge shopping from happening? Make a plan.
Besides to obvious of don’t go shopping while you’re hungry, there is another simple trick that will keep you on track in the grocery store: plan your meals, and make a shopping list.
Before you even think about leaving to go shopping, sit down with a pen and notepad and write down the basics that you need in your shopping; bread, milk, dish soap, etc. Make sure you check your cupboards too. I find it also helps to start your list the moment you run out of something you use regularly. This list can grow throughout the week as new things come to mind that you’ll need to get in your next trip to the shop.
Now that you’ve got your basics done, Have a think about the meals you’ll eat. You can plan every breakfast lunch and dinner if you like, or just your dinners. I find it easiest to work backwards: start with dinners. Write the days of the week down your paper, and next to each one, write what you’ll have for dinner that night. Take into consideration the placement of each dinner. Put meals that will have leftovers during the week, that way you’ve got lunch for the next day too. Once you’ve got all of your dinners planned, add all of the ingredients you’ll need to your shopping list.
On to lunches. If you’re smart, you’ll only have to think of a few because you’ll be using leftovers for some lunches. Think about fresh ingredients you may be buying for dinners, but may not use all of the ingredients. See if you can incorporate these into your lunches. This will help save money and reduce waste.
Finally time for breakfasts. You can use the same method for lunches, or if you’re like me, and hardly have time in the morning for breakfast, something super simple is the trick. Muesli or granola and yogurt, or natural peanut butter toast! Just make sure you’ve got the ingredients, and if not, add them to the list.
And the last step here is to add any snacks. Add some fruit, cans of tuna, nuts, whatever you want for snacks during the week.
And that’s it! Ready for shopping! Just make sure you stick to the list, oh, and maybe have a snack before you go to keep the shopping gremlins at bay!