You know that thing you have to do because you’re tired of ordering take out from that mediocre pizza place around the corner? Or how about when you have no where else to look to catch em’ all on Pokemon Go within a reasonable distance from your house; you end up realizing you haven’t eaten in a couple days? Grocery shopping is the answer, and yeah, there’s a proper way to do it. If you want to eat delicious and healthy stuff, reduce food waste, and save money, it starts with a trip to the farmers markets or grocery stores.
You can’t go in unprepared either. The first step to proper food shopping is meal planning. Figure out what you want to make for the next week or two. If you’re aiming for a healthy diet, make sure there are more vegetables, whole grains, and real foods in your recipes. Try to shy away from lots of meat and processed foods. Keep in mind that if you’re making a meal for one that is meant for multiple people, you’ll have some leftovers. You may not have to choose a lot of things to cook. You could choose from my recipes, or find some online or in cookbooks. Whatever floats your boat.
If you care about the environment, and your bank account, don’t skip this. Meal planning helps you figure out exactly what you need so you don’t overbuy and end up wasting food, and money, when you shop. It can also help you determine how what you eat affects the earth. If you eat meat every day, two times a day, maybe you should cut back. The meat industry is one of the largest polluters of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in the world. Raising animals for food also uses even more land and water in the process of just growing their food and caring for them. I hope to write more at length about this in the future, but for now, understand that you can be an eco-friendly eater by consuming less meat. This also saves you money (meat is easily more expensive than any vegetable) !
After you’ve figured that part out, which is easily the most difficult step, make a list of what you need in order to make all the things you want. I always double-check my fridge and pantry to ensure I don’t already have what’s on my list. This prevents me from buying
way too much stuff and crying on my kitchen floor at 3 am because I’m broke and I’ve spent too much money on food again. In all seriousness, I don’t spend my paychecks on anything but food and school. That’s money well spent.
Take your list to the grocery store and shop. To prevent yourself from overbuying, only purchase what is on your list. Of course, if you forgot something or you REALLY want that new type of Oreo, just do it. No one is judging. There are some things that I get too excited about to not buy. Most of the time you spend in the grocery store should be in produce though. Basically, if it’s unpacked and lacking bold print with “HEALTHY” or “NATURAL” all over it, that’s what you should buy. Your cart or basket should be mainly fruits and vegetables. Buy the good stuff.
This seems simple, but for some it really isn’t. A lot of people dread having to go out and buy ingredients rather than pre-made foods. That’s okay; I get it. If you want to be healthy though, it’s very important that you pay attention to what you eat from the start. Just because a frozen dinner meal has every health claim you can imagine, plus only 300 calories! does not mean it’s good for you. The sodium and lies may not pack a punch to your waistline, but they will affect your long-term health and enjoyment of food. Buying wholesome, fresh ingredients is not only good for you, they are also f*cking delicious. The added bonus is that you get to cook for yourself; adulting in the funnest way possible
If I’m going to be honest, this is one of my favorite things to do. I day dream at the farmers market about all the possibilities. Grocery shopping is like therapy for me. It becomes so easy if you practice this process. Just always remember your reusable bags!