Grocery shopping is like a sport-some people love it and others despise it (seeing that I’m a food blogger, I’m assuming you’ve guessed how much I love it!). That said, it is an essential part of our days-sometimes every day if you live in my household.
Stops to the grocery store are just as consistent for me as going to work each morning. As much as it makes me cringe to admit that I go nearly every day, I can justify it by saying that I shop like a true Italian-translated, I base my meal prep on a combination of mood and what’s fresh and appealing to me at the grocery store.
Needless to say, after-work life is busy, especially trying to balance my evenings with workouts at the gym and spending time with my kids. Consequently, it is imperative that I make my shopping trips as organized and effective as possible so as to not waste my precious time-and even more precious money.
Based on the fact that I make daily trips to the grocery store, I’d like to think of myself as a grocery shopping pro. Coincidentally, I’d like to share with you 6 tips to grocery shop like a pro that ensure every shopping trip is as quick, stress-free, and on-budget as possible!
1. Establish frequently used items and buy them in bulk
An easy way to avoid overbuying items is to do a quick inventory of the fridge and pantry before heading to the grocery store. Establish essential items that your family consumes on a constant basis (i.e., milk, yogurt, eggs, fresh fruit and veggies) and buy those items in bulk. This will reduce unnecessary trips to the grocery store and avoid impulse buying.
2. Organize your grocery list according to aisles in the store
An effective grocery list serves a purpose-to get you in and out as soon as possible. This way you can avoid grabbing items that appeal to you in the moment. Also, listing items according to where they’re found at the grocery store will facilitate shopping and help avoid the possibility of roaming through random aisles.
3. Choose a basket over a cart
Take an inventory of the items that you need to buy and choose a basket or cart accordingly. With a basket, each item you pick up will be carefully considered ensuring less of a possibility that you will add unnecessary items to your list. If choosing a cart, remember to stick to your list so you don’t take advantage of all the extra storage space.
4. Pre-plan meals and try to avoid buying packaged foods
Although pre-made or pre-cut food can be more convenient, especially for those busy weeknights or last-minute meals, they also cost more than fresh foods. Try to set aside some time on the weekend for meal prep, for example chopping vegetables and storing, or preparing freezer-friendly meals for the family.
5. Choose seasonal produce whenever possible
When purchasing produce, keep an eye out for what’s in season. Besides the fact that fruits and veggies are tastier when at their peak, you can take advantage of local products, especially when you can get a good deal on them at farmer’s markets. Plus, by individually selecting produce you can choose the freshest ones available, avoiding the rotten or bruised produce that gets hidden in packages.
6. Don’t shop on an empty stomach
We’ve heard this one time and time again, and it works. If you grocery shop on an empty stomach more foods will appeal to you (usually the not-so healthy ones) and you’ll be more inclined to grab random snacks to bring home-or eat as you shop.