When I was little, I used to love to go to the grocery store with my grandmother. It was a weekly errand we would run and she had it down to a science. She knew exactly what she needed, how much she had to spend, and rarely did she buy any ‘splurge’ items.
Those were saved for special trips with my grandfather. He’d been given a short list of eggs and milk, but if I tagged a long.. that meant cookies or ice cream too.
My grandmother knew what she was doing though. She was quite the planner. There was always something to eat and I never heard her complain about going over budget. She was an amazing shopper.
Where Did That Skill Go?
I wish I could say that some of that skill my grandmother had was passed on to me. It did for a little while. When my girls were younger and life was busier. Yet know that my husband and I are empty nesters, it seems like the less busier I am, the more disorganized I am.
That is why I wanted to sit down and write out this post. Part to help you the reader, but also part to kick my own self in the butt.
To get back on focus when it comes to grocery shopping. To shop smart and healthy at the same time.
Tips for Shopping Smart and Healthy – Save Money Too
1. Make a List
Make a menu for the week (or more) and build a grocery list. Listing all your ingredients, condiments, and other household item needed. Having a list and sticking to it with keep you from impulse buying and will save you money.
My grandmother had an on-going list that always hung on our refrigerator. When we would finish up something, she would mark it on her list so she’d know to pick up some more.
2. Don’t Go Hungry
Studies have shown that people buy a lot more food when they go hungry. Impulse buys increase.
Make sure you grab a healthy snack and plenty of water before you go shopping.
If you have to, bring a snack with you. Sounds crazy, but if you go shopping on a full stomach, you really won’t feel tempted to buy extra ‘snack’ items that were not on your list.
Stock up on everything that doesn’t have an ingredient list first. Find what vegetables and fruits are on sale and stock up. You can always freeze most vegetables for future recipes like soups.
This will not only fill up your basket quicker, but it may also get you to try a new vegetable you’ve never eaten before. I had never cooked a Kabocha squash till I saw one the other day in the store. I had no idea what it was, but brought it home, found a recipe and voila.. instant delicious dinner.
Dinner tonight was Kabocha Squash Stir-fry. This was my first time making this and I will definitely be making it again. . . I found this Kabocha squash at my local Publix and decided to give it a try. It has a nice, simple taste to it and is packed with great nutrients like Iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. . . Have you ever cooked with Kabocha? If so, what did you make? . . Check out my Instagram stories to see how I cooked it up! #dinner
4. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can save you money and can allow you to ‘morph’ meals. Make a roast chicken on Monday and use the leftovers for tacos or fajitas on Thursday.
We go to Costco about every 4 – 6 weeks. This allows us to stock up on items like organic chicken, some organic veggies, and lots of organic grains that will last us for awhile.
5. Shop When You Are Busy
Stores like to set a mood to keep you there..and to get you to impulse buy. Go shopping when you don’t have time to kill. Get in and get out with just what you need.
6. Buy Like a Pauper – Eat Like a King
Buy items that are actually pretty cheap to buy, but will fill you up and make tasty recipes. Things like beans, rice, and lentils are high in protein and will satisfy your hunger and your wallet.
7. Stay Organized
Keep a running pantry list of what you have. Double check before you go shopping so you aren’t buying double of something you already have.
8. Set a Budget & Stick To It
Set a weekly grocery budget. This will help you stay on track and not impulse buy. But, it may even allow you some ‘splurge’ items if things are on sale.
I can not stress this point enough. I have been on a budget for over 25 years now and I can honestly say that I can’t see doing life without one. It may seem restrictive at first, but once you see how stress free the whole ‘bill paying’ thing becomes once you are on one for awhile, you’ll never want to go off budget again.
Shop Smart and Stress Less
There are probably a few more tips I could give you, but these are what I consider the main ones. Being able to attack the grocery store with a plan and a budget, will not only allow you to have smart, healthy meals on a regular basis, it will also help reduce any stress anxiety that grocery shopping produces.
How About You?
What is grocery shopping like for you? Is it a fun adventure or a dreaded chore? Do you have any other tips that help you? Leave me a comment and let me know.