Making a trip to the grocery store can be stressful, expensive, confusing, and a lot of the time, very time-consuming. We’ve all had those days where we go out to the store with a plan in mind for the items we want to buy, but end up walking out of the store $20.00 over budget, missing key ingredients, or buying things we didn’t really need. We all know the importance of a whole and balanced diet for our health, so how can we optimize grocery shopping for that outcome?
Read along while we explore 4 different ways to combat the stress of food shopping and make the most of your trip!
1. Take inventory
How many times have you gotten home only to discover you purchased something you already had one of. Yay, more of this thing, but boo to the money wasted. One helpful tip is to, before you make your list and head out, take note of how much food and what kinds of food you have. If you notice you have a lot of snacks but your dry goods are lacking, it’s easier to ignore the twinkies in the aisle and stock up on your oats. No more stressful decisions in the aisle.
2. Don’t forget a list
I know, I know — a list is so obvious! But oftentimes when we’re in a rush, or we forget our list in the car, or we think we can remember what we need, we end up losing focus and spending precious time and money in places we don’t need to be. One solution is making use of your smartphone’s notes app feature if pen and paper are too elusive. Or having someone send you a text you can refer to. A list is most effective when you prioritize those items first, so to make the most of it, gather those items first to avoid wandering and overshopping.
3. Embrace frozen foods
Obviously, we aren’t talking about Stauffer’s Lasagna, but embracing frozen veggies and fruits can be cost-effective in the short term and the long term. Think about how many pounds of spinach you’ve had that wilted before you got a chance to use it, or the fresh fruit that got too soft before it could be smoothie-d. The items are picked at peak freshness and often maintain the majority of their nutritional value within a year. A block of frozen spinach for example can pack 4 times as many nutrients, takes up a third of the space, and has a consistent flavor compared to the fresh version of the greens.
Pro Tip: Don’t let brown bananas get you down, peel and freeze them for smoothie bowls or Nice Cream!
Written by GUADS intern with contributions from healthline.com