What is grocery shopping like for you?!
I think that all of us can find grocery shopping just a bit crazy at times, especially with children and a full schedule. Getting to the store, through the store, and back home while staying sane is a quite an accomplishment. For me, even with one little man, grocery shopping has become a much bigger ordeal. There have been many times that Oakley has begun exercising his lungs with loud cries in the middle of the grocery store, many other times that I pick him up to discover he has wet or pooped through his clothes on the short ride to the store, and other times when random people in line have started helping me empty my cart onto the conveyor belt when they see baby in hand (which is really sweet, by the way).
Though they don’t help me avoid the diaper disasters and crying meltdowns (those just come with the territory of having a baby), I have found some things to be very helpful, making for an easier week and better shopping days.
5 Steps to an Easier Week and a Better Shopping Day ~
- Accumulate a recipe stash. Whenever you have a few moments, look through a few of your cookbooks and mark your favorite recipes or ones you want to try, breeze through a recipe box, scout Google, or browse Pinterest. My personal favorite is Pinterest. While I am nursing Oakley or have a few minutes to spare, I browse Pinterest (the easiest way is on my phone app) and save recipes to my breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack recipe boards. What I love about Pinterest is that I can save recipes that I find anywhere online and have all my recipes in one spot when I need a repertoire.
*Don’t forget to check back here for yummy recipes. I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes from others’ and some of my own as well throughout the year. Also, check out my boards on Pinterest.
- Choose one day a week to shop. Mondays are often my shopping day. Over the weekend our fridge and cupboards have been seriously depleted and if I want anything to eat, I should probably go. 🙂 Grocery shopping only once a week forces you to organize your week better, have a better idea of what you need to buy, and keeps you from making a lot of extra, random stops throughout the rest of the week. In the end this saves a bunch of time, money, and stress!
- Plan your meals. This is the most helpful of all tips for me. I’ve tried the whole “buy what’s for sale,” “fly by the seat of your pants” approach, and it doesn’t work out. Then, I have fridge full of random ingredients and have to figure out what to do with them. It takes me longer to shop, and it also tends to make me buy more than is in my grocery budget, because I’m not exactly sure what I’ll need. This is where your recipe stash comes in. Before I go shopping, I take time to sit down to quickly go through my recipes that I have saved, pick a few out for the week, and write down what I’ll need from the ingredients list. Now, I do usually have about one night a week that I end up throwing together a meal I didn’t plan from ingredients I have, but for the most part, it helps A TON to have an idea at least of what I’m going to make before the week starts.
- Make a shopping list. And write it all down. If you’re like me, I think I will remember the two or three things that I didn’t write down, and if I’m lucky, I do. But most the time, I forget at least one of them! Then it’s back the store at a later date or trying to do without whatever it was. Making a list makes certain that you have all that you need for the meals you have planned and keeps you from wandering through the store trying to figure out what it was you needed. If you’re really a nerd, quickly organize your list into what items are relatively in the same location, so you can find the items in a jiffy!
- Get ‘er done! Sometimes actually “taking the bull by the horns” and just getting it done is the hardest part. If you have children, what is the best time of the day for them? With Oakley, I try to go either when he’s fast asleep (so hopefully he’ll sleep through the whole store. Yes!), between feedings, or when he’s in a contented mood. Figure out the best time for you and GO!
Collect those recipes, choose a day, plan your meals, make a list, and then, be a super parent and spouse and get that grocery shopping done! Having food in the house and ready to eat is a huge part of taking care of the people you love, and even when it can get a little hectic, loving on your family through daily grinds like grocery shopping and meal planning makes it a significant part of life.