Ahhh, it’s that time of the week again. I hate grocery shopping, as I’m sure most of you do too. I try to go on small trips to limit my time in the grocery store, but this isn’t always practical and can become difficult to squeeze into our schedule. We also eat very healthy and the caveat to this is that healthy food typically spoils faster!
I’ve created a system for grocery shopping that makes grocery shopping faster, cheaper, and believe it or not — healthier!
The approach I take requires me to go grocery shopping 1-2 times per week. I am typically in and out of the grocery store within 30 minutes, and that’s even toting around at least two small kids! I’d almost be willing to bet that the majority of our time is spent in the check out line.
Okay, so I’ll be honest — there are some prerequisites for being able to shop quickly and efficiently. The first step is to have a game plan. You don’t need to know exactly what you are going to cook for the week, but you at least need to know what 2-3 proteins you will be buy (meat or tofu) and what veggies your family enjoys. I also highly recommend purchasing an Instant Pot and an Air Fryer — you can see my recent post about the latter here — because these devices allow you to create meals quickly with just about any ingredients. The other two kitchen tools I use on a daily basis are my good knife and a copper/ceramic pan. I LOVE cooking on ceramic because it makes the dreaded clean up a breeze, and I find food cooks evenly in it.
The number 1 rule you must follow to make your grocery trips more enjoyable is to stick to the outside of the grocery store (+the organic/gluten free aisle only if your grocer has this as an aisle)!
That is the big secret. My grocery store has the organic and gluten free section on the outside edge of the grocery store, so I simply go through the produce to stock up on veggies and fruit, followed by gluten free section for some quick snack options for the kiddos, followed by the meat & dairy sections (almond milk is stored in dairy section of our store). If you can discipline yourself to sticking to these three sections and DO NOT GO DOWN ANY AISLES, you will be well on your way to eating healthy.
For non-recipe specific items, such as cooking oils, spices etc….I tend to stock up on these items on Amazon. I find that buying their avocado oil is very economical. I don’t generally need to buy anything like this at a grocery store and I recommend you do the same. These items tend to be marked up and can get you off your route which, if you’re like me, could end up costing you more due to that random food item you see on your way to grab them!
This game plan cuts my trips down to under 30 minutes, basically guarantees I only buy healthy food, and makes the trip more manageable with children. Impulse buys are the worst at a grocery store. Now, if only I could get in the habit of remembering to use coupons….