FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EACH TRIP TO THE SUPERMARKET
This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated on July 1, 2013, so the post has been reproduced here.
Anyone who goes food shopping on a regular basis knows that supermarkets can be intimidating places. With over 80,000 items on the shelves, you are bombarded with decisions from the minute you push your cart through the revolving doors until you pick the right check-out lane on your way out.
What was once a simple trip to buy groceries has now become an excursion where you can purchase everything from pate to patio furniture. Even if you’re shopping for the same items each visit, the displays, prices, and available merchandise are constantly changing, so you’re never sure got what you came for. There are times I’ve felt I’ve needed a Ouija board to figure out where they put the salsa!
If that sounds familiar, don’t despair.
By doing a little preparation before each trip to the supermarket you can over-ride the confusion and take advantage of what’s on sale, avoid impulsive purchases, and have everything you need for all your meals. That adds up to big savings and better food choices for you and your family.
Follow these steps to make each shopping trip an opportunity to invest in good nutrition and have meals your family will love without spending any extra money.
- Start by looking at your household calendar to see who will be home for what meals in the week ahead.
- Decide what meals you are shopping for and how many people will be eating them from home.
- Review the store circular to identify any specials you would like to take advantage of.
- Go through your coupons to see which ones you can use.
- Create a basic menu plan to cover the days you’re shopping for by filling in the key foods or recipes you want for each meal.
- Check your recipe files to see what other ingredients you may need for the dishes you will be preparing.
- Write your shopping list in sections based on food categories or store layout, such as Produce, Meats, Dairy, Breads, Frozen, Staples, Condiments, Beverages, etc.
- Grab your reusable shopping bags and head to the store ready to cross things off as you load them in your cart.
Would you rather spend 15 minutes to plan your meals before you start shopping or an extra 30 minutes roaming around the store trying to decide what to buy?