Last week we had a pretty chaotic grocery store experience. As we left the store and pushed our over-flowing cart into the parking lot, we realized that we had just committed some major grocery shopping “no nos.” We rolled through each aisle “window shopping” throwing anything and everything into the cart that sounded yummy (at the time). We were beyond hungry so we grabbed a bag of something salty and crunchy and munched until the bag was empty and at the check out counter, stared in shock as we realized we’d gone way over our weekly grocery budget. So as we plan this week’s grocery outing, we’ve decided to figure out a few simple ways to make the experience and outcome easy, breezy and healthy.
- Make a list. The last thing you want to do is browse. Before you head to the store, figure out what you actually need for the week and organize the list by sections in the store so that you’re not making circles and ending up in aisles you don’t want to be in.
- Plan a head. When you make your list, plan for actual dinners and lunches. But it’s also important to shop for all occasions; be prepared for Saturday morning pancake requests, savory after-school snacks like our Pull-a-Parts which are yummy and contain a serving of veggies in every box. Don’t forget about that night you really don’t want to cook (which usually happens to us on Friday after a long week). Your best option is to have lots of Peas of Pies on hand! Quick, yummy and totally nutritious!
- Read and compare labels. It’s so important to choose food with a few ingredients, if you find yourself reading the label of something for more then one minute, put it back. You want to look for foods that contain fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium and foods that are low in sodium, trans and saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Don’t go hungry! Your hunger pangs will fill your cart with things that may sound good at the time but usually they’re food you’ll really regret when you’re unpacking your groceries.
- Bring a reusable bag. This not only helps the environment but it allows you to think realistically about how much food you’ll be buying. If you get to check out and you have more food than you do bag space, you might want to rethink those two boxes of brownie mix that were buy one get one free.
- Pick out one new food (we highly recommend experimenting with a seasonal vegetables and grains). This will help save you money (seasonal produce is usually on sale), encourage your family to try new foods and help you liven up your recipes. Its win, win, win!