I love making lists! There is something so beautiful about getting to cross an accomplishment or task off a piece of paper. This doesn’t ring true for my grocery list. For years I made lists when I went to the store because I thought it saved me money and kept me on track. False. It’s proven that people that use lists at grocers are more likely to treat themselves when they follow their list. This kind of negates what the shopper was trying to do. I shop almost exclusively at Whole Foods now and the occasional farmers markets, sans a list and save more than I ever did. Crazy? It’s possible!
After watching Supermarkets Inc. documentary about marketing schemes and how grocery stores are designed to make you spend money and impulse buy. Even worse, spending money on all that shitty food your body doesn’t want or need. Most people impulse buy, list or not and waste the majority of their purchases. This documentary really changed how I continued to shop and my pockets and belly are happier for keeping myself informed!
I don’t like to be tied down to one or two meal options. My cravings and needs change over days and sometimes even hours. The number one reason I stopped with the shopping list was I resented what I bought within a day or two. I’d spend all this time perfecting a list of all the foods I was going to prep and consume and barely made it through the week. Meal prepping was awful for me, I despised it. It made me hate sitting down for meals and took the joy out of cooking. It made me sad pulling the same meal out of the fridge each day. Thankfully, about 3 months into my meal prepping, I discovered that documentary and completely changed my grocery store visits.
Food isn’t cheap and eating healthy can be challenging at times. However, if you take the time to shop consciously and think thoughtfully, you can save money. My boyfriend and I visit the store 3-4 times a week. We enjoy fresh options and like to make sure we’re buying items on sale, in bulk if we can. Buying seasonal fruits and veggies have been our big money saver. When seasonal fruits go on sale, bulk up! You’ll have to spend time at home washing, chopping and storing but it’s worth it! Always be on the lookout for sales, real sales and not on items you won’t ever use or eat! The focus is to save. Being experimental is fine and remember, places like Whole Foods offers items for free if it’s an item you’ve never tried before!
Support local! Farmers markets are a fantastic option for getting quality produce for cheap. You’re getting great items for a fraction of the cost and your dollars are going back to your community! Co-ops are also great for finding cheap and local items. Win, win.
Plan meals around items on sale with items you still have leftover at home! No need to go crazy with your meals. Keep it simple. Tasty videos are great idea starters but I wouldn’t recommend to someone new to the kitchen and most recipes seem chock full of shit and the longest, most unnecessary list, ever. This isn’t a coincidence, peeps. Did you have some asparagus left over from the night before? Check your local grocer or market to see what might pair well. Not up for a shopping trip? Use the dry goods you keep on hand for a simple and quick meal.
Bulk dry foods:
Don’t let your basic needs hurt your wallet. Be conscious of your spending! Go to the store with a plan. Look for the real deals, that will benefit you, not those bullshit ones that retailers create. If you never eat rice crackers but they’re on sale, do you really need them? Stay away from samples! They create obligation to buy and are often items you do not need. Please, don’t shop on a empty tummy!
Food is one of the largest bills that a individual or family has. It’s important to be informed and conscious of your purchasing in the grocery store. Don’t waste your money or food source by being impulsive and uninformed. Think about the week ahead, consider your dietary needs and go from there. Shopping doesn’t have to be awful! Just don’t let yourself be duped by the grocery store, you’re better than that. Do you have any tips/tricks for shopping consciously? How do you avoid big bills at checkout?
If you have others, please share! I love expanding my knowledge on this topic!