So you forgot to make a list and now you’re wandering the grocery store aisles aimlessly trying to develop some kind of mental game plan for the week ahead – I feel ya sister (or bro?), we’ve all been there. A trip to the grocery store should be a very simple task but it can be an intimidating place and believe it or not there are some rules that you should be following if you want to make the most out of your shop.
My motto with the grocery store is simple – get in and get out ASAP. I don’t have time to spend an hour of my day shopping for food and I certainly don’t have time to run back to the store every single day during the week because I didn’t make a list and ended up forgetting five crucial things, if you have that kind of free time then have at er, but I like to think that my time is a little bit more valuable than that.
I’ve realized a couple of rules to live by when it comes to grocery shopping and I like to think that I have personally mastered them – it kind of makes me feel like I have my life figured out (or a small part of it at least)
TOP 5 RULES:
- MAKE A LIST (duh) this goes without saying but failing to plan = planing to fail. Lay out all of your meals for the week and what you need to make each one and then buy only those things.
- Do not (under any circumstance) shop while you are hungry. You will become hangry, make impulse decisions and end up leaving with things like; 2 jars of nut butter, sweet potatoes, a brick of tofu and bananas.. aka nothing that you can actually turn into a meal (true story).
- Stay away from the middle aisles, okay so we hear people say this all the time but honestly the middle aisles – no matter which store you’re in – hold all kinds of processed (tempting) crap that you do not need to put into your cart or into your body.
- Go to a grocery store that you’re familiar with. This will ensure you know exactly where everything is and save you a TON of time.
- Check the stores online flyer for sale items before you go. Who doesn’t like saving money? It may take you a couple extra minutes to get out of the house but you can potentially save a lot!
Okay so once you have those rules engraved into your brain you need to come up with a foolproof grocery list that you can use as a base most weeks and then you can change things out here and there as you go.
MY GO TO’S:
When it comes to a grocery list I think that simple is always better. I like to pick three different carbs for the week and three proteins and then I have my go to fruit and veggies that I only ever really change when things go out of season or aren’t in stock.. aka when I have no other choice.
My go to carbs are sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa and oats! All of these are super versatile and can be added into basically any recipe or eaten on their own which I like because it keeps me from getting bored.
I’m Pescatarian so I don’t eat meat of any kind other than seafood so for protein I usually do free range egg whites or pasture raised eggs, wild caught salmon (or tilapia because I’m in prep right now.. yuck) and extra firm organic NON GMO tofu! Once again all of these are super versatile and take on whatever flavour/spice you cook them in so they have become staples for me.
For my healthy fats I always make sure to grab avocados, natural nut butter and flax oil, all of these are super healthy, high in omegas and antioxidants and delicious.
When it comes to fresh produce, as I said I like to shop what is in season and I stick to the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen rule when it comes to choosing which produce to buy Organic. The Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 is basically a list of the 12 most vulnerable fresh fruit and veggies when it comes to pesticides that should always be boughten organic and the 15 foods that due to thicker skins and less vulnerability are okay to not buy organic.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Kale/Collard Greens
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Sweet Potatoes
DESIGNING YOUR OWN LIST:
Think of the foods that you love to eat and then go from there. Decide what you want to eat for the next three days instead of the entire week, make it easier on yourself! No one wants to commit to eating something 5 days in a row that they may not like so until you get this new skill of yours locked down, just start with planning for a couple of days and then build from there. Write out your favourite fruits and veggies and then pick at least two complex carb sources and at least two proteins, decide whether you want to keep all of your ingredients separate and assemble a meal when you want it so that you can switch up the spices, flavours, etc (my favourite way to do it) or prep everything and assemble the actual meals in containers for easy grab and go (better option for you busy people).
You weekly trip to the grocery store should not be a chore that you dread doing, it can be so simple and painless – just need to nail down your list and get to shopping like a boss!