Food shopping is my least favourite type of shopping. I really dread it but alas we must eat so I am always looking for ways to make it quicker, easier and maybe more fun (Is that even possible?)
- Shopping List
Creating a shopping list is a no-brainer. It focuses my mind as I move through the aisle so I am less distracted by the tempting offers around. I take it a step further and organise it into little sections – grouping similar ingredients together. It also acts as a prompt for the next shopping list. I thought about organising it logically by aisle order but the supermarkets are forever keeping us on our toes and swapping things round
- Meal Planning
Creating a weekly meal plan has been a mini lifesaver. Synchronising it with my shopping list (see below) means I am more likely to buy the required ingredients at the right amounts. Cuts down wastage and the top up trips to the shop saving time and money.
- Scheduling the Shopping Trip
This may be obvious but it took a few weeks to work this one out. We now schedule the shopping trip just before the start of the meal plan otherwise we won’t have the ingredients to cook with. Ours start on Monday, the weekend before is for cooking so the shopping is done on Thursday or Friday. Also I definitely shouldn’t shop when I am hungry!
- Take Stock Regularly
We realised that we were shopping for and cooking meals that were already in the freezer so we started making a note of the meals as we froze them. This ties in really well with the meal planning so we don’t necessarily have to buy all the ingredients required for the week’s meal. We also check the fridge before creating the shopping list and try to use up the ingredients to avoid wastage. This has led to exciting recipe discovery and also some interesting “fusion” cuisine. Less wastage requires experimentation!
- Where We Shop
We do a mixture of online and in-store shopping. I love shopping in-store as I like to see the products physically and make more informed choices but it can be time consuming. Online shopping is a good way to save money. We do miss out on the reduced aisle bargains but the time saved and the avoided temptations make up for it. We try to do online shopping so it is actually arrives before the cooking marathon. Just have to watch out for quantities as we have had kilos of ginger and 3 single mushrooms turn up haha!
- How We Shop
I wished I had the time to look for discounts, print off coupon codes and go round different shops to get the best deal. As a compromise, I use MySupermarket, a price comparison site look up the the cost of bulky or pricier items then shop for those separately. Example dishwasher tablets. We also buy in bulk where space allows and if a food item we would normally buy is on a very good offer and is freezable then we grab a load of those and the husband has to spend sometime rejigging the freezer to fit it all in!
- At the Checkout
Depending on whether I have the little one with me, this could be a satisfying or challenging end to the shopping trip. I find that the order I place the items on the conveyor belt helps the packing process a great deal. Bulky items go first and fragile ones go last. I load the bags in that order and spend the rest of the journey home worrying about the eggs.
- Shopping List
Have you got any more tips to make food shopping a swift experience?