After my “reset” yesterday, I am finally feeling back to normal. I think it is amazing how our bodies crave routine. We look forward to every weekend because of those two days we don’t have to follow a strict schedule, yet when our routine is disrupted it upsets us.
I ran tons of errands last night after work and it felt great to cross things off of my to do list. I love the feeling of productivity. Ha! Nerd alert. I especially love it when I go grocery shopping and I am able to buy foods for the entire week! Sometimes I’m not able to shop until Wednesday and I only buy a few things since I’m out of town most weekends. I always wait until the last piece of bread is eaten, the lettuce is completely wilted, and there is one lone carrot left in the fridge before I make my grocery trip.
Here are some tips on grocery shopping and meal planning that have helped me survive in college and now has a post-graduate:
1. Shop on Sundays. You have more time to make a list, think about your options and meal plan.
2. Practice Sunday cook ups. I like to do a big Sunday cook up, where I grill chicken breasts, cut up veggies and fruit and steam eggs for the week. This helps me stay on track when I get home late from work, or I am too tired to cook a nutritious meal.
3. Do the cupboard search. Do you REALLY need to go grocery shopping today, or can you last a few more days? Sometimes, I end up buying way more than I need because I didn’t look through my cupboards or fridge before I went. I have put together some of the tastiest meals from randoms leftover in the fridge or cupboard. For example, tuna cakes–which I will post pictures and recipe tomorrow!
4. Make a shopping list. This way, you won’t forget that one crucial ingredient for Tuesday’s meal that will have you running to Kroger right before dinner.
5. Never ever ever go grocery shopping hungry. Everything looks appetizing and that Snickers bar in the checkout line doesn’t stand a chance. I’ve also been known to open a snack on the car ride home! Yikes!
6. Stay on the outskirts of the grocery store. Usually, the fresh produce and dairy are kept at opposite ends of the store and on the outside walls. The sneaky snacks are all in between and you have to cross the paths of processed junk while trying to get to the healthy stuff. Try not to even go in the middle aisles, because the pretty packages are made to suck you in.
7. Plan your meals for the week. I always try to have a rough estimate of my plan for the week and what I will have time to cook for dinner. On nights I cook a big dinner, I will have leftovers for lunch the next day. Or, if I have a dinner date planned for Wednesday night, I will ask for a box at the beginning of my meal so that I’m sure to save half of it for lunch the next day. Meal planning will also help when finding ingredients and making your shopping list. I tend to overbuy random food if I don’t have any idea what I am making for meals that week.
These are just a few tricks I try to remember before I go to the store. They have helped me save money, time and keep me on a healthy track.
What do you do before you go grocery shopping? Do you meal plan or just go with the flow?