Ah, food shopping! I think this is one of the most fun, yet most annoying task known to man….at least in my opinion. It is fun because I get to try new foods, buy my favorite things and of course, have food in my house.
Why is it annoying? Crowded stores, the store being out of things I want and the temptation of buying junk food. I mean….there is ice cream, cookies and cakes all within reach and something is ALWAYS on sale! I don’t know about anyone else, but it is hard to turn down a 3 for 10 sale on Haagen Daz!
Another issue I have is impulse buying things just because they are on sale or because they sound appealing at the time. This leads to food going uneaten and either expiring, going bad or just taking up room in my cupboards. (Pumpkin spice pancake mix sounded good and it was on final clearance at Aldi, but did it get used? Nope!)
I know I touched upon this in the past, but since I have to go food shopping this weekend, I figured I would share my shopping plan, thus making my waistline slimmer and wallet fatter.
1. Completely inventory what is in my house. I know this seems obvious, but it not only shows me what I use, but it also shows me what I DON’T use. For example, that pancake mix. Yes, I love pancakes. Whipped butter, maple syrup…..whaattttt…..ok now that I channeled Burton Guster…..the truth is, I never actually make them. In fact, the last time I had them was when my sister-in-law’s mom made it for Christmas. I plan to, but it never works out. I would also be forced to make more than I plan to eat, which means throwing out food or putting it in the freezer and forgetting about it. No bueno!
2. Make a list of what I actually eat. I know, completely obvious again. However, every single time I go shopping, I buy salad with the plan of making a healthy meal. However, nine times out of ten, I either don’t eat it or only eat half, throwing out food and money. There is NO point in buying it, yet I always seem to do with the intention of being healthy. This time, I plan to buy alternative healthy foods I will eat so I avoid throwing things out.
3. Avoid certain sales. I am huge on saving money, but often times, grocery stores have sales such as 10 for 10 items, such as yogurts, soups etc. Since I live alone, this causes clutter and waste since I might not eat it right away. The plan is to buy ONLY WHAT I PLAN TO USE.
4. No impulse buying. I always wander to the sweets section when shopping and am faced with the temptation of all the cookies, cakes and ice cream flavors I could imagine. It is also usually on sale. However, I am the type that will buy said dessert, eat a small amount and keep it in my cupboard/freezer/fridge until it goes bad and has to be tossed. Those cookies might have sounded good, but it is so not worth spending money on a package when I only plan to eat a few. (Those single packs seem like a good deal, but in reality, aren’t much cheaper than the bigger one.) The plan is to just avoid the sweets altogether and use the money to get a nicer dessert on another occasion.
I also have a list divided into categories that I keep on my fridge. The categories are ‘staples’ for stuff I use on a daily or regular basis, ‘sometimes’ for foods I eat regularly but don’t need to buy on every visit (meats, pasta etc.) and ‘treats’ for things that aren’t always necessary, but might be good once in awhile.
The other plan is to ask myself the following questions: Do I need it? Will I eat it if there are leftovers? Did I eat it or toss it the last time I bought it? If the first two are no and yes to the third, then it goes back!
Stay tuned for the results on my shopping trip!