Walking into a grocery store can be so overwhelming. You’re hungry, tired, don’t know what to make, not sure what you have at home, and there are often 20,000 items to choose from. It’s no wonder you feel like running home and ordering takeout. Here are a few basics to make shopping easier:
- Plan before you go – Think about what want to eat (consider meals at home, school/work lunches, and on-the-go snacks). Then do an inventory of your fridge & pantry, so you don’t overbuy or forget something you thought you had. When you plan meals, try to plan things with overlapping ingredients, so you save money and waste less food.
- Make a list and stick to it – Your list is your guide through the grocery store; it will help you avoid “impulse buys” (which are never healthy) and also prevent you from blowing your budget.
- Don’t shop hungry – The reason for this is obvious: you’ll end up with a cart full of Cheez-its and M&M;’s. If you have to shop after work, or when you know you’ll be hungry, keep some small snacks in your purse or glove compartment (individually-packed nuts, dried fruit, or granola bars) so you can kill the hunger pangs before walking into the store.
Here are some more great tips for How to Be A Highly Effective Grocery Shopper. And if you’re interested, some grocery store history and trivia.