Here are 5 simple habits for smarter grocery shopping that reduces waste, promotes healthier lifestyle, protects the environment, helps you spend less, and alleviates guilt after shopping.
Reduce potential food waste by creating a meal plan
Create your meal plan before doing your grocery shopping. Or at least have a rough idea on what you’re going to cook for the next week. It doesn’t take long to do, just 30 minutes can save you tons of time in figuring out what to buy, and what NOT to buy.
(Right click and save as to download template)
Install a Shopping List App on your phone
Most moms now have a smart phone that you can install a shopping list app from Google or Iphone. I’ve been using Out of Milk for so many years now that I dont even have to create my lists anymore. I get the usual stuff I buy, I dont forget anything, and its easier to shop because my list is arranged according to the aisles of the grocery store. If i’m not dawdling (and I usually do since grocery is a favorite hobby of mine) I can be in and out of the grocery in 30 minutes just in time to cook lunch on a Saturday. Most of all, since the price is already listed, I know when price goes higher or lower. This can also help with the budgeting!
Stick to your list
Okay, this one is a given and I always post a reminder to myself but is so hard to do. So tell that to yourself before you go out the door. Having a list and sticking to your list are two different things. Having a grocery shopping list keeps me honest but having this ritual of telling myself to stick to it helps me focus and helps me avoid impulse buying. On Saturdays, there’s always some promo or discounted products and it’s so easy to get swayed. Then you’ll end up with about to expire canned goods and breakfast cereals that almost always goes to waste anyway.
Take your own Reusable Grocery Bags when shopping
This has only caught on for the past year or so in Metro Manila and it used to be such an inconvenience but now that I got used to it, I feel so much better when I take out the grocery bag. It’s environment friendly, cheaper in the long run, and helps keep the clutter down at home. You have no idea how many bags of plastics I used to have because I save them for “when I’m gonna need them” but I never do and it just adds up week in and week out! Its a rat magnet, cockroach magnet and a safe comfy place for mosquitos. Good riddance plastic bags!
Eat before going to the grocery
They say eating before doing any kind of shopping cuts down impulse buying. And Im not about to argue with science. Or is it science? No matter, just do this one before going. And feed the kids too. At least you can tell them that they’ve just eaten when they want you to buy that chocolate and you clearly told them that you’re not going to buy anything for them before you left the house.