Adventures in Grocery Shopping

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I love grocery shopping. I love the whole process of checking for sales, planning a menu, and bringing in bags of goodies from the car. Strange, perhaps, but it's true. Although I don't remember ever hating going grocery shopping, I think I have finally found a routine that makes it pretty efficient and therefore truly enjoyable. Here's a few of the things that work for me:

  • Find out when the store posts its sales and what produce is in season. Generally this will get you a decent price. It also inadvertently adds some variety to the food that you eat throughout the year. If you have coupons stashed, see what matches up with the sales 'o the week.
  • Check the family's social calendar and preferences for the week. You don't want to plan on going all-out shopping just to be too busy to eat all you'd bought!
  • Got it all together? Now make your menu and shopping list!
  • Get to the store at an off-peak time so you can take your time shopping. Nothing worse than bumper carts! And don't forget your reuseable bags - save yourself the headache of bringing in 100 flimsy plastic grocery bags. Lifesavers, really.
  • Bring it all home and put it away. If you can carve out some time right afterward to prep food (like chopping fruit for snacks, etc), gold star for you!
If you really want to spice things up, add this fun challenge. Make a point of trying one new thing each week. The word "thing" is used broadly here. It could be a new item, new flavor, new recipe...you get the idea. You'll find some winners and losers, but no matter what, it'll keep your menu fresh. My recent "new" things have been "Follow Your Heart" vegan jack cheese (new item), green tea and lemon "Kombucha Wonder Drink" (new flavor), and tonight's raw berry crisp (new recipe from Whole Foods).

Any new items you've been impressed with? Tips to get in and out of the store faster? Good source for vegetarian and vegan recipes? Please share!

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