Healthy Menu Mailer

I have to admit, grocery shopping isn’t exactly one of my favorite things to do. In case you can’t “hear” the sarcasm in my voice, let me tell you that I’d rather be doing just about anything other than grocery shopping. I tried delegating it to my husband, but we usually end up eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potato chips when I do that.

Since I can’t avoid grocery shopping, I found a few things that make it a more pleasant and most importantly a faster process. I’d like to share my grocery shopping tips with you.

1) Make a shopping list and stick to it.
Making a list and sticking to it will keep you from buying too much junk. Not only will it encourage you and your family to stick to the new healthy eating lifestyle, it will also save you some money on your grocery bill.

Please apply common sense to this though. If you remember that you forgot to put your baby’s diapers on the list, by all means get them. On the other hand, if you feel tempted to get the new chocolate pie because there is a two for one sale, skip it. You get the idea.

2) Eat a snack before you go grocery shopping.
Never go grocery shopping while you are hungry. You’ll be much more tempted to buy junk food and already prepared meals. You’ll also end up buying much more than you really need. Either go shopping right after a meal, or eat a small snack before you go. Even eating a piece of fruit and drinking a glass of water will keep you from feeling hungry while you are in the store.

3) Avoid the aisles with the chips, snacks and candy.
Don’t tempt yourself by going down the “junk food” aisles. You’re only human and the candy and snack manufacturers put a lot of money into making their products as tempting and appealing as possible. The easiest way to avoid having those items land in your cart is to skip the aisles entirely.

4) Buy fresh meat and produce whenever possible.
Buy your meat and produce fresh whenever possible. You’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck that way. If there is something you either can’t find fresh, or it just doesn’t look good, go with a frozen version. The only exception to this is tomatoes, especially if you are going to cook them anyway. Tomatoes loose their nutritional value quickly after they are picked. If you are making tomato sauce or are using them in a stew or soup, just stick with canned tomatoes. They are canned immediately after they are picked and contain more nutrients than a batch that has been sitting in a truck for days.

5) Write your grocery list with your supermarket in mind.
You will make your shopping trip much easier and faster if you keep the layout of your market in mind when you write your shopping list. Think about the departments and isles you go through first and put those items on your list. Mentally make your way through the rest of the store adding your items to your list as you go. You’ll avoid backtracking for an item further down on your list once you are in the store.

6) Clean veggies and herbs.
Unpack and clean your vegetables and herbs as soon as you get back from the store. Loosely wrap them in some paper towels and stick them in a Ziploc bag. They’ll be ready to use when your recipes call for them.

7) To freeze or not to freeze?
Portion your meat out depending on how much each recipe calls for. Keep what you will be using over the next two days in the fridge and freeze the rest. With hamburger meat, you may want to freeze any portions you are not using the day you bought them.

You’ll see that by implementing even just a few of these tips, your shopping experience will be more pleasant and most importantly more efficient. You’ll spend less time in the supermarket and more time enjoying your family.