A Better Life in Five: Grocery Shopping

farmers market

I know a few people, myself included who just LOVE to grocery shop.  It’s literally one of my favorite things to do. It’s even more enjoyable if I’m in a new town or a new country. This past weekend while in Chicago, My sister-in-law took me to a new grocery shop that opened up on their block and I could have roamed that place for an hour just looking around at the new things and products that are specific to that demographic or region.  It’s total nerd territory, but for whatever reason it’s as good as window shopping in Barney’s for me.

That being said, I know many friends who are the total opposite – who despise grocery shopping.  The trick I’m about to share is for both of our types, however.  Because not only does it keep me on track and reduce aimless purchases, but it helps get you in and out in a snap.

Step One – Write your grocery list

Do not go without a list.  Stand in your kitchen with the pantry open and mentally go through your daily routine. Coffee, milk, sugar, kids lunches, my lunch, etc.  Go through all of the things you need in a regular day.  Then, turn your sites to dinner.  How many dinners do you need?  I usually shop for 9-10 dinners for a two week trip. Get into a cookbook or magazine and pick a few (4-5) new meals to make. For the balance 4-5 meals, think of easy staples that your family loves. Write down anything that comes to mind while standing in your kitchen.

Step Two – Re-write your list according to the layout of your store

This is the magic step. I tear my original list off the notepad and lay it next to a clean sheet.  Then I start to pick out and cross off items as I transfer them to the new list in the exact order that the Trader Joe’s (my grocery store of choice) is laid out.  So I start with the cheese, then meats, then prepared foods, then fruits and veggies, and so on. This is also the time I usually practice my handwriting, since I’m re-writing in a slower manner. 

This method has been a life saver at the grocery store.  No longer will you be standing in the frozen section just look next on your list and there be a dairy item – all of the way across the store. You will save so much time it’s unreal.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!



photo source: Warby Parker Class Trip

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