Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to grocery shop. I’d join my Mom on weekly visits to Basha’s grocery store. The spray of water descending on the heads of lettuce in the produce section, perfectly lined rows of canned chili and sliced peaches, and brightly lit displays of giant glazed donuts in the bakery was truly exciting. Yes, I discovered early on that I loved food. I love to look at it, shop for it, organize it, prepare it, and of course eat it.
Needless to say, not everyone shares my love of the grocery store. Rather, grocery shopping has been relegated to the list of dreaded yet unavoidable household chores. So, this blog posting is the first in a five-part series which attempts to provide a few simple solutions to navigating the place I love…the grocery store.
Part I: Preparation
I confess, I have some slight (ok, perhaps more than slight) OCD tendencies. Translation: I like my life organized! I promise that if you will spend a bit of time each week deciding “what to buy” your food life will be much more manageable. At least you won’t have to resort to Frosted Flakes for dinner. Here are four simple steps to follow:
1.) Post your grocery list in a visible place in your kitchen. My list happens to be organized by food group and tacked on to my refrigerator door (email me if you’d like a copy). When something runs out, it’s immediately added to the list.
2.) Determine what recipes you will be making that week (yes that will require that you look online, through cookbooks, or magazines) and write them at the bottom of your list. Having the recipes written down will serve as a useful reminder when you cannot quite remember why you bought that red pepper…. Add all of the ingredients that you will need for each recipe to your grocery list.
3.) Consider keeping a running list of recipes you’d like to try and “keeper recipes” for future reference. Again, email me if you’d like to use mine. Tip: keep them in a handy dandy 3-ring binder, along with recipes that have been torn out from a magazine or printed from the internet.
4.) Bring your list to the store and use it as your loyal guide. This list will aid you in your quest to select nutritious food (Part II), use your time wisely (Part III), and of course save money (Part IV).
Next week we’ll talk about what to buy in terms of good nutrition. Although Marion Nestle has written a fabulous book on the topic (“What to Eat”), you don’t have to read the entire 587 pages. In fact, it’s not as complicated as the food manufacturers make it out to be. I promise.