I consider myself a pro-shopper. I have a specific way of doing things that means I get everything I need and get home ASAP. Now, you might be thinking "what difference could a few changes to my weekly shop make?". I think quite a lot- these steps have meant I spend less time and money on food, and throw less away at the end of the week. You don't want to spend half your Saturday in the supermarket, right?
Before you go shopping:
(I like to do this with a pen and paper and a cuppa!)
Look at what you've got- check the fridge, freezer and cupboards and make note of what you have, particularly what needs to be used up first.
Look up recipes (books, blogs, Pinterest etc) or brainstorm ideas that use up what you already have.
Think about what your week looks like- what days are you most busy? How long have you got to prep/cook/eat this week? Remember to choose meals that acknowledge this.
Make a rough meal plan for the week- I pick a definite dinner for every night and then some options for breakfast, lunch and snacks. You don't have to stick to the plan 100%, but having a plan is helpful when you're tired and hungry after work/school/uni/life.
Make a note of any ingredients you need to make the recipes you have chosen. Include things that can be eaten for breakfast and snacks too. (I write my list by section of the supermarket so it's easier to see if I have everything when I'm there, E.G. fruit & veg, meat & dairy, cupboard, drinks, cleaning and beauty etc.).
Remember to bring your list and some shopping bags to the shop with you.
When you're shopping:
Have your list out to refer to as you go. Bring a pen and cross things off as you get them if you want.
Stick to your list- if it isn't on it, you can probably live without it. I find that doing this means less food waste. If you have planned properly there will be the right amount of food, don't worry!
Only buy extras that you are confident you will use or can freeze for later use. I always have bread, veggie burgers, frozen fruit and frozen veg in the freezer- this way there is always a meal. I find this particularly handy after a holiday or on very busy weekends.
Add items to your trolley in a logical way- I put heavy things to the front of the trolley and light/breakable things to the back (closest to me). I use this system for adding things to the conveyor belt too. Why? It means when I'm packing my bags the light and breakable things will be on the top and less likely to get damaged. Smart right?!
Pack straight into your shopping bags- don't just through stuff into the trolley and sort it after you've paid. Think about it: you put the food into the trolley, unpack it at the checkout, pack it into the trolley again and have to unpack again at home. Don't add an extra step at the supermarket!! I lay my bags out in the trolley and designate them so I can pack and unpack things easily- I usually have one for cupboard items (heavy bag), a frozen/meat/dairy bag and a fruit/veg/bread bag.
If you want more info on meal planning and prepping, check out my blog here or get in touch to find out how I can help you.
Lots of love,
Little O x