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Monday, August 11, 2014

Speed Shopping: How to Grocery Shop without a List


Folks.  I gotta tell ya'...I'm really tired of making a grocery list.  

     I love to grocery shop - which is weird, I know.  Sometimes, I just don't have want to use the mental energy to make a specific list.  

     Last week, I decided to try something new and not make a specific meal plan/list. I know this can get dangerous in terms of budgeting, but just hear me out.  I decided to stay mostly in the meat, produce and dairy section and just see what happened.  Armed with a few coupons and a 1/2 sheet of paper detailing some non-food essentials (allergy meds., paper towels, etc.), I headed out.  

     I'm not sure I'll do it this way EVERY week, but it was nice for a change, kept us eating fairly healthy and was probably my quickest grocery trip to date.  It also kept me from wandering the aisles, picking up extra things ((**cough**cough**make-up**))

 Below, I've written some suggestions if you think you wanna try this! 

This will be especially helpful for all you "Back to School" folks! 

>> Make sure you already have some staple ingredients.  As I was shopping, I kept in mind that I already had our kitchen stocked with some canned veggies, "cream of..." soups, taco seasoning, onions, potatoes, etc.  You don't want to shop like this if all your supplies are running low.  

>> Go with some meal ideas in mind.  Like I said above, I didn't make an actual list, but I did keep in mind what our favorite go-to meals are like this one that has gained popularity on Pinterest (which I did end up making last week).  

>>Think about leftovers. I deliberately doubled the recipe above just so we would have leftovers.  We're really bad about not eating leftovers, but I hope we can make that more of a habit. 

>>Get ingredients you like.  I know this sounds pretty simple, but if you pick up some things you genuinely enjoy eating, you'll be less likely to let them go to waste.  We love zucchini (with lots of cheese, don't judge, ok?), so I was sure to pick up a few.   

By the time I left, I had grabbed lots of produce along with: 

Ground Chicken
Chicken Breasts
Chicken Sausages
Frozen Tilapia Filets 

90 minute brown rice

Misc. items from the dairy section (eggs, cheese, greek yogurt, etc.)  

And some various cleaning supplies/toiletries

(I'm also going to add that my main focus was just on making dinner.  I almost always have oatmeal for breakfast and usually just 'fend for myself' for lunch...this week I made chicken, sweet potato chips and guacamole...I know you were dying to know...haha).  

Here are a few meal ideas you can probably make simply by quickly grabbing lots of produce and your favorite kinds of meat (carnivores, unite)! 

Here's a list of good foil packet recipes!  //Six Sisters//

Use any of your extra veggies as side dishes to accompany the meals above.  

In closing...

>>  I've heard about recipe generating websites before but have never used them.  You plug in your ingredients, and it brings up recipes for you.  That will save so much mental energy!  I tried this one out and really liked it!  //Myfridgefood//

>> Here are some links to posts I've found about storing produce. 

                      //1//   //2//   //3// 

     I used the paper towel/baggie method on some romaine lettuce, and it lasted for a FREAKISHLY LONG TIME.  Seriously, I think we went out of town, came back and it was still good!

Also, I might try re-growing my own lettuce. Thoughts?  I feel like that is something you would say to start up a conversation if you are TRYING to make it really awkward. "Hi. I'm Holly. I'm trying to re-grow my own lettuce.  It's nice to meet you."  Is that funny?  Or is it just me?  :) 

Eventually, I'd like to get away from using "cream of..." soups.  I've seen some DIY recipes but haven't taken the time to really do the research.  

Overall, I think it went well.  No one went to bed hungry, and its' nice to know I'm staying out of the frozen/box meal section.  

Do you shop like this all the time?  Suggestions?  

Love and get to it! 

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