Grocery shopping can feel like a chore - especially when you find yourself running there a few times a week to pick up just one or two items - but come out laden with snacks and other 'bargains.'
Let's make it easier and less stressful! Here are ways to stay on target and not lose your mind in those midweek grocery crowds. :)
Make a list and stick to it
Here's where a little forethought can really lead to success - and save you time and money. Set aside a bit of time on Sunday (or any day, really) to plan your meals for the week. Deciding early what you'll be cooking for midweek dinners saves so much time in the long run.
No more midweek trips to the store after work or coming home to stare at the fridge and cupboard, wishing you had that swiss chard or peanut butter to complete a meal.
Set small goals for yourself on this: even just knowing you'll bake chicken on Monday, salmon on Tuesday, and eat leftovers on Wednesday can go a long way. Then, when you get to the store, stick to what you've put on your list (more on that later).
Stores are sneaky. Why else do you think they have the candy and gossip magazines right by the checkout? For that moment of weakness while you wait for the checkout to open up!
Use the self-checkout where there are fewer temptations, stick to your list, and don't buy 6 boxes of pop tarts just because they're on sale!
Ask yourself: am I going to eat this in the upcoming week? Will I still want this ten minutes from now? Do I need this or am I just hungry?
You'll save time and money (and probably a few candy bars) this way, too.
Stay on the perimeter of the store
This goes hand in hand with avoiding temptation. Sticking to the perimeter of the store ensures you won't pass down aisle after aisle of treats and temptations.
Try to buy as many fresh fruits, veggies, meat and poultry as you can.
Sure, some frozen vegetables and fruit are great for smoothies, but stay away from those pre-processed meals and empty snacks lurking in the center aisles.
Not even going there eliminates the need to even think about whether those Double Stuf Oreos are a good idea.
Don't shop hungry! (or hangry)
If your stomach is rumbling or you had a bad day at work, save your shopping trip for another time. Hungry or emotional shopping trips can add up quickly.
Usually in either one of those dangerous states of mind you tend not to fill your cart with the good stuff, either. Plan ahead and you'll have better success for your health and your wallet.
If you're planning ahead, you should cut down on those impulse trips when you're not in a great mood, too.
Use Toolaloo to keep your bags ready for checkout
Finally, keep your reusable bags convenient on your cart for the end of your shopping trip!
How many times have you buried them under your groceries only to have the cashier at the front start loading your stuff into plastic bags?
Toolaloo keeps bags organized and neat in your car so you'll remember them, first and foremost, and then lets you keep them easy to grab at checkout.
Plus, you can easily carry 40 pounds of groceries into your home from your car!