Your guide to easy grocery shopping

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Grocery shopping has always been one of favorite things to do. That may make me a little strange – I mean, if I got to choose between mall shopping and grocery shopping, I’d choose grocery shopping 100% of the time.

I think it’s because I get more bang for my buck; I could buy one pair of pants or forty apples. FORTY!

Anyways, I digress.

Hands down, I find meal prep to be one of the lamest parts of trying to lose weight/staying healthy. It’s necessary, for sure, but it’s definitely not fun to cook all of your food (sans butter or oil) for an entire week. There is one redeeming part of meal prepping, though… it also means that I get to do one of the most fun things: grocery shop.

I tend to follow a few (unspoken) rules while shopping, so I thought it might be fun to share them with you:

Take inventory and have a snack before you shop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the grocery store on a whim just to buy things I’ve already got in my pantry or fridge. Before you go, take stock of what you have. It’s an easy way to save money. Similarly, having a small snack before you go can help you avoid impulse purchases you end up making just because you’re hungry (Birthday Cake Oreos, anyone?).

Stick to the perimeter, at least at the beginning of your trip. The highest quantity of least-processed foods are located around the perimeter of the store. Starting with the perimeter, rather than going aisle by aisle, means you’re filling your cart first with fruits, veggies, lean meats, and refrigerated goodies before you pick up your first boxed item.

Shop what’s in season. Typically, in-season produce is not only less expensive, but it tastes better, and chances are, it’s traveled a shorter distance to get to you. Meaning, in-season produce is a triple win: for your bank account, your taste buds, and the environment. To find what’s in season, go here.

Buy in bulk when it saves you money and use the freezer to keep it fresh. I LOVE fresh seedy bread, but it’s nearly impossible for me to finish a loaf before it goes bad. Luckily, that’s why the freezer was invented (or maybe it was for ice cream, who knows). Now, I buy the bread I want, and thaw it by the slice when I want it. Similarly, if there’s a great deal on chicken or fish, I’ll buy in bulk and freeze for later.

What are some of your favorite grocery tips? Have a favorite store? I love Trader Joe’s because I find everything I need, my bill is less expensive, and I get in-and-out quickly.

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