Are you someone who likes to shop? I mean really who doesn’t like to shop? Maybe it’s for that perfect pair of boots. Maybe it’s for just the right pair of jeans? Maybe it’s just a day at the mall to see what grabs your attention. Maybe it’s you have your favorite store and you want to see if there’s anything new. Why can’t grocery shopping be like that?
I know a lot of people who don’t like grocery shopping. They kind of look at me like I lost my mind but hear me out. Every week my husband forces me to spend money. A good bit of money. They only criteria is that it results in enough food to eat and clean clothes too, OK and a few other odds and ends but still I get to go shopping every week!
I get to pick where I do my shopping. I get to decide what I am spending the money on. I get to try new things and see if they work, and I get to enjoy the results of my shopping all week long.
I think it’s that last one that bogs most people down. Do you go shopping and then think what did I just spend $200 on? Do you get to Tuesday and think well, that’s just great we’re out of food and I am out of money. Does it get to be dinner time and it’s frozen pizza pockets for everyone and that’s just less than exciting? Kinda like my thanksgiving post yesterday, I have a solution, look for the biggest issue and start there. Make a few changes and then reevaluate. Oh, and above all else, have a PLAN!
OK, so let me take you through my routine:
Friday – Menu plan for next week. What did I like about this weeks food? What worked? What didn’t? What needs changing? Make a list of EXACTLY what is in each of those recipes that I am going to be making next week. (Like to do this in something like Excel or Numbers so that when I am done I can “sort”.)
Saturday – Grocery shopping! My husband and I make a day of it. We alternate between three different cities/towns that are all equidistant pretty much. While we’re out we always grab lunch together. We’ve made it good quality time. The one thing we know it we MUST stick to the list. If we want to get anything that is NOT on the list then there has to be good reason. None of this “it looks good” unless you’re talking about seasonal produce but even that can be dangerous. After being out running errands we come home unpack the car, play with the dogs, and then relax.
Sunday – Food Prep! We normally do this together as well. Making the food together add’s appreciation for everyone. I appreciate him for helping. He appreciates me for having a plan and getting it executed. We both appreciate having food ready for the coming week. We normally have all our lunches made of the coming week. If we have to make dog food we normally do that as well, and if there are any bog projects like dehydrating lots of fruit or canning that we do that on Sunday’s as well. Since we’re both mostly productive in the mornings we can normally knock all this out before lunchtime so we have the afternoon and evening to do whatever. Some prep days can go to dinner time but that’s very rare or when I didn’t have as good of a plan. My general rule of thumb is that we are done no later than 3pm because our small local theater shows a movie every Sunday at 4 and we like to catch it if we can.
The other thing I wanted to mention is that I also am working on implementing a new element to all this. I mentioned we have three cities we shop at. So the plan is to hit one a month and then to have one full weekend where we have NO grocery shopping. This just means I need to have a plan for what we can have for our meals that can be made two weeks in advance. This could be anything from canned soup to lasagna. Just something that keeps really well. Maybe something frozen that just need to be thawed and popped in the oven.
This may all seem stressful to you but the idea is simple. What is it you don’t like about grocery shopping? Pick the biggest issue. Can you change it? Try. Also have a detailed list and stick to the list. Lastly, make a day of it. Make it an outing with the family or just your spouse. Make it something to enjoy rather than to dread.