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Grocery Shopping Tips (Part 1)

Recently I was reminiscing with my husband about our first few years of marriage and I was laughing at myself at the silly things I had done incorrectly saying I WISHED someone had told me sooner.

Like, for instance, the fact that it took me a good five years to realize that I needed to keep onions and garlic as a STAPLE in my pantry. I can’t tell you how many times I would be in the middle of cooking a meal/recipe and had made sure to purchase all the main ingredients of a recipe and poof—the cooking would come to a dead halt and I was now running next door to ask a neighbor for a head of garlic. So now it’s a part of my Par Stock List. I will post my full list. Everyday pantry items—garlic, onions, beans, sauce, pasta, rice are on a list (in a permanent computer file), that I have on my fridge, and when something is low, it gets marked off. Then the next time I am making a fabulous dish—no more running next door for garlic!

Here’s another thing that changed a lot since first being married. I DREADED the grocery store. It depressed me every time—I hated going. Hated making a list, hated unloading it all. Then I realized WHY I hated it so—it was too much work—there HAD to be an easier way. So I needed to make it faster, more organized, and FUN! Faster grocery shopping by using my par stock list combined with my grocery stores’ online sale list (see part 2). If you haven’t already—get your grocery store frequent customer card—and sign up for their weekly email list. When you get the email click, click; click your way to organization. Not only do you see photos of the items on sales when you click on them, they get added to a list—and the best part is that when you print your list it will be in order of the store! Follow me here. When you walk in the store you land in the produce area (BTW—the most expensive area of the store) then that flows to the deli/cheese area which is next to meat/seafood, etc. Well guess what—when you print out that list—it follows the flow of the store. So I print the list, then under each category/department I draw a line to separate out the areas, then I add the items from my par stock list and viola—I am super organized! Not only do I know what’s on sale—I have everything I need and it prevents me form running back and forth between isles like a kuku-nut.

Now for the grocery shopping FUN! Three tips—this one is weird but it works—dress nice to go to the grocery store. What? No sweats? Exactly—how do you feel when you wear sweats out in public—slouchy, bummy, not put together? I am not talking dressy—maybe Capris, cute shoes and a pretty top. The concept is to look good and you will feel even better! Then I bring along my iPod and play upbeat music to get me going—of course I take it off at the Deli/Meat and check-out areas, but during the trip feel free to bop away. Lastly, get a treat—many grocery stores now have a café or coffee station at the entrance—so treat yourself with a flavored coffee or sweet tea! Hey, if you’re going to be there awhile, might as well try to make it enjoyable. Even something to look forward too! Instead of that “I hate it feeling”!

Part 1 | (Part 2)