I dreaded grocery shopping, but it's my household job: how I made my chore less loathesome #Food#groceries#meal planning October 12 | Cat Rocketship I really, really dislike grocery shopping. It seems to take time out of my day and stores are hard to navigate and I always forget what I need and blehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I never want to do it. But friends: NO LONGER! Not since I made a system — everything I dislike doing is better with a system which removes the barriers to success. Now I finally have a grocery system — or at least most of one. By using a system, I don't have to make some of the lower-level decisions each week. The sorts of decisions which sometimes cause indecision and often derail my plans to buy food for the house. These simple changes helped me quite a bit, and they make up the Happy Shopping System for Frustrated Grocery Consumers in America and Across the World (HSSFGCAAW): Related Post Secrets of a grocery store clerk: How to grocery shop effectively The number one thing I hear from customers is "I just came in here for one thing." These are people with overflowing baskets, with $300... Read more The first tenet of HSSFGCAAW: Plan the week's meals before you shop I've talked about E-mealz before. It's a service which provides a meal plan for each week. There are a number of types of plans — low fat, vegetarian — and lots of good recipes. I like it less for the recipes, though, and more for the forced practice of different types of food. For example, under E-mealz I tried my first lasagna. I learned my way around the crock pot, too. Now I mostly use it for reference — to fall back on — and I'm still using the meal planning skillz to make grocery shopping better. It's just as easy to do this without using a meal planning service. This month I picked a few Indian recipes from Manjula's Kitchen which use overlapping ingredients. It's made it easy to keep us in dinners without scooting out for groceries every other day. The second tenet of HSSFGCAAW: Be loyal to your grocer We moved to a new neighborhood with this house, so I spent quite a while trying out all our groceries. Now that I know which Hy-Vee has the best combination of price, selection, and convenience, I don't stray. It's nice that the store is a good fit, but I think I really chose it to be my favorite grocery because its layout made the most sense. Its lighting didn't irk me. Clerks were friendly and all that. Feeling like a place is pleasant makes me happier about the grocery shopping chore. The third tenet of HSSFGCAAW: Shop when the sun is up Duh. Avoid the evening crowds. If you can't grocery shop during the day, choose an off-peak hour for sure. The fourth tenet of HSSFGCAAW: Buy a big bag This was the tip that tripped my trigger the most. Do you have an IKEA bag? A FRAKTA? (I love how IKEA names look.) These are the secrets to making my grocery shopping more enjoyable. The FRAKTA is an industry marvel. It's made of a space-age material which defies rips, tears, and spills. It is the most durable grocery bag you can buy! And the FRAKTA is hiding one more secret: It is bigger on the inside than on the outside. I don't know how, but on several occasions one of these babies has held my entire load of groceries. And with the patented ergonomic design, it's still mostly easy for me to lift into my car! Okay. Am I the only one who systemizes grocery shopping? What sorts of easy changes make your food chores more likeable? Join our community! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Cat Rocketship I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things. PREVIOUS How taking daily mini-hikes helps me deal with The Baby Stuff NEXT Clean out the books you don't want in stranger-interactive ways Show/Hide comments [ 59 ] I use every single one of these tips and they really work! Another perk of grocer loyalty is taking advantage of the special coupons you get from your loyalty card. Another tip I'd add is to get a big freezer. For about $150 I got a floor model freezer from a warehouse club and I can stock up on meats I buy frequently when they are on sale and also buy in bulk. It makes cooking/meal planning so easy if you know you've got stock in the freezer to rely on. 4 agree Reply My grocer doesn't offer loyalty cards (Publix), which initially kept me away from them when I moved here because their prices appeared more expensive. But then I poked around them a couple times, and realized they make up for lack of loyalty cards with regular sales on a rotation that makes sense. Nearly every staple of a diet goes on sale once a quarter, and most of the sales are on items that don't expire for at least 6 months, so stocking up is totally an option. Those that have much shorter shelf lives are on sale based on season or based on normal consumption – so hot dogs and ground beef were on sale nearly the entire summer, veggies and fruits go on sale just before and after peak seasons, etc. It's a bit more time consuming to learn their habits, and I seriously hope ALL publix follow a very similar cycle, but once you have it down, its cheaper than Walmart most weeks! 5 agree Reply LOVE Publix! They also have the best store brand products. Who needs to pay the extra 0.50 for Philly cream cheese, when Publix brand is just as good!? and their bakery…mmmmm… 2 agree Reply Oh to have a Publix! One of my least favorite things about moving from FL to NM is losing Publix. The stores are bright, the isles are wide, the customer service is great, the various stores have comparable quality, and they have a wide range of ethnic/world foods (Get with the program and get some linguica, NM!) The lack of all those makes grocery shopping in NM really depressing. I have to shop around at different stores mostly because otherwise I can't possibly afford enough produce for the little fruit bats that pass for offspring in my house… I should be better about bringing sales and seeing if people will price match. 1 agrees Reply Great suggestions! Another perk of meal planning is that you end up saving money by not buying a bunch of stuff to rot in the fridge. I plan my meals with my store's flyers so I know what meats (in particular) are on sale. It's a nice starting point as far as "what do I want to eat this week?" 2 agree Reply So much this! My mum has a terrible habit of buying what she imagines she might want or need when she goes shopping. For about 6 months she was buying a green pepper every time she went shopping. When I was cat sitting I threw out 2 that had gone off, unused, and found another 3 in the back of the fridge. Another time it was tinned chick peas which luckily don't go off but took forever to get through. It's also great if you don't have much storage space. We currently have a tiny fridge, with a freezer compartment about the size of an ice cream tub and one small cupboard for food. So only buying what we always use or ingedients for specific dinners is a huge help. This week I knew we didn't need tinned tomatoes so I was able to use the space for soup and have some more variety at lunch. 1 agrees Reply My dad is a genius. He made an Excel sheet checklist for grocery items. He sorted items by aisle and all you have to do is checkoff an item. The items purchased most frequently are larger font and/or bolded to make them easy to find. He keeps a stack of these grocery lists on the kitchen counter. It's pretty brilliant. 8 agree Reply I love your dad! Great idea! My dad was the family shopper and coupon clipper. He taught me to write things on the shopping list (standard magnetic notepad on the fridge) in the order in which you find them in the store. Most stores are at least somewhat similar, but knowing your local grocery helps. Produce first, canned goods in middle, frozen last…I've tried Droid apps but I always go back to a paper list. I live in Boston and don't have a car, so I have to shop a lot more often, and adjust what I can buy to what I can carry on a crowded bus. This means I go to a more expensive local market or Whole Foods more because they are closer, but it's still cheaper than husband's take-out habit. When my husband agrees to drive us on a stock-up trip, that's when I get a boatload of cans, paper goods, and other heavy/bulky stuff. I am the captain on grocery trips because I tend to plan meals or gauge the stock of cans, and I'm better at knowing the store layout and delegating. Take us to Home Depot and the roles are reversed. p.s. husband is a very good homemaker in many ways, he just sucks at groceries. 3 agree Reply I did this when I was 10 because I kept getting put in charge of the list and was tired of the scribbling or people being too lazy to write things on a list or worse, abbreviating oddly so you had no idea what you were buying. I just made a list of all the staples we bought regularly, and left a few empty spots for people to write in special requests. Organized it in the order we'd pick things up. First time we used it, we cut the trip in half from the time before, and bought twice as much stuff. WIN! 1 agrees Reply I also adore the Ikea bags — but for a different reason, they are AWESOME for lugging laundry! None of the other baskets or bags I've had have allowed me to tote TWO loads at once 😀 8 agree Reply I do this, too! Made apartment living/lugging to the laundromat so much easier! Other great thing about these bags is that you can run them through the washer to get them clean if they get yucky. Just remember to air-dry–would probably melt in the dryer! 1 agrees Reply The FRAKTA has changed my life. 1 agrees Reply I've just recently started meal planning. It's really helpful to plan breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and a desert for every day! It's keeping us al healthy too! But the best part is that I've got our prices down! I'm feeding two adults and a toddler, for 8 dollars a day! I'm not sure how good that is for most people, but for my family, it's a really good start! Oh, so what helped this budget the best was that we've started shopping at a farmer's market! For $20 we got so much fresh produce (and hummus!) It's all delicious, and so now we don't even buy chips or cookies! Reply I actually don't mind grocery shopping, once I get past the whole "having to leave the house" thing. I don't plan out my whole week ahead of time; I sort of do the opposite. I buy mostly the same stuff ongoing but try to stock up on things when they're on sale, so I'll plan our meals around those. I always look at the sale ad as soon as it comes out and use it to make my grocery list (which I have an app for on my iPod Touch) before I go (I also look over the fridge and pantry to check inventory). Having a list makes it easier not to get too distracted by other things in the store — my list is split up by store section, so I just go from one to the next and don't even bother with most of the aisles. Buying things on sale, and with coupons, makes the whole thing more fun for me. It's so satisfying when I get my receipt back and it has a high number under "Your Savings." =) I think the IKEA bag would be too big/heavy for me (I'm a wimp) but I always bring 3-4 reusable bags (I just put all of them inside one). Also, I always keep a camera with me when I'm out and sometimes take pictures of things' prices to compare later at other stores. I mostly shop at Publix, but some things are definitely cheaper elsewhere so I try to keep that in mind when I shop. 1 agrees Reply I make my meat purchases based on what is on sale as well. Then I make our meal plan for the week. I check out the coupons every week too, both the printed ones from the newspaper and the digital ones that my favorite store has on their website. One of the things that motivates me most when shopping is keeping up with how much money I am saving! Reply I do the meal plan and list thing, and I have one primary store that I stick to. The one thing that drives me mad about shopping is forgetting something and having to retrace my steps or feel like I'm walking in circles; I can't stand that sort of inefficiency. But because I am familiar with my favorite store's layout, when I add things to my list, I put them on the paper in the general order that they come up in the store. So there are spaces in between items, and the spaces get filled in as I add items. So for instance, produce is at the top, as is french bread, since the bakery section is right next to produce in my store. Canned beans go next to canned and dried fruit, since they share an aisle. Milk and yogurt are at the back of the store, so they're near the bottom of the list. I put frozen things last, so I pick them up on my way out and they don't thaw while I'm shopping. It works like a charm for me, as long as I shop at the same store each week. Reply I make my shopping list according to how I navigate the store – it usually prevents me from forgetting anything, plus it makes the trip more efficient in that I don't have to retrace my steps. Also, if I haven't been good about menu planning, I tend to buy meat that's On Special (i.e. "please buy this and use/freeze by tomorrow – we marked it down and everything") so I save a bit. Personally I love grocery shopping, but it helps make things easier. 1 agrees Reply Yes, as a small farmer I would like to say: Go to your local farmers market on the way to the grocery store! You can often find much better deals on incredibly fresh produce that should keep much longer than the crap from the grocery store. Depending on the season, you can often get great bulk deals on stuff to put in the freezer, too! And, of course, it's fun for the whole family and great for your local economy. 4 agree Reply This post is so timely as we just did our first e-mealz meal last night. I was tired of the whole- 'what do you want' 'dunno, you?' 'dunno' then getting takeout thing so we are trying this more organized approach. I am a little disappointed in this week's lack of fresh vegetable incorporation, it's mostly all canned goods but we shall see how it goes. Even if it's less healthy than I would have hoped it will still be better than getting Chinese three days a week. 1 agrees Reply I just recently created a system to pair up my couponing and sale-searching with my love of NOT cooking. First I create a meal-plan for the month. I make sure to add easy, quick, but well-balanced meals. Alot of the meals use the same ingredients to reduce waste. Then I create a list based on that meal plan and I make sure to include the quanities needed of each item. Then, I start searching the sales by using the weekly ads found on the web. I created a sale/coupon/grocery list excel that I use to keep track of which items are on sale at which stores and which coupons I have for them. I keep the meal plan on the side of the fridge. I go shopping each week to take full advantage of the available sales and to stock up a bit for the next month. It has cut my stress, along with time and money spent in half. 🙂 Reply I kind of like grocery shopping, except for the fact that somehow I always end up at the grocery store at 2pm Sunday afternoon…which is when everyone shops. Even still, what I've found that makes it easier is to keep an ongoing list throughout the week(s) on the fridge so we can write down what we need as we run out of it. If I didn't do this, I would never have things like dish soap or peanut butter because I would just always forget them. Another thing that helps is to bring a buddy if you can. My husband and I generally do the shopping together so that one person can navigate the cart through throngs of people and the other person can man the list and make sure we get everything we need. One last thing is something that I did as a kid. My dad would always do the grocery shopping and any time I would go with him, he'd get both of us a doughnut from the bakery to eat on the way home. I find ending my grocery trip with a delicious treat makes shopping way more enjoyable. Reply ahh! i'm so glad you mentioned E-Mealz again! the first time you wrote about it i thought, "hmm…sounds intriguing." i wasn't really being serious about planning meals then, but knew we needed to. then we did a re-evaluation of our budget…um…hello meal plans. i find it challenging to plan for only two (i feel like a lot of food goes bad and i HATE wasting SO much). plus, i'm not much of an iron chef. i have no ideas about variety. so, i signed us up yesterday. i went shopping and went $20 under budget for the week and now have something to make every day (plus recipe). i hope this will at least introduce to the process of meal planning and budgeting for food and help me learn to cook a greater variety of things. so far, so good! Reply Ummmm you are my grocery shopping hero. Come to Alabama and teach me your ways. Reply Ways: taught. Reply I really dislike planning meals for the week. We always end up changing our mind about what we want to have. So, I plan out 3 meals and make sure that we have all the ingredients on hand. Then, we can either pick from the list or decide on something different. A lot of our meals are decided by what produce we have (or were given) and needs to be used. For most of my dry goods and specialty shopping, I go to Giant Eagle. I know where everything is and they have a kids' area that I could leave the kids in. Now, however, my oldest (10) has aged out of it and the baby is too young, so we only leave the middle child there. It still helps because the older boys are the ones that get on each other's nerves the most. The 10 yr old can push the cart and entertain the baby and I can shop. I like the Giant Eagle because they have a lot of specialty items and a large kitchen/ deli/ bakery section. Plus, their fish is almost always sushi quailty. Zack and I used to make it a date, by dropping the boys' off, getting a coffee and exploring what new foods they had available. We use the local smaller store for produce and other items that need to be replaced on a more frequent basis (coffee & half & half). Reply I hate grocery shopping also and do a few of these things. Other things I do is to take a list of every item I need so I don't forget something and have to go back. We also schedule the grocery store for the same day/time every week so that we can't draw out the inevitable. I also sometimes like to go to the farmers market and get fun, fresh foods to change things up, and we're dreaming of the day we buy a deep freezer and can order Schwans! Reply I don't mind grocery shopping that much, shopping is shopping. I do really like to use the online circular or online grocery if it available in your area. Here is a website where you can see if online shopping is in your town. http://mywebgrocer.com/shoppers Reply I always keep 1-2 of my grocery totes in my car so that if I need to pick up few random items for a particular meal or treat I'm making it doesn't seem so bothersome to pop in to the grocery store on my way home from work. 1 agrees Reply I have a little collapsible bag that lives in my handbag for those occasions! (Mostly because I don't drive a car.) 1 agrees Reply My boyfriend also hates grocery shopping (even though I kind of love it) and last time we went he was like "grrr I hate shopping because it takes forever! grrr!" So he organized our list according to department and the layout of the store and it only took 10 minutes! Reply It's absolutely showing my Geek side. But after grocery shopping, I input what groceries I bought into a spreadsheet. Also make sure to include store, price, oz etc. So every time I buy the same thing (hello Nutella!) it shows. It also shows where the cheapest place to buy it with the most oz's was. So eventually I've got this meta shopping list that includes pretty much everything I buy in a year (barring trying new recipes). I wrote down in what order the aisles are in, and kept in mind what order I liked to shop. Made the list accordingly, and when I'm going grocery shopping, I simply check the ingredients I need to buy, and print that particular list out. I know that their are programs online that can help you do the same thing, I just happened to do it myself. Complicated at first. But the geek in me really really loved inputting all that data LOL!! 1 agrees Reply As a kitchen manager, I LOVE this idea! I keep trying to put it into practice, but for some reason, having it for my vendors and having it for my house just never works out the same way. Reply I always plan 7 – 10 days worth of meals and try as much cross over as possible. (If I get tortillas for burritos – I can use some for wraps. Carrots for salad and stew. etc) As I pick each meal, I write what I need for each (which I don't already have in the house and then create my list. I also organize my list by item type… Dairy, meats, breads, frozen, vegi, fruit, canned/boxed, other (soaps, personal items). That helps me to avoid forgetting things. Reply I absolutely love grocery shopping, but that's probably because I grew up poor and it was the only fun we had as a family. Now that I'm an adult, I plan at least two weeks worth of dinners and probably 5 different types of lunches so I can buy in bulk (like at a Gordon's Food Service). I also plan out where I buy each item so I can make each grocery trip quick and easy–it also cuts down on unnecessary impulse shopping! Because we're on a tight budget, I only try 2-3 new recipes each month. Reply I plan for a two week block and only go to the grocery store if I need to pick up fresher items. I cook 5 days out of the week (my husband has food catered at work on Thursdays and then we go out once a week). I do one slowcooker meal a week, on Tuesdays when I don't get home til 10pm. The other days I try to variate the type of meat. For example, I limit red meat to once a week, usually tilapia/salmon once a week, shrimp once a week, and the rest chicken or pork. We have pasta maybe once a month because I'm trying to avoid carbs with dinner. I shop at Costco and Safeway. Costco is good for meats that I can freeze, breads, and paper/cleaning products. Safeway is used mostly for produce and things I only need small amounts of. I get my apples at Costco though, cause I usually eat one a day. Reply We don't shop at walmart… I am an impulse buyer and a trip to walmart can cost me serious cash. I only Shop at Kroger and a discount supermarket. I buy what is on sale and then plan around that. a couple weeks ago I got a microwavable egg scrambler, Fridays new chickeny thing,and 2 boxes of toaster strudel for 50 cents each. I only take the amount of money i can spend on food in the store with me. Reply I go to the farmer's market for fresh produce once a week, and Trader Joe's once a week or once every two weeks. I used to LOVE grocery shopping. Now, I still like it but am horrible at it and end up coming home with random things like purple cabbage, pinto beans, apples and bubbly water. When my husband looks in the fridge after I shop, he either says 1) Wait, there's still nothing to eat. Or 2) Holy crap, we have enough food for a whole month! How much did you spend? I know meal planning is the key to my future success, I just have a mental block against being that organized. Maybe I'll check out E-mealz. Reply I like grocery shopping. What I don't like is clothing shopping, since it usually means a day of frustration unless I go to one of the few stores that I know have things that work for me and they haven't changed their sizing. Reply What? Stores that are not HEB? *recluses back into TX* I'm horrible about grocery lists. I used to try. Now I don't bother. I know I will always forget something. Me and my boyfriend just go aisle by aisle. But luckily we have the time for that. Ha. I'm sure that will change when we have kids. Reply I shop at the Farmers' Market, and I only take the cash that I've budgeted for food with me. My system is: I purchase one item from each vendor until I run out of dough. I start at opposite sides of the market each each. Totally OCD, but that's my style 😛 Reply i work in a small grocery store…and can i just tell you WE HATE YOUR DAMNED IKEA BAGS!!! i love it when my customer's bring in their own bags! some of them are super awesome and make me jealous that i don't have that one. but the extremely large bags are terrible! let me tell you a secret…groceries are heavy! a gallon of milk weighs approximately 10 lbs. and you just bought 2 of them and want me to put all of that, plus a 10 lb roast and a 2 liter soda ALL IN ONE BAG! that thing is now VERY heavy, and i like my back, and i like not having to lift overly heavy things that could have been much simpler and SAFER if you had just brought a couple normal sized bags. now putting laundry in these bags sounds like a great idea, but please, leave these monstrosities at home. Reply Aw. I guess I should be clear — I carry my groceries out! No, definitely don't inflict the FRAKTA on baggers. Reply They actually have a sign at some grocery stores in Australia saying that cashiers (as we don't really have baggers here) have the right to refuse bags if they're too freaking huge. Reply My wife and I use this app on our Android phones to note down what we need. Now if I'm at work and I think "oh shit don't we need more toilet paper" or my wife decides she wants hamburgers for dinner, we can just mark it down in the app and BOOM. Synchs to both our phones like magic. And it's freeeeeeeeee! Reply Here in the UK I do our grocery shopping online once a month for non-perishable goods and all our meat and fish which we then freeze. I usually pick up some dairy stuff too, but not loads. Then we pick up our veggies and fruit, and any other bits we need about once a week. We plan our meals based on what we have in the freezer, and what we got in veggies (ie what was on offer). Do they not have online grocery shopping in the US? It's SO good, especially for us, seen as we dont have a car. They charge £4 for delivery, and you choose when it is delivered (In 2 hour time slots). And as we dont drive a taxi from the local store is £5 at least, so it is easier and saves us money! Reply I have to admit if someone had tried to persuade me to adopt meal planning I would probably have dismissed it as too complicated and a waste of time. But I actually fell into it out of necessity – when you have no money and no car you don't want to carry a ton of food home only to watch it go off in your cupboard – and found it really simple. I'm not super-organised, I don't have a meal plan drawn up or anything like that, I just pick 7 meals I fancy eating and buy the ingedients for them, then eat them in any order I feel like. For example if I have red peppers and guacamole left over and I know I always have chiken and spices I'll buy wraps and some veg for salsa and make fajitas. The next day I might use the other half of a tin of tomatoes from the salsa to make curry. Or I might make bolagnase instead. Reply I'm all about meal plans, grocery list apps, only buying what I eat. I'm also all about going when I know my favorite cute cashier (Brendan) is working. He even called me sweetheart last night. Don't know if he has a girlfriend or not, but I'm a single lady and need to get my kicks somewhere! Reply We signed up for emealz after you mentioned it last time, and OH MY GOD THANK YOU. Grocery shopping used to take two hours (my boyfriend likes to look at EVERYTHING, even though he looked at it ALL last time) and happen every couple of days. Now we're going once a week for half an hour, and I have yet to not like a meal. So again. Thank you for sharing it here. They should pay you for this. Reply Every week I make a list of "stuff that needs to get used" (i.e. produce and any meat that got thawed and never used), and see what meals are inspired by that list. The goal right now is to use up as much of our stockpile as we can, because in a week or two we're re-arranging the kitchen, and because I'm developing this tendency to hoard food. My biggest problem lately has been that whenever we go shopping, we start at the grocery outlet store, which means an inconsistent supply of most items, so we can't really count on getting anything there, and if we find a good deal we will get it. Also, I have some chronic illnesses that have made sticking to the meal plan very difficult. I never know if that ambitious meal I planned for next Tuesday will find me with a migraine or just sick and run down and unable to step foot in the kitchen. It means a lot of dinners get switched on the fly, and a lot more food goes to waste than I'm really comfortable with happening (both for the budget and the environment), so lately the focus has been on lots of simple meals that don't require a lot of energy or thought. It's taken some of the creativity out of it, but I keep telling myself it's temporary while I get some other life things under control. Reply I don't really have any strategies to add, just some things i do to make grocery shopping feel more fun? I like to bring my headphones, sometimes screaming babies and arguing couples can really bring you down. also fun music is just helpful. And I might be alone in this, but I like to dress up sometimes? wear clothing i never seem to have a reason to pull out of the closet but love. so what if I look like a weirdo in a pretty dress for no reason, I look like a weirdo anyway. I completely agree about the off-peak hours too, it takes an extra 30 min if you have to constantly weave around other carts. Reply I'm in my second week of making a grocery list (kept on the fridge so we both can add things we need). It's this one from design sponge — which I added our most common grocery items to. I just started using this meal planner because I felt the other ones I was finding were too ridged for our household. I am loving knowing our meal plan and grocery list, it really keeps us on budget and we don't end up buying things that go bad before we use them! Reply Oh and we shop primarily at our local food co-op, and sometimes the grocery store chain for things like toilet paper & butter (which is hella expensive at our co-op). Reply I keep thinking of things that help me! I love Eat Your Books, which you add your cookbooks to and then you can search by ingredient or keyword. It's really helped me use my cookbook collection more. I don't work for any of the companies or websites I've posted, just wanted to share what has helped me. Reply My husband and I just bought a freezer this past weekend, and have already loaded it up with $1.00/lb chicken breasts and I also bought a whole turkey to make ground turkey from (not the best deal – got 3.5 lbs of ground turkey meat from a 13 lb bird) but then I got about 9 1/2 pints and 5 pints of broth from it too, so what do you do but learn from the lesson, right? Can't wait to fill the freezer full of bargain deals! Reply Cat, I love that you live in DM. I shop religiously at my Hy-vee in Ankeny. 🙂 Reply 🙂 Reply I love grocery shopping. I've also got an excel spreadsheet where I keep track of price paid, price per oz, how often we buy each thing etc. I've got an 'on hand' list where I keep track of everything in our freezer, fridge, and pantry and when it needs to be used, and a standard grocery list. After recently getting yelled at by a stressed out mom in the crowded grocery store, I've renewed my commitment to shop in the mornings on weekdays at my local store. It's quiet, calm, and there are very few other shoppers (and those that are there tend to be friendly and polite.) Shopping in the morning has also allowed me to shave a bit more money off my already lean grocery bill, because that's when the best meat deals are there. I also found that my local Asian supermarket offers much better prices on herbs, fish and fresh produce than my local supermarket chain can approach. Reply I used to have an account with emealz and I was very happy with their service, but I just found out that they have a partnership with focus on the family. super disappointed, but sadly not surprised… I canceled my membership. Reply I love these tips. I too hate grocery shopping… I always make a list of items in the specific order they appear in the store for super-fast shopping! I actually do that for any shopping….I really don't enjoy it much! Ha. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. 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