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):
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?