I originally wrote this for IGA – see it here: http://igabetterchoices.com/general/three-tips-to-simpler-shopping/
Grocery shopping is key to making meals and snacks that fit your budget, taste good, and help you make better choices the whole family will love. Here are three of my favorite shopping tips to help you meet your budget and make your meal prep as efficient as possible.
- Shop in season. Menus are more interesting from day to day, week to week and month to month when flavors are changed up a bit. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use fruits and vegetables that are in season. They are typically tasty, readily available, and budget-friendly. By focusing on these items, meals will reflect the season we are in, and your taste buds will appreciate the flavors and visual appeal that seasonal produce brings to the plate.
- Pick recipes that use some similar ingredients. Make your food dollars work for you by choosing recipes for the week that use some of the same ingredients. From that little bunch of cilantro to that value package of skinless chicken breast, finding recipes that have one or two main ingredients that are the same ensures that you can use up all the ingredients you buy rather than letting food go to waste. And it will also make shopping easier by helping to streamline some of the ingredients needed to make several tasty meals. Check out our recipe section for inspiration next time you head to your Hometown Proud IGA.
- Find your favorite “staples” and stock up. Pay attention to sales on items like spices, flour, vinegar, oil, and canned/frozen goods. If these favorite things can be stored longer, buy them with confidence knowing you will use them. But remember to take the time to organize your pantry and freezer to make room for these extras so you don’t also end up with added clutter. Before you head to the store for a stock up, review the ad and then “shop” your own kitchen to see what you already have so you don’t overbuy in one area and forget to buy another item that you need for the week’s meals.