Grocery Shopping 101
Posted by Stephanie Napier on March 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM
Are you intimidated by the grocery store? Do you get lost in those long aisles? Have you ever spent $60 on groceries and find you have nothing to eat? No need to fear, I have the solution! Planning ahead!
It's a good idea to write a list. The best way that I can think of is to plan out some meals that you would like to eat through out the week(s). Don't be afraid of lists, they're your friend. Here is an example, feel free to do this with your favorite meals.
- Ground beef (or turkey)
- Re-fried Beans
- Taco cheese
This is food for just one meal, however you're probably not going to use the whole head of lettuce, the whole onion, and all of the ground beef. Lets see if we can find another meal which uses all of these things?
- Ground beef(or turkey)
- Condiments ( You probably already have these)
- Veggies (Frozen or canned) I like prefer frozen, but canned is cheaper.
See, this is easy. If you can find meals that have ingredients in common, you can save by buying larger quantities. Vegetables will be a good side for most meals.
The most important meal of the day! Don't skip it, studies show that people who eat breakfast are thinner.
Buy gallons instead of half-gallons. You get more for your money. Milk is good for you anyway, plus it is a popular ingredient for all meals.
Cereal is one of my favorite breakfast foods, its fast and delicious. Be sure that you are checking the nutrition values and serving sizes.
Yogurt and fruit, simple and healthy.
Bagels are a great breakfast food. They're relatively cheap. Try to stick with whole wheat, and try peanut butter as a topping.
Eggs. they're versatile and inexpensive.
Alternatively, there are microwavable options for those who are always running late. Watch the sodium content on these.
Sandwich meats, salads, and left overs are always good for lunch. Top Ramen are also popular and cheap. However, I personally do not care for these because they are very high in sodium. In case you can't tell, I do my part to watch my salt intake. Make a list of a few items that you think you would want for lunch.
Now, I can't do ALL the work for you. But I did make an example grocery list for dinners.
This uses 5 lbs of beef. Buying in bulk saves you $.
Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
- Ground beef or turkey
- Spaghetti sauce
- Diced onion
- Spaghetti noodles
- Pre-made garlic bread OR make your own
- split french or Italian loaf
- Fresh garlic or garlic powder
- Tomato sauce
- Chili powder
- 1 lb of beef or turkey
- Kidney beans
- Fries or vegetable
- Shells or tortillas
- Taco cheese
Left overs from last night!
Getting the best deal
Have you ever been shopping and was unsure of whether or not you should buy the 12 pack or the 24 pack? Unsure if those instant potatoes are worth it?
Here is a quick way to find out.
1large box of cereal vs. 8 individual boxes of cereal sold in a package
Large box $4.50
Individual box package $5.25
Obviously the large box is cheaper, but which one will give you the best value?
Find out the amount of food in each (Volume, weight, amount)
The large box has about 6 cups.
The individual boxes hold 1 /2 cup in each box.
You following me?
6 cups/$4.5 = $1.33 per cup
8 cups/.5 = 4 cups of cereal for the individual boxes
5.25/4= $1.31 per cup.
So the individual sized boxes are slightly less expensive. Usually you will find the difference can vary from a few cents up to more significant savings. You can sub out almost anything.
I really hope that this helps! Don't fear the grocery!
To stay on track with your diet, avoid the inner aisles altogether. Everything on the outer walls in the grocery store is likely to be healthier and unprocessed.