The Food Marketing Institute has recently reported that 71% of us are cooking at home more often these days. That means more people are buying fresh produce, meat, and kitchen staples in the grocery store.
How can you make a trip to the store quick and cost efficient?
The quick answer is....meal planning!
When you plan meals, you automatically take stock of what you have in the pantry and fridge and choose dishes that make use of what you already have.
That is rule #1 – Effective meal planning and grocery shopping makes use of what is already on hand.
As you write down the meals you want to make throughout the week, list the items you need to purchase. This ensures that you have what you need and nothing extra.
Make sure to include enough foods from each food group, with special attention to fresh vegetables and fruits for every meal as well as snacks.
At the grocery store, always keep an eye out for sales on grain products like rice, whole grain or gluten free pasta and oats so you can stock up and have them as staples for every meal.
Frozen fish, frozen vegetables and even frozen fruit are also good to keep on hand for quick entrees, side dishes and smoothies when you haven't had a chance to buy fresh ingredients.
Aside from sale items that are a smart buy, stick to the list on your meal plan and shop the perimeter of the store. Avoiding the inner aisles reduces excessive spending on items of limited nutritional value.