Grocery Groove

I don’t know about you, but my favorite type of shopping is grocery shopping!

Sometimes I go to the grocery store just to hang out…I’ve even been known to take the children I babysit on a “field trip” to my special sanctuary. (Just ask a Miss Maia) Cause nothing says “good time” like Randalls! (Your location in the US will determine if you understand that reference)

Today I will be going to my secret haven, my home away from home; Walmart.

Now, I like to think of myself as a grocery store connoisseur. I’ve been known to peruse Walmart, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Bi-Lo, Randalls, H-E-B, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, The Fresh Market, Big Lots,  Meijer, Busch’s, Trader Joe’s, Central Market, and Kroger.

I’ve spent many an evening wandering the aisles waiting for culinary inspiration to strike, or searching for some random item that I HAD to have. Tonight I suspect it will be no different.

Military Man and I are planning our weekly trip to Walmart.

When I grocery shop (as opposed to visiting my favorite place out of boredom) I like to make a list. Correction: LOVE to make a list. I’ll do a standard list if I’m just picking up a few bits. But if it’s a major shop I like to write down what I’m planning to make in one corner of my list, carefully re-read each recipe and write down the ingredients that are needed. I find it extremely helpful to have the meals I’m planning to make on my list. It leads to impulse recipe alterations!

For example: One night I wanted to make Taco Salad among other things. I’d gathered all of my ingredients and was heading the checkout when I spied some particularly fresh looking limes. BAM. Taco Salad WITH Lime Vinaigrette!

If I keep my menu on my mind when I shop I’m better able to allow for creative changes AND I cut waaaay down on the lazy girl dinners. (Amy’s bowls anyone?)

If I don’t make notes about my menu, sometimes I get overwhelmed looking at all of the raw goods that, alone, won’t be very good. I’ve got to keep my eye on the prize! I find that this also cuts down on buying lots of pre-packaged products. My list keeps me focused and only in the aisles that I need to be in!

Although, when you are shopping with your significant other…things can change. Mr. I-Need-To-Make-S’mores-Tonight!

What I want to encourage you to do is to get to know your grocery store. Figure out who has the best breads, deli, produce or cheapest toilet paper, etc. This will help your budget, your health AND improve your happiness. If the grocery store seems like a daunting and time consuming task, try my “Menu List” trick and see if it helps!

Do you have a similar approach to grocery shopping? Or am I the only person who would prefer to go to Trader Joe’s over Saks Fifth Avenue?

Have a good day! I’ll be back either tonight or tomorrow with a recipe post!

-Brittany

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