So I thought I'd write instead about how I'm learning to be an adult through my grocery shopping. Don't worry, I'm not turning this into a mommy blog - I'm just kind of proud of myself. And I think I have a few good suggestions that I've never seen before.
- I start out using this printable to plan my meals for the week: http://www.lifeinyellow.com/2012/03/meal-planning-and-a-free-download/. At first, I looked down on this sort of thing. I disliked the crafts women make to hang a menu in their kitchen. I mean, my mom always told me she wasn't a restaurant, and putting a menu in your kitchen seems to contradict that. But this printable is different from that because it is really made to help you plan what to shop for. Your shopping is organized by meals. After I'm done with the shopping, I put the list on my fridge and it helps me remember the meals I had planned earlier in the week and what the ingredients I bought are for (I can be very forgetful). I've been using it for weeks, and I love it.
- When I plan my meals, I try to have a "secret" ingredient. Kind of like that TV show, "Iron Chef"? If I've bought ham, I try to make multiple meals that use ham that week. So if I make some sort of cheesy ham broccoli rice thing in the crockpot, I later make fried rice (or Colby does, because he's the expert at that meal) and put ham in it. This is great for me and Colby because, with only two of us, food tends to spoil more than we would like. It's also great because you aren't buying multiple expensive ingredients at the same time. This might get boring to some people, but it really works for us.
- This has been said before, but we only shop once a week, and we try to make it the same day every time. We also see grocery shopping as a bit of a moderate race, because the longer you stay in there, the more you will buy.
- Try to go to a store where you will have some sort of membership discount card. Only buy the generic of everything, and then the card will get you some really great discounts.
- As soon as you leave the grocery store, grab the receipt and shame yourself with it. I'm serious! And I don't mean shame yourself over what food you bought and its calorie count/fat content/whatever else health-wise you could get upset about. Don't do that! Just scan down the list of prices. For us, if one item is above $3, that's a red flag. That doesn't mean that we don't buy that item next week - it just means we want to be aware of our expensive items and if we really need them or not. Simply going over the list and the costs of each item will help you prioritize which foods you actually need and which ones are luxury items.