Generally, grocery shopping is a joyless task you try to get in and out as fast as possible. However, there is a way to make it a fun experience and kinder on the wallet.
The other weekend I dragged the hubby along to do our weekly shop, this is something I usually do early on a Saturday morning to make the most of the great deals and get in before the crowds. The husband usually lets me do this alone as I like to visit the green grocer, bulk foods store and the butcher so it takes a bit of time. This time however he decided to come along and not only did the hubby actually enjoy himself, he got talking to the butcher and scored himself some free bacon to take home and sample.
Here are my top tips to make your food shop actually fun
- Shop local – If you don’t like supermarkets, shop elsewhere. Try your local butcher, deli, greengrocer, bakery, or farmers market. They want your business too and will often have great deals. Being served by someone who loves and cares for their business is much nicer than a big supermarket and the food is usually fresher and better quality as well.
- Go with a list (for your week’s meals) – Go prepared and stick to the list. You won’t be distracted by marketing and junk food nor will you forget something important.
- Make it an experience – Go shopping when you’ve got a bit of time and don’t need to rush. Sunday morning Farmers Markets are perfect for this, not only will you get great produce at good prices, you get to enjoy the sunshine and will no doubt bump into a few friendly faces.
- Buy foods grown or prepared with love – Bread from the bakery might be price than the supermarket but it will be made with quality ingredients keeping you fuller for longer and won’t be full of holes and air.
- Buy fresh fruit and veggies directly from local veg growers and orchards, especially road-side stalls and ‘pick-your-own’ places. Better still, grow your own or do a swap with your neighbors.
- Buy in bulk – For grains, beans and nuts you’ll get cheaper prices and you’ll have to shop for them less often. Also, you’ll be reducing food packaging.
- Don’t buy highly processed food – like “microwave meals in a minute”. You are simply paying for food preparation that you could do yourself and there will be additives and preservatives you don’t need.
- Don’t go shopping hungry – Hunger = Hangry (anger when you’re hungry) and you’ll be more likely to buy crap impulse food.
- Ask questions – Ask your local butcher or green grocer questions, they can direct you to the items your looking for or may have something tucked away at the back. You can also sometimes score freebies.
- Bring your own bags – Mother Earth will thank you or if you have a basket use that instead and you’ll feel like Parisian.