Grocery Shopping Tips

My mother has always cooked at home and going to the grocery store with her as a child was one of my favorite errands. To me cooking is a sign of love and devotion, perhaps its our Italian roots (uh, yeah definitely our Italian roots).  I have always loved helping in the kitchen, so sometimes I take for granted the ability to grocery shop, whip up a quick dinner or my swiftness in a kitchen setting. Oh yeah not to mention, in college I took about a billion hours of nutrition and food courses that made me feel pretty comfortable with cooking - that one time I almost burned down the food lab kitchen making fudge does not display my abilities, I promise.

All in all, food to me is easy. It makes sense. It just clicks in my brain. I don't always understand how or why, but it does. So when my patients ask me how to grocery shop or cook - at first I used to look at them with a blank stare. My response, "Uhh..." until I started thinking...How do I grocery shop and how do I cook?"

My first thought tip is always...trial and error. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and when in doubt put the oven on 350 degrees. These skills take patience and I am not a patient person so I know you can do it.

Below are some of my grocery store shopping tips...

1. Plan, plan, plan - look at your week ahead and determine how many dinners and lunches you will likely fix. Make a list!

2. Plan for 2-3 easy grab and go breakfast. I am not a morning person so I always get individual oatmeal or yogurt/granola/berries.

3. Get at least 2 options for lunches - I always get items for a turkey sandwich, bring left overs from the night before, or items for a salad.

4. Make sure you have plenty of shelf stable items - this will prevent you from not having a starch, vegetable etc. Yes I prefer fresh, but life sometimes needs self stable items.

5. Watch out for marketing....end of the isles, special displays, just avoid them unless it is an item you typically purchase.

6. Do not go down isles unless an item on your list is in that isle. I am bad about this one, I always add unnecessary items to my cart which can get expensive.

7. Stay away from pre -washed, bagged, or cut fruits and vegetables. You are paying for the labor. I always cut fruit right when I get home and sometimes even portion into containers for lunches. That way it is not such a hassle.

8. Don't be afraid of the freezer. If you don't use a protein that week just toss it in the freezer when you realize and use it for the next week.

9. Get your grocery store's app, you can connect it to your reward card which puts coupons directly on the card so when you buy those items you receive the discount. Not going to lie, I love the Kroger App - sometimes they have specials on the app that you won't receive in the store.

10. Check out this article for more tricks -