It’s time once again to prepare for your dreaded grocery shopping trip. You’ve put it off as long as possible, but all you have left in your refrigerator is an assortment of mismatched ingredients past their prime and leftovers no one should eat.
You wish you could avoid this chore altogether because you know you’ll overspend on groceries again, end up with things you don’t need, forget some things you do and waste more than you should. There has to be a better way.
This week can be different. These tips and tricks will teach you how to simplify your grocery shopping list and regain control of your precious resources.
Reasons to Streamline Your Grocery List
Your grocery list is the foundation for your nutrition each week. Knowing how to simplify it will set you up for success in various ways.
To Save Money
Reducing the groceries you need each week will inevitably cut your costs. You’ll also be able to look more pointedly for coupons you could use since you know exactly what you need.
To Save Time
A shortened and organized list is much easier to follow throughout the store. You’ll save time by not walking back and forth between the aisles for things you missed.
To Improve Your Health
Simplifying your grocery shopping list cuts out excess processed foods and lets you focus on nutritious ingredients in simple meals. You and your family’s health will improve, and you’ll genuinely feel better with this shift.
How To Simplify Your Grocery Shopping List
From start to finish, you can alter parts of your process to create a simplified grocery shopping list and reap the amazing benefits.
1. Set Up A Meal Rotation
Save time each week by creating a plan for meals you put on repeat. Gather some index cards and write five of your favorite dinners on one side of each one. Try to group recipes with similar ingredients, especially produce or meat. Write the groceries required for those meals on the opposite side of each card.
Each week pick a card, look at the back to see what ingredients you need and create your list by writing down the ones you don’t already have on hand.
2. Make Meals From What You Have
Take a mental or physical inventory of what you have at home before choosing meals for the week. Then you can base your recipes on your existing ingredients and what you need to use before it goes to waste. Your grocery list will be shorter, and you’ll save food from going bad.
3. Have A Running List
Wouldn’t it be nice if your list was written for you each week? Every time you run out of or get low on an ingredient you frequently use, jot it down. When a family member tells you something they need or are in the mood for, add it to the list. This way, when you sit down to write it, you’ve already covered the basics and won’t miss anything important.
4. Know Your Staples
If you always keep your most-used ingredients on hand, you’ll have a shorter weekly grocery list. You’ll only need to get fresh foods to finish off your meals and replace any regulars you’ve used up.
5. Choose Meals With Simple Ingredients
Choose recipes with fewer ingredients when planning your meals for the week. You’ll save money by cutting back on the groceries you need. Your cooking should also take less time since you’ll have less prep work for each meal.
6. Skip Processed Foods
Does your cart seem to fill up with chips, crackers and other things you didn’t really need? Stick as much as possible to foods you can find in the store’s perimeter when writing your list. Doing so will help you focus on whole, nutritious ingredients. Staying out of the middle aisles will reduce the temptation of those less-than-healthy impulse purchases.
7. Let Your Budget Be The Bad Guy
A budget is a self-imposed limit that can help you cut your grocery list considerably. Plan simple dinners for the week and see how much of your budget remains. Add replacement pantry staples and foods for lunch and breakfast until you’ve written everything you need or run out of money for more. When your family asks where the chips are, you can blame the budget instead of yourself.
8. Make Room For Leftovers
You only need around five fresh meals to carry you through the week. You’ll waste less food by designating two nights to leftovers. You’ll also drastically reduce the number of groceries on your list and save yourself time in meal prep.
9. Keep Your List Organized
Another way to simplify your grocery shopping list is to keep it organized. If you purchase food from multiple stores, you should split the list up in that manner. You can also write everything down in the order you find them in the store. You’ll reduce your back and forth among the aisles.
Staying in sync is essential when sharing shopping responsibilities with another family member. Make your list as detailed as possible, and note if you prefer specific brands or need a certain amount.
Grocery list apps can help you keep track of all the details and sync everything with household members.
Save Time And Stress With A Simple List
These tips for simplifying your grocery list may seem complex. However, most will only take you a few minutes to complete. After a while, they’ll become habits you don’t even notice anymore. The time and money these tricks can save you and the improvements to your health make them well worth trying.