As I discussed last week, the best way to take control of your health is to get into the ktichen and cook. We all have busy schedules that can lead to excuses for not getting into the kitchen. If you have a busy schedule and desire to nourish yourself and your family with healthy, home-cooked foods then you must get in the habit of creating a meal plan. Dinner time can become a breeze and stress free with meal planning. If you missed last week's article that teaches you how to create a meal plan, click here.
Today, I am going to share with you, once you have your meals thought out for the week, how to create a strategic grocery list and why having one is so important for your time, money and health.
Why is a shopping list so important?
One of the biggest mistakes consumers make when grocery shopping is not having a list. As I just mentioned, having a grocery list when shopping saves you time and money and can ultimately have an effect on your health.
Having a grocery list saves you TIME!
If you go into the store knowing what you already need to buy, you won't waste countless minutes wandering the store debating on what sounds good or what you feel like eating before you decide what food to place in your grocery cart. Have your grocery list, get the items on your list, and get out. Bottom line: quit wasting time in the grocery store; make a list!
Having a grocery list saves you MONEY!
Having a grocery list saves you money because, as long as you stick to your meal plan, it ensures you are buying food you know you will eat. Buying chicken when you know you have planned to make chicken one night, says it already has a place to go. People waste too much money on food because they buy it and never eat it, or it goes bad. Buying food that you have planned to eat will help eliminate wasted food.
Having a grocery list improves your HEALTH!
Finally, shopping with a list is key if you want to control your health and your waistline because it helps you to avoid two of the biggest consumer downfalls…emotional purchases and impulse buys.
How many times have you gone to the grocery store without a list and you left with cookies, chips and ice cream? If so, chances are you were making an emotional purchase. These are comfort foods and when they are in the house, they are hard to avoid especially if you are feeling bored, tired, lonely or sad. If you create a shopping list that does not include these items, you will have a much higher chance of keeping them out of your shopping cart and off of your waist because you won't be consuming empty calories.
Having a list also helps you from making impulse buys. When you are in the store shopping for the items on your list, you are less likely to become distracted by all the pretty packaging and clever marketing of processed foods. Processed food companies spend billions of dollars to convince you that their products are harmless and good for you when in fact they are disastrous to your health and should be avoided as much as possible. To stay strong and take control of your health you have to ignore the clever advertising by making your list and sticking to it. I don't care if the package says, "made with whole grains," it is still a processed food.
Time to make a list!
I am sure you know by now it would be impossible to make a strategic, time-saving list without first creating your meal plan. So always have your meal plan completed before you sit down to create your grocery list. Once that is complete then you can jot down the necessary ingredients on your main grocery list. Be sure to take note of what you already have on hand so you do not buy duplicate items.
Something you may want to do, if you are not already, is keep a pen and pad of paper somewhere easily accessible in the kitchen. While in the midst of cooking, write down items that you find you are low on or have run out of. This will help you keep kitchen staples well stocked. Then, when you sit down to create your grocery list from your meal plan, you can transfer these items you have been keeping track of to it.
Another thing I do when creating my grocery list that helps me save time when I shop is I write my grocery list by department: produce, meat, dairy, household items and natural foods. This allows me to get everything I need in one department before moving to the next, helping me to avoid going back and forth across the store.
If you are serious about taking time to prepare home-cooked meals that give you health and not health issues, then you need to start meal planning, making a shopping list and sticking to it!
More to come! My next article will discuss ways to help keep you on track with your meal plan and how to make the most of your time in the kitchen.
Do you use a grocery list when you shop? How does using a grocery list help you? What tips do you have for making grocery shopping efficient? Please leave your comments below or visit me on Facebook.
Health and blessings,
Randi's passion is to teach people the importance of getting into the kitchen to cook! When people get into the kitchen to cook, they can control their health and their waistline. She uses fresh ingredients and traditional foods in her cooking like butter. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercise enthusiast and rep for Young Living Essential Oils (providing natural solutions for your health).