This is the season of weekend travel, and busy schedules and if you’re like us, you feel like your weekends are “go go go”. Come Sunday when it’s time to go grocery store shopping, meal planning for the week seems like a daunting task leading to the overwhelming question what to buy. This makes you either a) not buy enough and end up with frequent trips to the store or b) buy too much and things end up going bad. But I think I’ve been able to figure out how to “grocery shop” without excessive meal planning. This makes stopping at a grocery store easier when coming back into town, and we wanted to share with you all how we shop!
Broken down into each food group, here are ingredients you can use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without having to do all the meal planning before your store trip.
I love fresh vegetables this time of year, however, I sometimes buy more than we use and they go bad 🙁 But with our new grocery store method, picking out 4 vegetables help to ensure I can enjoy them all week. We add at least one, sometimes two to a meal and most are interchangeable with recipes. We mix it up each week for a variety; some can stand alone and are used for grilling, while others are added to a pasta dish or salad.
Like vegetables, fruits go with everything this time of year, and I’m usually tempted to buy all of them! We limit ourselves to 3 fruits on these shopping trips so they stay fresh and we eat them up. This usually includes a berry to go with salads or breakfast, a snacking fruit such as watermelon, and a fruit for our smoothies like bananas.
Protein can be the most expensive to buy, and can go bad quickly. But I think it can be easy to plan a meal around and buy getting around 3 options, you’ll be able to use them right up! We always have eggs, and then choose between chicken, red meat, and fish to stock up on. Chicken sausages at Public come in many flavors, and can easily spice up pasta or a salad. Another trick is to buy a precooked meat (such as rotisserie chicken), and add it into your meals for the first few days.
Milk is a staple in our house: regular for Phil and cashew milk for myself. But we select a few cheeses and plain yogurt to have on hand throughout the week. Who doesn’t love a meal with cheese?! And the yogurt can be used for sauces. (Most recipes will call for a base such as yogurt.)
If you need a sauce for a meal, or something other than cheese for a topping, trying to come up a recipe in the grocery store can be overwhelming. Buy some store made pesto, or a sun dried tomato puree for fresh veggies and quinoa or pasta dishes. Pick up gochujang and soy sauce for an Asian dishes you might make, and don’t forget a salad dressing if you plan on making salads that week.
Grocery store shopping can be stressful if you’re busy, but having an idea how to maneuver it without a set meal plan makes things easier. Hopefully, you can take our ideas and use them this summer! Do you have any grocery store tips? (Note pictures are not my own, but from Social Squares and Unsplash applications)