Keys to a Good Shopping List

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]I[/mk_dropcaps]n honor of the official launch of Mastering Healthy Living classes this month, the posts for this month of the blog are going to be centered around what it takes to get your nutrition and fitness in order.  To start off here are 5 keys to a good shopping list.  A shopping list isn't sexy, it usually isn't very pretty unless you're one of those creative types (definitely not me), but it does have more value than many of us give it credit for.  A good shopping list will save you time,money, and help you boost the quality of foods you consume on a consistent basis.  What makes a good shopping list great is when you make them a routine part of your weekly rhythm.  This really is a little thing that goes a long way. Now for the Keys:

  1. Take stock of what you already have in your fridge and pantry.  Knowing what you have can help you spark ideas of what you want to cook that week. Plus...this is also a good time to clean out anything that has expired.
  2. Make your shopping list while hungry.  A hungry mind is much more creative on meal ideas than a full one.  Note, don't shop while hungry though, that is a recipe for overbuying as your will power is lower.
  3. Include ingredients you can use for multiple meals.  Overlap with ingredients like proteins, veggies, or sauces makes your shopping trip more efficient.  Don't get too rigid here, variety can make cooking more fun, but if you have a stressful week simple sometimes is better.
  4. Organize your list by category.  ie- produce, meat, diary etc.. all together.  This will make your shopping time shorter as you wont  be pacing back and forth in the store as much.  Most stores organize their fresh produce items together.  If you know your store really well and you really love to organize... sort your list based off area of the store. (I'll give you a gold star if you master this one).
  5. Take into account your scheduled events for the week.  This is one key I personally love as it helps to limit overbuying (which limits wasted food and wasted money).  Plus, when you know you have a night or two off in the week from cooking it can help you from burning out in the never ending process.  I'm all for having the majority of your meals home cooked, but the occasional meals out for events with friends, for work, church etc.. are a good recharge to keep you in the game.  Plus great restaurants can give you great inspiration for what you want to cook at home.

Comment below on which keys you're going to start using in your shopping list process.  If you think this would be helpful for a friend, make sure to share it with them as well! Happy shopping!