Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Grocery Shopping Tips

There is now a new bar set for being eco-friendly.  I went to Whole Foods today with my new Chevy Volt without using gasoline, used my reusable grocery bags and produce bags.  Zero waste grocery trip!
Above is some of the produce and one of the shopping bags.  I got the produce bags on Etsy from LoveFromEarth's Shop.  At Whole Foods they weigh the bags using the same tare weight as the green plastic bags that they provide for produce.  The reusable grocery bags came from various auto and motorcycle shows.

Here is a run-down of our standard weekly grocery shopping.
  • I make a list of what we will be eating for the week on either Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday at work.
  • I plan the weekly menu from:
    1. Items leftover in the fridge/pantry that will spoil soon
    2. Ingredients that are in season (for example, asparagus is in season in the spring so we have been eating a lot of that lately  ;)
    3. What we will be doing each night.  So, if I have a meeting after work and won't be home till late, dinner will need to be easy so that the bf can make it.  Not saying he can't make complicated things, just saying he would rather be in the garage.
  • If I get the list finished Friday night or early Saturday morning, we go to the Farmer's Market first to get as much as we can there.
  • Sunday (if the list is ready) we go to Whole Foods.  I bring my reusable produce and grocery bags.  The bf comes with to make everything easier.  Whole Foods is a bit hard to navigate with a cart, so it is nice to have someone to "man the cart" while I run off to get things.  The bulk food isle is the worst for this because you have to leave the cart somewhere out of the way while you fill up bags and there is nowhere in that store where a cart is out of the way.  We also like to go early in the morning, around 8 or 9AM, when there aren't many people in the store.  This makes things a lot easier, although, the free samples are not out that early...
  • **On weekends which we are out of town or simply too busy to grocery shop, I will make a quick menu at work on Monday and then stop at Meijer on the way home to pick up the week's grocery's. Meijer is nice in this respect because it is on the way home and lets me stop to get things that we can't/won't get at Whole Foods or the Farmer's Market.  Some examples of these products would be: paper towel, toilet paper, Jiff Peanut Butter, etc.
  • When I/we return home with the groceries, I clean out the fridge; removing anything that has expired and quickly wiping the shelves.  The produce gets taken out of the produce bags and moved into their green bags where they can hopefully have a longer life in the crisper drawer.
So, that is what we do every week  :)  The structure of things means we aren't getting take out every night or trying to whip something up after we get home from random things in the fridge and pantry.  The best part about the meal planning is that, for the most part, I make things every week that I have never made before.  Experimentation helps keep baking and cooking fun and exciting.

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