IP in Real Life: Going to the Grocery Store

I have a love hate relationship with the grocery store. I love it because I need food, but I hate it because I literally hate going. I’m not a good shopper. Just because I hate it doesn’t mean I don’t go to the store every week.

This isn’t a post about how you should love going to the store. This is a get in, get out survival guide. I am always subconsciously timing myself to see if I can get everything I need, check out, and get to my car faster than the week before.

Here are a few tips that I use to get in and get out fast!

1. Know your store. 

Most people go to the same grocery store every week. I do. I’m very familiar with the layout of the store and what is on each aisle. More importantly, I know which aisles to stay away from. I know that I have no reason to glide through the candy aisle or the chips and crackers aisle.

2. Stick to the perimeter of the store. 

I’ve heard this tip for years. The healthiest food is on the outer perimeter of the store, not the aisles. Crazy right? Try to notice this the next time you go to the store.

3. Get a small buggy / cart 

The bigger the cart, the more you subconsciously fill it up. If you stick with a small buggy or a basket even, then you’ll walk out with what you need instead of what you think you need.

Those are my big strategies for going to the store, but what do I buy?

I’ve gotten to where I don’t even make a list anymore! If I need something out of the ordinary, then I’ll jot it down, but for the most part I know what I need. That’s the benefit of consistently sticking with a lifestyle change.

Here’s what goes in my buggy (for me to eat) every week. Remember, I only shop for 2 people.

  • 3-4 heads of broccoli
  • 4-5 zucchinis – I’m panicking for the fall when zucchinis won’t be so cheap or available!
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 or 2 Sweet Peppers of each color depending on the sale
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 head of cauliflower if it’s on sale. If they aren’t on sale, I’ll buy frozen cauliflower.
  • 1 bag of brussel sprouts – this one is only occasional because they aren’t in season right now. If the sprouts look nice and green, I’ll buy some though.
  • 1 Egg Plant – I’m experimenting with egg plant
  • 1 Bag / box of Lettuce
  • 1 head of Cabbage – I LOVE roasted cabbage
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2-3 packs of organic chicken breasts
  • Eggs
  • Walden Farms product(s) if I need a refill – at most stores the Walden Farms products are located in the medicine section. Weird, but I get it.
  • The rest of the items in the buggy are toiletry items or food for Luke. Let me brag on Luke for a second. He isn’t as strict as me on his eating, but he’s made some significant changes too!

As you can tell, I spend most of the time in the produce section. That’s a good rule of thumb to use when you’re trying to eat healthy. Think about where you spend the most time when you’re at the store. Before this, I spent most of my time on the pasta aisle. Now, I don’t remember the last time I walked in that direction.

Do you have any tips for grocery shopping? Would love to hear! – JJ

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