The Mindful Shopping List

Think you don’t need a shopping list? Think again it can save you time, money and waste.

I don’t know about you but I have always used a shopping list. Although to be honest I have on occasion left it on the kitchen table, which is really annoying. Trying to shop from memory is never a good idea. I always miss at least one thing, often it is something I really need like toilet paper or washing up detergent. I learnt years ago that it is far more efficient to have a shopping list. A list generally saved me a great deal of very valuable time and a lot of bother too. Shopping with 3 small children was no fun so I wanted to be in and out of there in 30 minutes or less.

You may already use a shopping list many of us do. I know I generally have a note pad on the fridge and jot down what I am low on or need to replace as I go. This saves time in having to check the cupboards and the fridge to see what you need. It also saves the aggravation of going to the cupboard to find you don’t have the ingredient needed to finish the meal.

My mother always shopped using a list and when we were old enough one of my sister’s and I would sometimes do the shopping, as Mum worked full time. So when I left home, as my mother before, I used a shopping list.

Over the years this list was modified due to changes in my life. I was a single Mum working full time and studying 2 nights a week.  Needless to say I didn’t have much time or money, so I started planning my meals for the week. It was the best investment of my time and one I continue to this day, even while travelling. It is still a great use of my time.

3 Reasons to Make a List and Stick to it

We are all so busy now days, with work and family commitments, then trying to squeeze some personal time in there somewhere. Sitting down and making a list or spending the time to go over the list that was made through the week is time well spent. Ultimately it utilizes your time and money. You may even find unexpected bonuses too with less garbage and cupboards that are less cluttered. Below are three of the best reasons to start a list now.

  1. It will save you money. This is pretty obvious as you will only buy exactly what you need. You won’t double up on something – I’ll buy it cause I think I might be low. Then you get home and find out you have 6!
  2. A list will ultimately save you time. Getting the shopping done as quickly as possible is generally desirable. No one really likes grocery shopping or aimlessly going up and down each aisle in case we forgot something. There are much more enjoyable ways to spend our time.  Using a list we will go only in the aisles we need to. It is even more time saving if you shop online, there is also the added bonus that you won’t succumb to so called “specials or treats”.
  3. Save wasting food. By working out exactly what you need for the week will limit the wilted veggies in the bottom of the crisper syndrome. How many times have we all kicked ourselves because we forgot the about the spinach or the broccoli? Now it’s all soft and mushy and I really don’t have the time to clean out the crisper!

3 Advantages of Meal Plans

Although meal plans may take a bit of time and effort initially you will become quicker and can reuse meal plans at some stage. It doesn’t really matter how you do them either hand written or digital. Just getting it down will save a lot of time trying to figure out what to have each evening. Meal plans allow you to approach each meal without worry, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the process of making the meal and to fully engage with meal preparation. There are many reasons why meal planning is a great idea, here are three.

  1. It will save money. Again you will only be buying what you need for the meals that are planned. If following a special diet it will also prevent purchasing any naughty food. There are also great savings to be made by buying what is in season. Buying in season provides fresher and more nutrient dense food that has generally travelled less too.
  2. It will save you time. By meal planning you will have purchased what you need for each meal of the week when grocery shopping. This will save having to duck down to the shop for this or that. It will also save you the worry of trying to figure out what you are having each afternoon and rummaging through the cupboard or fridge to see what you have. There are much better things to ponder than what you are cooking tonight.
  3. Save on waste. There will seldom be any waste when using a meal plan as only what is needed will be purchased and then used. This is kind not only to your wallet but to the planet too. No wasted food in the fridge or cupboard that will need to be thrown out and less landfill. This has to be a good thing all round.

I would recommend starting a meal plan before your next weeks grocery shop. I will be posting hints and tips on how to make it easier next week so stay tuned.

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Creative wanderer