Drama-free Grocery Shopping

Welcome back to Kell’s Kitchen! In the last post, I shared a few tricks that helped me master planning a weekly menu. After the menu comes… (dun, dun, duuuunn!) grocery shopping. Grocery shopping isn’t always dreadful. Sometimes I have a nice leisurely trip to the store at a time when I’m not rushed, the store isn’t crowded, and I can casually peruse the contents of each aisle while comparing nutrition labels and unit pricing for the best value…Haha! who am I kidding?? That happens like once a decade when all the stars align. Usually my trips to the store include varying degrees of crazy from the traffic in the parking lot, to dealing with overzealous, handsy kids (usually my own!), to remembering I forgot the milk when I’m already in line to check out and the subsequent internal debate about whether I should go back for it or tough it out and come back later that week…whew! I’m tired already! Clearly, I haven’t mastered the shopping process yet, but here are a few things I hope will help along the way.

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  • The list

Having a physical list (written or electronic) is imperative for a successful shopping trip. Making only one trip to the store is part of what makes meal prepping for the week so much more efficient! Decide how you will organize your list before you start writing to minimize the chance of leaving something off. I usually either write mine from my menu- going through each recipe and writing the ingredients I need- or by department (produce, meat, frozen, etc.). I also visualize my daily routine- what foods do I want for breakfast? What will we have for snacks? What will the kids need for their lunches?

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When your daughter borrows your phone at the grocery store
  • Plan for drama-free shopping

What makes your shopping trips dreadful? Identify that thing and proactively plan to eliminate the drama. If you’re not be on crowds, try to avoid peak shopping times like right after work or Saturday afternoon. Remember to bring snacks if you have multiple stops to prevent “shopping while hungry”. If you’re shopping with kids, make shopping more fun by giving them a job or making it into a scavenger hunt. Visualize what a great shopping trip would look like for you, and plan to make that happen.

  • Execute the plan

You have your list, you’ve eliminated common shopping annoyances, and now it’s time to get out there! Stick to the perimeter of the store where they stock fresh produce, meats, and dairy. Don’t be lured in by sale signs and flashy displays that lead to buyer’s remorse and throw you off your plan to eat clean. Be confident and mindful as you make your selection. You’ve got this!

Here’s what my latest shopping trip produced:

Mojo pork over cilantro lime rice with plantain patties and roasted asparagus (962 calories)029.jpg

 

I must say, the plantain patties left something to be desired for me. Still looking for a good way to prepare plantains that produces leftovers as yummy as the fresh version…open to suggestions!

Oven “fried” chicken thighs with mashed sweet potatoes and lemon-garlic green beans (419 calories)024

One of my “go to” meals. Simple, quick, and the skin on the chicken is so crispy and delicious! I add paprika and oregano in addition to the spices in the recipe.

Bang bang shrimp with cilantro lime rice and lemon butter sauteed kale

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My husband asked for this two nights in a row. If you knew him, you’d know that this rarely ever happens. This recipe is a keeper!

Quinoa chicken Parmesan bake with roasted asparagus (510 calories)

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Another one of my favorites- mostly because you can put all the ingredients in a lasagna pan, kick back for an hour, and it comes out perfectly every time! If your chicken breasts are thick, I would suggest cutting them in half butterfly style to make sure they cook thoroughly.

Maryland style crab cakes with veggie quiche (618 calories)

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Made these with almond flour and Greek yogurt instead of flour and mayo. First time broiling instead of pan frying crabcakes, and I loved them this way!

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