Grocery Shopping for Dummies

Sometimes my life is so exciting I don’t know how I sleep at night. Actually, I don’t sleep at night because of two little people, but other than that, my life really is exciting! Trust me, until you’ve done Extreme Grocery Shopping, you haven’t lived.

One of the frequent conversations we have in my mothers’ groups is about how to get shit stuff done when you have an entourage. I often do the week’s grocery shop with both children in tow, because I’d much rather spend my ‘me-time’ having a pedicure with a friend than lapping the supermarket. See? Extreme shopping.

Back in the day when Brett and I only had ourselves to look after, grocery shopping happened several times a week, and we’d decide what to have on the spur of the moment. Foie gras on crackers? Sure! Beef Wellington? Great way to use up last night’s left over foie gras! Nowdays, things are a little different.

Instead, I am actually vaguely organised, which really doesn’t happen often. I meal plan for the week, then write my shopping list from that. Not exactly innovative, but it’s the simple things that make life easier. My meal plan lives in the fridge on a whiteboard I got from Kmart recently. It also has a list of things I need to remember, as well as extras for shopping.

Please excuse all the extra crap on the fridge. You should see what I cropped out...
Please excuse all the extra crap on the fridge. You should see what I cropped out…

When it comes to meals, I’m after easy, healthy and fast. Clara’s dinners are completely separate from ours, but Alby eats more and more of the same food we do. The problem is that he eats by 6pm, but I may not have our meal ready by then. If that’s the case, he’s happy to have gnocchi, an omelette or noodles with veggies.

I don’t have a super extensive repertoire, so I’ve gotten into the habit of borrowing a couple of recipe books when we go to the library on Fridays, just to add a bit of variety. This week it’s Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, and I’ve done the Green Lasagne and Satay Chicken with Noodles. Noice.

I'm fairly sure I write the same shopping list each week...
I’m fairly sure I write the same shopping list each week…

When it comes to actually writing the list, I have a diary I was given for Christmas, and because my dates and appointments go into the calendar on my phone, it’s perfect for keeping track of groceries. I’ve found that keeping an organised list means I forget fewer things, and am less inclined to impulse shop or just guess what I need. As a result, I’m spending between $100-$130 on groceries each week, and getting it done in less than an hour, even with the little people, one of whom insists on pushing the trolley. Maybe that’s our next adventure…

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