One of my biggest challenges earlier on in my vegan ism – and even today – is stocking my kitchen effectively. It’s hard and disappointing when you buy something with the best intentions and it goes bad. The following is a guide to help you with this journey.
I’ll start with pre-grocery store steps – they are important and will set you up for success.
Step 1. Prep
Go to your favorite recipe resource (I personally love Pinterest because I can pin a bunch of different recipes from all over the Internet to one specific board/location. It also helps me get a good visual.)
I typically plan approx 5 days of dinners + a couple of lunches. My boyfriend and I, usually if we both have the weekend off, go out to dinner usually about 1-2x a week. I plan for 5 so that way I don’t feel guilty going out and no food suffers. I usually have extra stuff kicking around – so if by chance we don’t go out – I always have “something”.
I then record the ingredients I am missing and will typically put them in my iPhone under the specific grocery store I am going to (I shop at 2).
I also use reminders for coupons because I have a tendency to forget about them.
If you’ve got a lot to buy, another good way to organize is by meal/dish. You could also just write it down and bring the physical piece of paper with you – if that’s what you do.
Step 2. Eat a large meal/snack.
You do not want to grocery shop on an empty stomach. You’ll come home with a bunch of food that is irrelevant. Your bill in turn will be higher.
Step 3. Prepare bags
Yeah – I bring my own bags! My favorite grocery store asks you do – including the produce bags, Etc. I try to make it a bit more organized so that when I arrive I don’t pull out 20 Produce bags at once.
I also re-use ziplocs for dry goods (nuts, seeds, etc.) they’re great because you can write the plu right on the bag and no twist ties!
The other grocery store I attend uses boxes so I usually will just bring my giant blue bag to carry the box in. I typically take the bus home from this grocery store – so ability to carry is important.
Step 4. Plan your shop
When I’m going grocery shopping, it’s a damn event. I first go to the all-produce grocery store – their prices are lower (because they are mostly non-organic) and they are easier to get to by bus.
I am familiar with their layout and plan where I need to go to be most effective with my time (in my mind). I still have another shop to go to so I don’t have any time to waste.
Step 5. Go shopping!
Best part of the damn list right cheyaaa! Get jazzed up on the way and walk in with a damn smile because you are that excited!
Step 6. Getting home, washing up + putting away.