Episode 99 Deep Dive Grocery Shopping
I first learned about deep dive shopping from Lisa Woodruff at Organize365. She recommends doing a big shopping trip at the beginning of December to buy enough staples to get you to January. I have found that doing a deep shopping trip 2-3 times a year can really save me time and help with meal planning all year long.
When looking at deep dive shopping trips the first thing you want to consider is your budget. If it is super tight, you may only be able to stock up on a few items. If you have a little flexibility and can stock up in a big shopping trip you will spend much less time and money on your future shopping trips.
Once you clean out your pantry and freezer for fall (Check out Fall Dinner Game Plan.) You can look at your Master Meal Planning Sheet and see the kinds of foods you want to eat in the fall and winter. Think about the ingredients you need for those meals and stock up on the basics. In my house that means stocking up on canned goods like pumpkin, tomatoes, and beans. I get pantry items like chicken broth, pasta, and oats. I also fill my freezer with frozen veggies, fruits, and meats.
You also want to think about non-food items. Stock up on paper products (like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins.) Get all your cleaning supplies like hand soap, laundry soap, dishwasher soap, and bleach. Stock up on personal care items like shampoo, deodorant, and makeup. This will make your future grocery trips smaller and faster. You will only need to buy perishable items like fresh fruit, veggies, and meats.
Once you have a list of all the items you need, plan your shopping trip. It is best to shop on a weekday morning without children. If you can’t do it on a weekday morning, the next best time is Sunday morning. It is hard doing deep dive shopping when the stores are extra busy on Friday afternoons or Saturdays. Start with the store that is farthest away from your house and work your way home. You may need to put a cooler in your car for frozen items.
By doing a deep dive shopping trip, you will help yourself meal plan. With a well-stocked freezer and pantry, it is easier to decide what is for dinner. You make meals around the ingredients you have on hand. It helps with decision fatigue because you have fewer choices. One ingredient can be used many ways. For example, I use frozen mixed veggies in pot pie, tater tot casserole, soup, and fried rice. One simple ingredient has many uses and helps me narrow my decisions.
Be sure to set up a system to note when you are running low on an item. In my house, everyone knows that when they use the last of an item to write it on the calendar. It is super frustrating to expect to have something from the pantry and find out it is gone.
For a transcript of this episode click here.
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.