We have all stood there with an empty shopping cart staring down an endless line of fresh produce. One thought pops into our head: “If I buy this fresh, I know I will have to prepare it or cut it up this week so it doesn’t go bad.” There is always that extra pressure when you are grocery shopping and need to think about your week ahead of time, and shop accordingly. Do you have a busy week with very little free time? You might be better off buying frozen veggies instead of fresh, they will stay edible longer and the pressure is off of you. Or is your week the opposite, where you will be home cooking each night? Fresh produce may not be a bad route to go if that is the case. To avoid wasting food and money, preparation is key. I will give you a few tips and tricks below!
While you are at the grocery store, think about your week or days ahead and then shop accordingly. Buying foods for unrealistic circumstances only leads to waste, which does no one any good. Once you have your plan in mind, start thinking about your meals for the week and make a list. If you will be out of town half the week, plan for that too in your budget and shopping sizes.
Make A List
Shopping lists help you stay the course and they are most definitely the best way to stay organized amongst a sea of choices. They also help you stick to a budget if you actively have one each week. So what does this have to do with frozen vegetables? The more veggies you buy frozen, the less you will have to budget for later on. They stay fresh much longer.
Life can get so busy, and this tip may come easier for some than others but hear me out on this one. Take a few hours on your weekend (Sunday perhaps) and cook, chop, and prep the annoyances to get them ready for the week. What are the annoyances? They are the onions, cooking chicken, chopping vegetables if you buy them fresh, and cutting up fruit like strawberries. Those simple tasks can feel absolutely daunting when you just want to eat, and don’t have time to chop, slice, and cut food. It also helps you in the Crock Pot department. It is so satisfying to throw in already chopped up onions into a crock-pot ready to cook.
If you want to save time all together, simply buy frozen and throw the veggies in a pan to cook when you are ready. There is no pressure to eat them if you have a busy week ahead, and you will always have a nutritious option waiting for you in the freezer. There is nothing worse than making a “hungry” decision by reaching for the simplest calorie available to you (chips) and feeling bad afterward. Get prepared with the little things, and they will turn into big wins later on! Ready, set, grocery shop!