Does this sound familiar? It’s grocery shopping day. You may or may not have had time to sit down and make a menu/grocery list for the week. You’ve got your shopping bags, some of your coupons, and a partial list in your head. Your shopping trip takes a detour when you realize you left your coupons and/or your list in the car. In this frenzy, along with your child asking for 10 different items as you shop, you now forgot half of what you needed. (If you have kids, you may want to read Grocery Shop with Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind). When you get home, you look at your purchases and wonder what you bought and why. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. How about you?
When I am disorganized, I find grocery shopping to be a necessary evil. I just want it over with and I have no motivation to plan ahead. With my lack of excitement, I decided to get organized to help my attitude and my budget, which I blow if I don’t plan ahead. My “usual” planning methods are outdated, so I think it’s time for an upgrade. I enlisted the help of my dietitian colleagues and put a little time into researching. I think I may start looking forward to making my grocery list again. Here’s 7 modern ways to upgrade your grocery list that save time, money, and most importantly, your sanity. Let me know if you try any of the following and how it worked for you.
1. Get Appy!
Apps are ruling the world so jump on board with your grocery list. If you follow my blog you may have read Best Free Apps to Make Grocery Shopping Easier. A few additions to that list would be Shopwell. I love that it suggests better choices and encourages healthier eating. Currently, this is only for iPhone. Out of Milk is an app for android that dietitian, Jamie Stamey, uses to help organize her home and work grocery lists.
2. Use your supermarket’s website.
Ingles’ Corporate Dietitian, Leah McGrath, suggests using your supermarket’s website. On Ingles site, you can make your list online while checking out sales items on the ad and then print it off.
Hannaford Supermarkets lets you shop online or with their smart phone app and create personalized shopping lists that you can print, email, or send to your phone. You can refine your custom list by allergens, private label products, Guiding Star rating, and organic. According to Hannaford Dietitian, Marilyn Mills, the cashier can scan your shopping list and receipt so you can use it to update your shopping list for new products and price checks.
Meijer Mealbox is online menu planner. It has an online database of recipes you can drag and drop into your meal planner and recipe box. You can search by meal type, cuisine, and diet. You can add coupons to your shopping list as well. The Meijer dietitians have featured recipes and a Weekly Nutritious Menu that customers can use. It’s as easy as drag, drop, click, and print.
3. Use your supermarket’s app.
Many supermarkets now have their own apps. Jane Andrews, Wegmans’ Corporate Dietitian, uses Wegmans‘ store app which organizes her shopping list according to her store. It also syncs with Wegmans’ recipes and adds the ingredients to her list. In addition, the app allows her to take a picture of the UPC code of a product she is out of and add it to the list as well. See if your supermarket has an app.
4. Use Pinterest to categorize your favorite recipes.
If only Pinterest had a shopping list app! Wouldn’t it be great to take all those tantalizing recipes and put them on a grocery list? I have Pinterest on my iPhone that I use in-store for my weekly menu board. It has come in handy more than a couple of times. You may also want to read my blog post on How Pinterest Helps Me With Grocery Shopping.
There are some great pin boards to follow for healthy meal ideas like Healthy Aperture. Also, follow supermarket dietitians for great boards, deals, and products. Bashas’ Dietitian has helpful pinboards and Meijer Dietitians have a great Healthy Living board.
5. Use special diet resources.
Shopping for a special diet can be frustrating. Many supermarkets are now more allergen friendly providing resources to their customers. Whole Foods has a wonderful recipe app that breaks recipes down by diet and lets you build a list. Hannaford Supermarkets allows you to build a shopping list by allergen. You can also access gluten-free and allergen online product listings from your supermarket to help make your list. Read up on Gluten Free Resources At Your Supermarket for more information.
6. Take phone pictures of the ingredient lists of your favorite recipes.
If you aren’t a list maker, this can save you lots of time and energy by keeping your favorite recipes on hand.
7. If you are looking for savings, like your supermarket and favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter.
Many times if you participate in twitter chats or Facebook forums, you can win coupons, products or gift cards. Harris Teeter has a weekly “Ask Beth” (their dietitian) Facebook chat where you have the chance to win a $25 gift card. Lowes Foods has their own twitter handle, @LFSSavings, to get the word out about coupons and sales.
*Image via bigstockphoto