How To - master the art of grocery shopping

Shopping for your weekly or monthly groceries can be both , exciting  and daunting...It has become easier with the supermarkets stocking up items for visual displays,however, it also means that we end up buying more than planned.
The age old adage of carrying a shopping list always helps but then there are queries from some of my newly married younger friends who ask, what do I put in the list.

A bit of pattern checking on the eating habits of your family will ease out the pain in a couple of months of setting your own kitchen.


1) Build Your list over a couple of days - rather than in minutes. Also keep the list available and visible to all the members so that they can add their recommendations or requirements in the same list. Try to buy major things together and approximately in quantities that will last till the next tentative period of shopping. For e.g. I buy rice, oil, sugar and wheat flour on the same date roughly 5 kg each. This quantity lasts me for 1.5 months (sugar may last much longer) but then when I see flour reaching threshold, I automatically know that rice, oil and sugar would also need a refill.

2) Grouping of Items on the List- Most ideally group it as per the sections of your super market. It is easier to pick them one after the other on the list rather than running around places. If you plan to visit multiple venues, also try to group the list as per the venues and then arrange them in that sequence. It ensures that you have a plan of action which gets executed too

3) Quantities - is something you have to associate with the longevity of the shelf life of each item as well as the possibility of preserving and stocking place availability at home. Usually when there are some super market sales it is better to create some space and then making use to stock things that last atleast 6 months. For larger quantities, of grains etc. check out for the ways to store and preserve them without getting them spoilt. 

4) Budgeting - Ideally your list will always have the things you need to buy, anything else, that you pick, would be the one's that you can ideally do away without having in your basket. Even then if you do pick up a few things , keep them in the smaller section of your trolley, during the billing process, depending on the total amount, you can decide to go ahead with the item if your budget permits. Besides, this, check for offers and discounts on combinations. Sometimes, trading a brand or two of your regular staples can end up saving you a lot of money. However, never compromise of quality or health in bargain. If you are suspicious about the cost of any item being unusually lower than expected, check for the expiry dates before purchasing

5) Stocking -  As much as shopping is important, it is also crucial to pack them purchased items well to ensure that you are not discarding them next month. For masalas and perishable goods, always try to stick the expiry date sticker to the container which holds it. For new food items, that are not among your regular usage, always try to pack them in glass or transparent plastic containers and place them someplace that is easily visible. This will ensure that you use them up before the expiry date.
Always, check the packaging details about how to store the food items. If you have some food items in large quantities, then divided them in smaller packets and pack the larger one in the freezer section. Make a menu that ensures all items are used up regularly.

Enjoy your shopping exercise as much as your cooking and other activities so that you bring home things you wish to feed your loved ones.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#27

14 comments:

Chef Mireille said...

very cool post. I volunteer for an organization here that helps feed the homeless and also teaches health/nutrition classes and one of the things I do is lead shopping tours through supermarket showing people how to buy healthy food on a budget. You gave some great tips here.

Rajani S said...

I loved this list Pradnya. Very practical...I do try to make a list, but it goes missing everytime I am in the supermarket. Magic, I think!

Priya Suresh said...

Very useful post Pradnya, i follow almost the same tips as you shared, loved ur tips and am sure many of us going to bookmark this page for future use.

vaishali sabnani said...

Thats a wonderful post Pradnya..you surely are a master with your planning skills...I talk from the BM meet experience:))

Maayeka said...

Nice and informative post specially for the young girls ..liked the point 2 !

Harini-Jaya Rupanagudi said...

Nice and informative! I remember one of my cousins making a master list of items required for the house. The idea was to make multiple copies of the sheet and check the ones needed for that month! It was really helpful during the first few months of my new life!

Srivalli said...

Good post..I too normally build the list over a week..but the moment I step in a supermarket, so many items not listed also gets bought..:)...I am trying to go low on oil, but we do end up deep frying a lot..so no way out of it!

Foodiliciousnan said...

Madam planner Pls accept my salutations! The are one of the most well planned women I know. ..Vaishali too. Great post. I have a standard grocery list for monthly stuff but still manage to miss out a lot of things

Shweta Agrawal said...

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Nalini's Kitchen said...

Very informative and useful post..

Pavani N said...

Really nice post. Lots of tips and good to know facts.

Preeti Garg said...

Nice and informative post

Suma Gandlur said...

I make a list too but we usually end up buying more than on the list. Still I don't regret it since most of them are healthy stuff and I know are not going to get wasted.

Archana Potdar said...

This is great thanks Pradnya. I seem to be following most of your suggestions. However I build my list over the period like add jeera to the list once I remove the last of the lot and the bottle is off for a wash.
Need to do the grouping part.

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