Grocery shopping and all the other related tasks associated with fixing meals for a family takes up so much of our time. Let’s see if we can find some ways that it can take not only less time, but more importantly, less mental effort and energy drain.
Yesterday: Paperless Planning
Grocery Shopping Tip: Use reusable grocery bags.
I like my reusable grocery bags. I also dislike plastic bags. So I do make a concerted effort to remember them when I go grocery shopping. The best way to remember them is to store them in your car, but that doesn’t work well for me because I use my bags to carry all sorts of stuff. Anytime I have to take stuff anywhere (which is all the time!) I reach for one of my IKEA or Hobby Lobby plasticky shopping totes. So I keep them hanging near my launch pad area, in what is known as the “bag of bags.” A child or I grabs it on the way out, and then when we get to the store, I hook it onto my cart with a large carabiner.
Of course these bags are primarily marketed toward the “green living” people, but here are the reasons I like to use them:
- They hold more weight per bag.
- They don’t tear and break.
- They are more stable and stuff doesn’t fall out.
- They utilize more vertical space, so I can fit more groceries in my small trunk than I can with plastic.
- They are prettier and more pleasant to use.
The trick to reusable bags is all in the remembering. And there is no real shortcut to that. Here are the keys:
- Keep them in a quick-and-easy-to-grab spot.
- Work at it for awhile to make it a habit.
- Tune yourself into your reasons as you grab them, while you’re using them, and as you’re putting them away. Anytime you see them, remind yourself of why you like them (if you do). You’ll get your unconscious and your emotions working in your favor if you focus them on it.
And, if you don’t like them and don’t care, then don’t bother. It’s not a big deal.
Honestly, the main reason I do is that I like carrying more things per bag and I really, really love pretty bags and this is a great excuse to buy and use pretty bags.
Using pretty, sturdy bags communicates to myself that this role is my thing, and I’m loving it.
Tomorrow: When to Grocery Shop
Mystie Winckler began menu planning at 11 years old when her mom delegated one dinner a week to her. Marrying at 19, she’s had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling her family, meal planning often requires brain power that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is her solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too!