Decide before you buy

I preach and tout the virtues of grocery lists. Not only does it seal in your weekly meal plan so you’re prepared every day, it keeps your pantry neat and budget in check because you only buy what’s on the list. What’s on the list is what’s needed for the meals. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Meal planning can be overwhelming. I hear, “How do I know on Sunday what I want to eat on Thursday?” The phrase laissez-faire is French and literally means “let do,” but it broadly implies “leave it alone.”

Yet, spontaneously choosing your supper daily (read here, NO LIST – NO FOOD) might find you riddled with excessive hunger, indecisiveness, and therefore prone to poor dietary choices. Spending half an hour during some weekly free time ensures you have all the right ingredients on hand for meals that satisfy and support your body’s needs, heart and soul – not just your eyes and growling belly.

When you wake up, check out your menu for that day. Your brain can then begin to ready itself for the scrumptious choice ahead. And, the fridge and pantry are ready to go from your smart preparation.

And, grocery lists are supported by research findings: Of the 94% of shoppers heading into Kroger (or Shaw’s or Whole Foods or wherever), 72% rarely or only occasionally buy not-on-the-list items. Hint: Saves money, saves pantry space, reduces impulse buying.

If you are the responsible one in the household, get input from kids and spouses and partners and roommates. Kids’ input is about 40% of the list (make sure they are coming from a healthy mindset!) while a spouse will contribute more readily if the kids aren’t around. Maybe a menu chat over coffee is in order while the kids do their Saturday chores!




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