Minimise Time at the Grocery Store With These Handy Tips

These simple tricks will help you get the most out of your shopping journeys, saving you time and effort.

20 Apr, 2020

Nutrition

Tips & Tricks

Wellness

Meal prepping is a practical skill helping many household cooks feed hungry mouths on a budget and serve up healthy meals on tables in record time. But, as we start to get used to our lives in isolation, meal prepping has a fourth benefit – potentially its most powerful – to reduce time grocery shopping!

The following tips aren’t new, but they’ll help you get the most out of your trip to the shops and back to the comfort of your own home faster.

a couple and their young child grabbing groceries from a freezer at a supermarket

Write a detailed shopping list

The first step is the most obvious, but also the most underrated. Work out what you want to prepare and write a definitive list of what you need. Winging it when shopping leads to impulse buying and your trip will take twice as long as it needs to. Check your pantry and fridge before writing your list to make sure you don’t buy something you already have, which could perish and go to waste.

Start simple

For some, the idea of meal prepping may seem daunting. If this is you, then start simple and work your way up to more intricate meals as your confidence and skills build. Choosing to cook meals with ingredients that can easily be doubled or tripled so you can freeze portions or eat them the next day. Dishes like pastas and stir fries are great choices (if you can find all the ingredients at your supermarket!), and soups or meals prepared in a slow or pressure cooker will give you high yield for minimal effort!

With enough practice, you’ll have the slow cooker, oven and stove singing in perfect harmony.

Buy non-perishable food

Stocking up on non-perishables is a great way to keep nutritious alternatives on hand when you’re short of time. We’re not talking about panic buying, just filling your pantry with healthful options like nuts, grains, spices, dried fruit, vegetables, as well as frozen and canned foods. These items can spice up an otherwise bland meal and will help you get creative in the kitchen.  Some of our favourite spices include garlic powder, turmeric, chilli powder/flakes, Italian seasoning, cayenne and paprika.

Although perishable, don’t forget to utilise your freezer to store meats for later. Roasts, steaks and chops can last up to a year in your freezer, ground beef 4 months, while frozen chicken can last 9 months.

point of view photo of a shopping cart looking down an aisle

Organise your kitchen, pantry and fridge.

If you’re currently isolating at home with a partner and kids, the kitchen is probably the most visited space in your house. So now is the perfect time to organise your kitchen, pantry and fridge. If everything is clean and organised you won’t begrudge the next time you need to prepare a snack for the troops, and perhaps you’ll even free up some head space to make some culinary magic happen! Plus, knowing where everything is (and isn’t) will come in very handy when planning your shop, as well as making your kitchen space a nicer place to spend time in.

Schedule time in to prep and cook.

Schedule your preparation and cooking time. This could mean you spend two hours every Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, or you could even break up tasks throughout your day depending on when you have clear space. Whatever you decide, if you’re consistent about when you meal prep, you’ll have some seriously positive behavioural change when isolation is over.

Don’t shop while you’re hungry.

Studies have shown that shopping while hungry will result in purchasing unnecessary and higher calorie products, without even realising!

A muslim couple buying groceries at a market

Stock up on containers for your meals.

All this hard work will be wasted if you don’t have the necessary storage space and containers to keep your meals fresh and easily accessible. So, while you’re stocking up on all your non-perishables, it can’t hurt to throw some new containers in the trolley as well.

Switch up your meals to keep it interesting.

Even the world’s most delicious meals can get boring over time (we’re looking at you spag bol). So get creative and keep things interesting for you and your family. This is where myDNA can help – our DNA-powered meal plans are stacked with healthy recipes you can prepare in bulk, plus you know the macronutrients and portion sizes will be customised to exactly what your body needs.

We hope this makes it easier for you to shop, prepare and enjoy food with the ones you’re isolated with. It’s not glamourous, but getting organised in the kitchen can make a big difference to your nutrition, wellbeing and happiness.

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Looking for more meal and shopping inspiration? Check out the thousands of recipes perfectly tailored to your individual DNA with the myDNA Nutrition & Fitness Test.

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