So you're having to grocery shop for yourself... what now?

Why is food so expensive?

Grocery shopping can be hard. In fact, it's one of my least favorite things to do and I dread a trip to the grocery store. Parents/Guardians/Older Sibling/Movies/Television.... they all make it look so easy. You walk in with a list and you walk out with everything you could ever need and nothing goes bad and cooking is easy and... Well now I'm rambling but you get the idea. Grocery shopping can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. Even though I hate it and miss the days of having a meal plan and someone to cook for me, I've finally figured out a way to make it less ~scary~.

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First thing's first, you need to actually like your grocery store. If you hate it, there's nothing you can do to make the grocery shopping experience better if you hate everything about the store you shop in. That's part of the reason that every time I'm in Florida, I make sure to hit up Publix (and not just because I got $5 off my first delivery order of $35 with them). They also have AMAZING sandwiches. Trust me on this. Anyways, back to how you can make grocery shopping better. Below are just 6 tips I make sure to refer to when I find myself making my weekly grocery store trip.

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1. Make a list

If you make a list, it's a lot harder to deviate from it. By making a list you're also able to budget better and see what you do and don't actually need. I mean... do you really need six pints of ice cream? No. Do you want it? Probably, but grocery shopping is about shopping smart and a list holds you accountable.

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2. Center the list around actual meals

Another way to hold yourself accountable and not go overboard with snacks is to center your list around meals. If you plan out what you're going to have for the week you can cut down both your shopping time AND time figuring out what you're going to do for dinner/lunch/breakfast/etc. It also makes it easier for you to decide which days you can and can't eat out.

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3. Buy stuff you know you're going to use

One of my biggest issues is food waste. I buy vegetables and lettuce with the high hopes of using them but they almost always go bad because it's just easier to pick something up on the way home. Get things you'll actually use (or at least things that'll keep for longer than a couple days).

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4. Don't go shopping while hungry

This absolutely sets you up for failure. Every time I've gone shopping when hungry (actually hangry), I've ended up with a basket full of stuff I end up not even liking just because it looked good in the moment. Or you just end up with a basket of ice cream and while delicious it's definitely not a dinner for EVERY day.

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5. Hit up your parents/guardians/family for their lists

They've been grocery shopping by themselves for AGES. While you may not want to listen to them for other things... they at least know what you do and don't like so can give some guidance.

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6. Take advantage of coupons or deals

Plenty of stores have loyalty programs that allow you to get deals EVERY SINGLE DAY. Some are better than others but it's certainly worth looking into. As for my Florida friends, Publix offers $5 your first order of $35 or more when you get it delivered. I mean, who DOESN'T want their groceries delivered to their door.

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