Sometimes I wonder what happened to the time when life wasn’t an endless to-do list… It seems these days it gets increasingly difficult to slow down, even if you try. I still hold on to the idea of going grocery shopping leisurely on a Saturday morning, looking over market stalls full of beautiful produce and choosing what looks best and freshest. But reality is, that while we can still enjoy that, we probably need to be a wee bit more organized if we want to stay on top of the busy week to come.
The changing grocery shopping habits when you are strapped for time.
I used to prefer to do my grocery shopping at the market and I also liked to do it a few times a week to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Now it has to fit around what else is on and needs doing. We can’t wander the markets for hours anymore, dream of going back to our little country cottage and spend the rest of the day in the kitchen. There are the kids, the office, the odd jobs around the house, and totally ordinary must do household chores. It all takes time and our energy and dare I say brain space.
A systematic approach to grocery shopping
When it comes to grocery shopping the best thing by far for me has been to look at it from a systems kind of perspective. My entire career in office administration was built around simplifying procedures, making it clearer, less work with more outcome. Who doesn’t want less work with more outcome?! So I set out to create a weekly grocery shopping template. It takes into consideration what shops you are shopping in and what product categories you normally buy. By filling out the fields as you need them, you always have a clear overview of what you need to get and which shops to go to.
No more stress
The reason it works for me is that I do my shopping in a variety of shops. I go mainly to the market/fresh food deli/wholefoods shop, then I do some shopping at Coles/Woolworths and I buy a list of staples at Aldi. If I make it to the market on occasion, even better, then I tick some things off then and buy the rest at the shops later. In any case, knowing exactly what I need to buy and where makes me relax. I want to enjoy my grocery shopping, not stress about it.
Download your own grocery shopping list template:
The no planning meal planning
Lastly, the best thing about the template is that I use the same copy throughout the week. No more scrap bits of paper flying around with mid week grocery shopping additions. I tick things off but keep it on my clipboard and add to it again if I remember something else. It helps me stay clear and frees me of the responsibility to stay on top of things. Especially all the little things in life accumulate and can cause overwhelm. Grocery shopping doesn’t need to be one of them.
At the bottom I have added a few lines where I like to note which recipes I am going to make throughout the week. I prefer that over a full on meal planning calendar because it gives me more flexibility around what I make when. It makes it feel a little more like a restaurant menu, rather than a detailed plan for each day. For now that works well and is enough planning for us as a family.
Now I would love to hear from you! How do you currently grocery shop? One big shop for the week or many little ones?