My friends and I often complain about how we don’t know how to adult. Taxes, work, finding a place to live, even grocery shopping can be daunting tasks you have to face after high school or college. But if there’s anything “Adult-like” I do understand, it’s grocery shopping! Here’s a few tips to make sure you grocery shop like an adult.
1 Make a List
Grocery shopping seems like a simple enough task that you can go in blind. But when you’re a “virgin grocery shopper”, (so to speak) you really need some guidelines to limit you. Without a grocery list, you might overspend on junk food, forget to buy what you really need or, often times, both! Just like athletes don’t go into a game without having studied their game plan, you can’t begin your grocery shopping career without any guidelines. Trust me, you’ll be a much more productive grocery shopper when you have a list to help you!
2 Bring a Calculator
Being a poor college student or recent grad is a totally valid excuse for being the weird girl calculating in the grocery store aisles! There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting to the front of a grocery line and realizing you really can’t afford everything you just threw in your cart. That’s why a calculator is your pride’s (and your bank account’s!) best friend.
3 Learn from an Expert
If you have an older sibling or parent who’s a tried-and-true grocery shopper, you should ask to shadow them. I learned grocery shopping from my mom when I was younger, so when she started making me do so on my own in high school, the transition wasn’t as huge. If you haven’t had the same chance to follow your mom around the grocery store, just know that it’s never too late! Plus, I’m sure she’d love the extra help.
4 Beware of Brands
The brand name foods you’re more familiar with are probably also more expensive. Don’t be tempted by them! If you’re on a strict budget, you shouldn’t hesitate to buy store-brand foods; they taste just the same and, when they add up, save a lot of money!
5 Prioritize Your Health
That being said, saving money isn’t everything. A giant bag of chips might be cheaper then a small bag of grapes, but nourishing your body should be your biggest priority. When it comes to groceries, the general rule is quality over quantity. Allow a bit of wiggle room in your budget for healthy snacks.
6 Shop around
Your area probably has several grocery stores for you to choose from. Some will emphasize low prices, some sell in bulk, some have lots of local and organic options. Shop around for the best fit for your needs! Eventually, you’ll learn the layout of that grocery store, get to know some of the staff, and have a great and efficient shopping experience every time you go!
7 Buy Ingredients
It’s time to peel back the curtain and start cooking for yourself. Not every meal comes pre-made on a plate or in a package. You should try to start preparing your own food, which means shopping for more raw ingredients and less processed food. It may seem difficult at first, but in the end it will be a very rewarding experience! Plus, it’s a great excuse to go crazy on Pinterest or All Women Stalk’s food section looking for tasty recipes.
Becoming an adult is scary, but grocery shopping doesn’t have to be! Grocery shopping is one of the first lessons of being a grown up, and the sooner you learn to do it well, the better! Do you still have any questions about grocery shopping? Let me know in the comments!