Food for (Minimalist) Thought
Minimizing waste while getting the most value out of every grocery shopping excursion.
Grocery shopping. The very thought of these two words still sends my eyes rolling towards the back of my head. As much of a fan as I have become of online shopping, the reality is that in-person grocery shopping is still a necessary task for survival.
As a youth I really did not enjoy shopping. When my Mom would pick my Grandmother up, my brother and I used to cringe because we knew we would be out for a long time at the stores. I did not understand until I was older that part of her excessive shopping was part of her way of giving. One of my cousins would usually leave her place with several bags of groceries at a time. As often as she gave stuff away, she admitted to having a hoarding problem. At her passing, she had a fridge and stand-up freezer crammed full of food. She could not resist a good sale on food items. Many of the items purchased while grocery shopping were not part of her diet.
I’ve learned to grocery shop with a purpose. That purpose has become much more focused in the last few years. My spouse and I usually go grocery shopping with a written list quite consistently. We shop consciously for the things we know we will consume and need. If a particular item that we regularly purchase is on sale, it’s a bonus in the shopping trip.
When summer rolls around, we will go out of our way sometimes to purchase fresh produce direct from farmers through local markets. However, some of the market produce is going to be more pricey compared to products in super markets. I have concluded after years of attending farmers markets almost every weekend that the produce from these markets is of greater value. Even if you have to pay more, it is worth it. It’s also nice to support local producers in the process. Personally, I find shopping at markets to be a much more enjoyable experience. Most market shoppers tend to be more focused on getting specific things. They get what they need and try to keep the lines moving.
Some people might need to do one big grocery order a week. Or it could be once per month. There might be many factors as to why this is the case. When possible, we try to get a few things every few days as needed. I can break shopping down into two different categories. Shopping for things you want is fun. It should be with purpose and intent. To get something that you know you can use and will obtain value from. Shopping for things you need is about the necessity for survival. You need to have clothing to wear. You need to have food in your home and things to keep your home clean. It may not be close to fun compared to getting something you really want. Personally, I try to make grocery shopping a happier experience just knowing that very little will go to waste.
All because of smart and considered shopping.