ari_whole30

How often do you grocery shop?

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How often do you grocery shop so that you have enough food but not so much that stuff starts to go bad? My official start date isn't until Oct 1st but using this week as a practice week.  I don't think I've ever bought so much perishable food at once.  Bummed that the mung bean sprouts I bought just a few days ago are already slimey and bad. The riced cauliflower is already showing signs of spoilage as well.  I'm thinking I may have to grocery shop 2xs a week instead of my usual 1x a week.  Anyone have any tips? Maybe a cheat sheet of foods that should be eaten as soon as possible? Or storage tips -how do you keep your food as fresh as possible? 

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I only go once a week. But I guess that's kinda misleading because I get vegetables other times during the week (from my family farm). But almost all of the meat I buy is frozen, or I buy it fresh and freeze what I won't be using in the next 2 days. As for veggies, I do try to use up the more perishable ones first. Mung beans sprouts seem to go bad the instant I bring them in my house. Sigh. Any processed vegetable you get (like the riced cauliflower) will go bad faster than just getting the whole vegetable. If you really want to stick to only shopping once a week but are having issues with vegetables, save things like carrots, turnips, beets, winter squash, peppers, cabbage, and celery for later in the week. Leafy greens, green beans, asparagus, and any processed or damaged vegetable should be used sooner. 

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You really  have to shop with meals already in mind - a plan on how to use them. (This diet takes a lot of organization). Some veggies naturally go bad before others, so eat or cook those sooner in the week rather than later. If you can't get to it, try freezing it! 

Also so very important to pay attention to the sell by dates on the proteins you buy. Same thing, just freeze it and thaw it later if you can't get to it in time. 

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I do one large shop on Friday to three to four stores depending on sales (which I go over and start meal planning on Tuesday/Wednesday) and I do meal prep/weekly cook-up on Friday night and Saturday morning. If I need fresh produce we have a conventional grocery store that has a good organic section very close to our home, so my husband will stop there after work as needed.

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Since I work a traditional workweek, I do one trip on Sunday and meal prep that day. Ideally I could cover Monday - Wednesday. I also drop in once during the week if I have an idea or needed something extra, but it is easy for me to do that. Even so, I did still have to adjust during the whole30 to make sure my food wasn’t going bad. 

madness gave great advice and following that helped me on my whole30.

Also, I tried to incorporate canned tuna, chicken sausage or scrambled/hard boiled eggs as my protein in meals near the end of the week.  Canned tuna will last and chicken sausage can freeze and easily defrost in small portions pretty quickly. Eggs should definitely last through the week (I stopped eating them for breakfast and ended up enjoying them more for lunch and dinner... think it is a texture thing). That way you can save your chicken, ground beef, etc for early in the week. 

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I recently discovered frozen riced cauliflower, in addition to frozen veggie blends like onion/pepper (for Mexican-inspired dishes), broccoli/onion/celery/snap pea (for Asian-inspired dishes) and all sorts of other combinations. They are relatively cheap ($1-2 for a 4-serving bag which is 2 servings for me), contain ONLY vegetables and are a great time saver. I still enjoy the process of washing and cutting my own vegetables, but sometimes the frozen ones save the day.

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I'm leery of grocery store sprouts; it seems like there are ongoing issues with contamination. Years ago I used to grow my own sprouts... that might be something to consider if you really like sprouts! It's pretty easy. Amazon has sprouting kits... of course! They have everything. :-)

Stephanie

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As Hazel said above, it really helps to already have a menu in mind when you shop. I've been going once a week on Friday night or Saturday, and prepping a lot of food over the weekend for the work week. I tend to cook a huge pot of a veggie (broccoli or green beans) on the weekend, then have that as part of my dinner the rest of the week (I know some people would get bored - doesn't bother me). If nothing else, I always have to get eggs, lol.

With salad stuff, I plan to eat those salads the first three days after shopping. A few things last longer (whole cherry tomatoes, chopped up green peppers, lettuce if torn up and correctly stored, spinach if it's dry).

For protein, use the freezer. I repack my meat in single or double portion freezer bags, rather than freezing the whole lump. It thaws faster, and if you need more than one bag on a given night, you just take out more.

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