Oh, the shopping list. Aside from washing dishes and folding laundry, the shopping list is the most cumbersome task I undertake each week. Why, might you ask? It all starts with a boy named Chris.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over 20 months and we are the old fart couple. We go on long walks, we massage each other’s sore knees, and we dote over the squirrels in our back yard. Yup. We signed a lease together this past June and having a charming apartment with heat included, wonderful natural light, and a sketchy, vast basement we never step foot into. It works for us and we are really good at making decisions together. Except when it comes to the shopping list, and that is when he runs and hides in his room.
“What would you like for dinner?” I ask, as I gaze longingly at the refrigerator.
He shrugs his shoulders and says, in a lackadaisical fashion, “I don’t know,” and returns to his video games.
This is where I inhale deeply, zip my lips, and refrain from going all wife-in-training on his bootay. I mean we have this same conversation every week and I give him the same evil glare every time. Figuring out what you want to eat for just yourself, let alone another, is a hard thing to do. You have to take things into account: what’s in season, what’s on sale, what days are easier for you to cook, and vice versa the days where you are so wiped from a heavy class or work load you can barely muster hitting the “add 30 sec” button on your microwave. Not to mention not wanting to get stuck in a culinary rut. But as annoying as it is to sit down and take the time to write out a shopping list, it really is a crucial element to staying on your healthy living toes.
I first write down the days and then consider what we’ll want to eat for dinner. Once a week I like to try a new dessert. This can range from some homemade ice cream, to balsamic glazed peaches, or Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Peanut Butter Cups. I also try to cook at least one dinner that is a little more complex and risky-fun. I get recipe ideas from a variety of sources: cook books, internet sites (goodness, what did our parents do before the all-mighty Google?!), and blogs. With all those sources you definitely won’t run out of ideas. Again, I take into account the two days that I get home at 10pm from work. Those are generally salmon nights—pop those foiled suckers in the oven while I vent for 15 minutes about customers—or veggie filled quesadillas. The meals are just as delicious but I don’t have to think as much or use as many dishes. It’s also nice to plan (aka budget) a night to eat out every other week. Once you start cooking a meal every night you’ll be grateful that someone else is cleaning up for you.
Then we consider our mini-meals, aka: snacks. Fruits are at the top of the list and we generally get what is in season because it tastes better and isn’t as astronomically priced. Lately we’ve been noshing on pomegranates and pink lady apples. Then comes the usual the milk, eggs, frozen berries for smoothies, etc. Making a list ensures that we waste less because we’ve bought food for specific purposes. Creating a strong list also means you are less likely to exceed the budget by buying chips, cookies, and crackers. Heck, I feel bad enough if I buy an avocado and it isn’t penned in. My favorite part of making the list is getting to cross everything off and see our fridge become full again. Plus we always have such a fun time once we actually get to the store. How odd it is that we fall in love all over again in the produce aisle.
Now Peel away! ❤
Tidbit of Info: Together we spend around $400 a month on food. It may seem like a lot if you’re used to eating pizza and wings on a regular basis, but take into account that we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with snacks throughout the day. Unfortunately I cannot afford to buy everything organic, but conventional fruits and veggies are wayyyy better than sweets and junk food. Sooner or later you will pay for any negative health choices; invest now!