Friday, August 4, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Grocery Shopping in the Big City...

Maybe I should do a survey to see how well you know me. Those that know me well, know this one fact about it...I do not like to shop! Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be defined as low or high maintenance. I think both of those statements are straight from the enemy. Sorry, I just do. I like lists, love lists! I am a list maker and my family has always said that I love to make lists of lists. I read an article about people with ADHD that cleared this up for us that even though people with ADHD love technology that there are a few areas of life we rely on paper: making lists, journaling and taking notes. Many of us like to hold the actual book too. I do like my ereader though. Which leads me to grocery shopping. 

My tiny little family knows that if we are out of something or opening the last of a staple item, it needs to go on the grocery list or Momma Rita probably won't get it from the store. I go on Saturday morning and I am at Target on Sundays. These times are about thirty-minutes and that tops it. This particular week, of my story, was a Tuesday that Garrett's activities were canceled. I made a mega list and went into the larger city next door to us and shopped!! we go...

Thought I would start with the dessert row...I love to shop at the specialty grocers in Huntsville, Alabama. They have foods that we can't get in our city. It is rather funny to me that with all the health focus, they have a mega dessert section that makes up one-fourth of the store. I don't care that they do, I am happy about this. I just can't eat it. They do serve gluten-free foods and even vegan, but too many people read that as fat-free, foods they can justify eating while losing weight and that may not be the case. Read the labels. It is much prettier to take a photo of a dessert than to take a photo of them on my thighs after eating a bite of them. Just saying...

My grocery list is divided into stores where I get items. One would love to go to one location and get everything; however, that isn't the care. I get coffee creamer from one store, then I get paper products from another store. After that I get the items on my list that are vegan to vegetarian from the stores in the larger city. I go to the larger department grocer for price comparison so that I can get the price while shopping the convenience of one stop shopping. With all that said, it is great to to have a list.

My tips for grocery shopping, 
working a weight loss program, and saving money:

* Make the List! Stick to the List!
* Get only the foods that cover the meals you will cook for the week.
* Don't substitute items...if the grocer is out of the fat-free, low cal item, then wait...
* No time to shop? Order groceries online! I did this way back in the day and had them delivered to my house. It can be done in neighboring cities from me.
* Take cash. Don't overspend. For everything you pickup to buy that isn't on your list, make a note of the amount you would have spent and put it in a jar when you get home. Then at the end of the month, see how much you saved. The scales will reflect this too.
* Eating out? Price the ingredients to make that one meal and see how many plates including leftover lunches you would have if you made that meal at home. Making a homemade pizza saves you money as well and is better for you. Look up the cauliflower crust, it is pretty good and totally awesome in calories. Have you tried the cauliflower mashed potatoes? My family still doesn't know I swapped...well, they probably do now! lol
* Beverages...did you know a gallon of homemade tea, sub the sugar, costs less per glass then buying bottled soda or canned? Price beers, wines, juices... Try making your own squeezed juices.
* Freeze bananas and other fruit that may be aging...use them in smoothies or baking. Making your own muffins takes less than 30 minutes to whip up and bake.
* Shop one time a week and make it a family event. I use to divide the grocery list up among my family members and even give Garrett a picture list since he couldn't read. It brought a realization to the cost of food and made them waste less.

I hope this helps. Coupons are another great savings for you and your family. When you eat out, there are coupons for that too. I have found apps for saving money on groceries as well. I have one for a store that saves me 5% at checkout on my whole shopping experience. Then make it easy and fun. I don't like to shop, but I make it easy. When I have my mother with me or Garrett, I have to create a happy atmosphere so that it is easier for them and for me. Life is too short to worry and stress out over chores that we must do. Make it happen with a list! 


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