Reflecting on a Week Without Grocery Shopping

Well, I did it. I haven’t been to the grocery store since last Friday! My fridge and freezer are in better shape, most of my fresh produce is used up, and I made lots of great things that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise. 


Like Chiogga Beet Chips.



And Spinach Salad with Roasted Beets, “Goat Cheese” and Sunflower Seeds.



It wasn’t always easy: through this process I learned that I have a habit of going to the grocery store just to shop when I’m bored. Not great. But, now I know that about myself, and I can work on it. I can identify ingredients that I use a lot (walnuts! who knew?) and others that I seem to buy and then leave lying around (oranges, among other things). I don’t need to make such large quantities to freeze since I’m always cooking. I can wait to stockpile until I have room, or know that there will be a time in the near future (emphasis on near) when I don’t have so much time to cook. Like going grocery shopping out of boredom or avoidance, cooking to avoid doing the dishes doesn’t really work either. 

Order: restored.

I also learned that throwing some frozen shelled edamame in with the water to boil before cooking ramen and then pouring it over fresh spinach is like the greatest lunch or light dinner ever.

Oh. And I really, REALLY like Instagram.
And Pilsbury Crescent Rolls. (I wish I could verbalize the joy I felt when I found out they didn’t have any dairy in them.)

My plan going forward is to do a better job prioritizing in the following way:

  1. Use what I already have.
  2. Choose recipes based on what I already have.
  3. Go grocery shopping with a plan (i.e. find a recipe, figure out what I need, and ONLY buy that).
  4. Switch my mindset from frantic hoarding grocery shopping (what I do when I’m working 80 hours a week) to relaxed, thoughtful grocery shopping (knowing that I will want to go–and have time to go–almost every day anyway).
I am hoping that this system of planning/shopping/cooking will become habitual so that, if I do get a job and return to working 80 hours a week at some point, I’ll not only avoid stress but actually enjoy the food-related part of my life. It’s important for everybody to have something of a creative outlet to escape to even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. For me, it’s cooking. Which works well, because I kinda have to do it anyway.
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2 Responses to Reflecting on a Week Without Grocery Shopping

  1. lots of good learnings here Sara! (and those beet chips are amazing looking)! i'm working on shopping less and planning at least a week of meals at once on a consistent basis. this was a fun blog series idea! have you tried zip list? if you use online recipes, a lot of the sites have a ziplist widget so you can export the recipe to ziplist and then it'll generate a shopping list for you. you can also just use it as a shopping list by entering things on your own.

  2. kaliskitchen says:

    I am currently operating under a 200 dollar food budget for the month also have not been grocery shopping this week. AIt’s amazing the food I found in my kitchen!

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