Written by Chef Chabot
June 14, 2022
Shopping for food doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Making sure you have everything you need for meals and balancing that with your budget can sometimes seem impossible. As a chef, planning and prepping is a skill we spend years learning and mastering. Here are a few simple tips that I use when I go grocery shopping to help you shop like a chef!
Meal planning doesn’t have to be difficult! Start by picking a few favourite protein items or recipes and work from there. When it comes to sides, I often just plan for a seasonal vegetable and will buy 2-3 different types depending on what looks the best at the store.
I also like to use the same vegetables in a few different meals, so it cuts down on waste and prep time.
When you are planning your meals, plan around what’s on special. Not only does this help stay within budget, but it also helps you find out what’s in season before you go. Flyers can often be a source of inspiration, when you find a key ingredient on sale, you can plan your meals around it.
View this week’s flyer.
Once you have your plan, start writing your list. I go through all my planned meals and make sure I have what I need. If it’s not already in my fridge or pantry I put it on my list.
A trick I use to make sure I don’t miss anything, while at the store, is to write my list in sections or categories. Since I tend to shop at the same store every time, I even group things according to how I find them in the store.
Finally, make sure you check off items as you grab them, this way you can give your list a quick review to make sure nothing is forgotten.
This is sometimes difficult to follow, and it doesn’t mean you can’t add the occasional treat.
However, sometimes I find myself looking at an item and trying to decide if I need it or not, only to find out when I get home, I already have 2 in my pantry. This is also important with items that will perish quickly, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. This will help with food waste and keep your grocery trips more on budget.
Once I have all my groceries home and put away, I post my plan on the fridge, so it is easy to refer to when it comes to mealtime.
I also keep a spot for jotting down items I have run out of or need to add to next week’s list. Happy shopping!