When & Where to Shop for Groceries
Many people say they have a hard time when it comes to preparing meals because it takes so much time. On the contrary, it really only comes down to planning ahead (which actually saves time in the end). Therefore, I recommend choosing 1 – 2 days of the week that you can dedicate as your weekly “food-stock days” to gather your goods at the local farmers markets and fill in the gaps through the grocery store. Remember, the freshest produce comes from your locally grown farms. Ensure that the major ‘food staples’ are bought fresh each week or refill as needed. (veggies, fruits, nuts, beans, grains, proteins)
Hit the Local Farmers Markets
Most people work the typical Monday – Friday 8 hour days. If this be your case, make Saturday your dedicated market day, and if you are able to visit one of the local farmers markets, (ie: Beaches Green Market at Jarboe Park) this is where you should pick up most of your fresh produce. This should be a quick trip…30min max.
Farmers will carry what is in season, fresh grown in local soil. If you ARE able to make it to the farmers markets, you will really benefit from the wide variety of high quality foods at a really great price. Many times you can get more quality and quantity for your money here than at the grocery stores. Organic produce is also known to last longer than non-organic produce.
Check out Local Health Food Stores
If you’re in Jacksonville, I suggest making a visit to Whole Foods, Native Sun, Bio Max, Grass Roots and/or The Granary.
Take Sunday to gather the remaining items from the store to stock your fridge and pantry and start prepping for the upcoming week’s meals.
Grocery Stores/Super Markets
Supermarket produce, typically, has to be picked before ripened and shipped cross-country…causing it to loose a good amount of nutritional value and taste, as well as causing it to spoil much quicker than local produce.
If you have a split schedule or odd work hours, pre-planning and smart shopping is still easily attainable. Set aside the same time each week on the days you have available and input those actions (explained above) accordingly.
Also, as I’m sure you have heard before.. Never shop on an empty stomach (feeling hungry) so you aren’t tempted to venture aimlessly into snack aisles or buy unnecessary items that will only satisfy your short term hunger.