The cold sweats set in around 11am every Saturday. I open my fridge and see a barren wasteland of old ketchup packets, which I saved for some reason, and one bag of shredded cheese that’s probably been in there a liiittle too long. I order a bagel (delivery, because I’m lazy) and face the inevitable: I need to go to the supermarket.
I am, and I cannot stress this enough, absolutely terrible at grocery shopping. Like, go-in-with-good-intentions-but-come-out-with-nothing-but-boxes-of-instant-ramen-level bad.
At least I’m aware of my issues. Let’s start with planning. Some people spend a quality chunk of time laboring over the perfect shopping list. But when I sit down to make one, it’s like I’ve never eaten a real meal. Lasagna? Never heard of her. Baked chicken? Who is she? And before you ask, I obviously know what Pinterest is. But that’s almost too much food-shopping inspiration, you know? Which of the 5,000 zucchini-noodle recipes is best? Someone, anyone, halp.
So I’ll head to the store list-less. I wander the aisles like I’m in a damn art museum, only to buy the same three things I always do: a C-list frozen pizza, two boxes of veggie burgers, and literally nothing else. And because I have no concept of how to turn rando freezer-section swag into a legit breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I forget about stuff to eat *with* those foods, like, IDK, buns, fries, a vegetable, or uh, ranch?
But here’s maybe the biggest problem: Cooking requires ingredients. Ingredients are really, really expensive. Like avocados. That stuff is pricey! (Apologies to all the Mexican resto employees I’ve stank-eyed before; guac probs should cost extra.) And have you checked out pistachios lately?
You basically need a six-figure salary to afford quality nuts (also, side note: almonds, walnuts, and cashews can suck it for being equally bougie).
Sometimes I do get ambitious and pick up, like, a pack of coriander, stare at it as I do mental maths, start to panic, and put it right back.
After 45 minutes of this, I look down at a semi-full basket and think, This is fine. And, ya know, it is fine.
Less food in my fridge = less time cooking = more time rewatching Game of Thrones or contemplating how few dates I’ve been on this month. Sorry (not sorry), grocery lists and Pinterest boards I never made. I’m very busy!
Okay, But here’s some actual help
1. Use Insta
I follow my fave food bloggers on Instagram and save good-looking recipes when I randomly see them in my feed. It’s easier to let the ideas come to me rather than searching for something.
2. Pick two vegetables
My best trick is to buy two fruits or veggies that I can repurpose for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, like broccoli and asparagus, instead of buying a ton of produce that ends up going off.
3. Order online
I shop on my grocery-store app, so I can double-check my fridge to make sure I’m not buying something I already have and avoid impulse buys. Holla to Kibsons or the like for good value.