I know but I don’t know 🤦🏻‍♀️

If I know what TO eat and what NOT to eat, what’s better etc etc .. why don’t I ever know what to buy at the grocery store?! Do you guys just buy random healthy things you like? Do you think of meals you want to eat & buy from that? I don’t know why it’s so hard to get started when I know what to eat and what not to eat!
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Replies

  • airforceman1978
    airforceman1978 Posts: 100 Member
    I never know what I'm going to eat but I always have a steak in the refrigerator if my wife fixes something I can't eat
  • LyndaBSS
    LyndaBSS Posts: 6,970 Member
    edited November 2019
    I eat a pescatarian diet so look forward to grocery shopping. I stop in the produce section, then bakery, then the seafood counter, then get eggs, butter and cheese. Done. Easy peasy.

    I rarely stray from the outer corners of the store. The inner aisles are where the confusion lies.
  • COGypsy
    COGypsy Posts: 1,128 Member
    I don’t really cook, but do make a plan for everything except my main meal. I don’t allow food into my house without a specific plan for when/where/how I’ll eat it.

    Sometime over the weekend, I figure out what my snacks will be and what my mini-meals will be and then make a list. As much as possible, I buy in amounts that will be consumed within a week or so, to avoid spoilage and unplanned snacking.

    Mostly it sounds like it would be most helpful for you to plan your meals for the week. Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to mean each day is regimented, but it can be nice to have fewer choices as well as know you have everything to make whatever you’re planning to. That part is especially nice if you hate the grocery store as much as I do!
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,257 Member
    VioletRojo wrote: »
    I sit down on Sunday and make a meal plan for the coming week. From that meal plan I can make a grocery list. This system makes it easy to know "what's for dinner" and makes it much easier to stick to a budget.

    ^This.
    I've been doing it this way for 25+ years as a way to manage a small food budget for a family of 5. Stuck to it because it takes the guesswork out of it. When I started on mfp, I just made sure that the meals I chose for dinners were things I could fit into my calories for the day. I DO NOT do well just going home and "fixing something." It works better for me to know what the dinners are for the week and go from there. Just my .02
  • manderson27
    manderson27 Posts: 3,510 Member
    I find if I buy a good variety of veg and fruit some fish, chicken, minced beef or some lamb/pork that is a good basis for meals. Then I will usually have pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, beans, soups, cheese and dairy products. That pretty much gives you what you need to make meals for the week. Everything else like pizza, burgers, pies, chocolate, cake etc are extras that we try to eat in moderation.

    But then I have been shopping every week since I was 19 so I could probably shop in my sleep and have a decent amount of healthy food to feed us for the week.
  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    Obviously you have a routine now. Don't change it all at once. Change one thing per grocery trip and gradually you'll have a new plan without having to spend 2 hours every Sunday overhauling everything.

    Maybe switch out a box of hamburger helper for whole grain noodles and chicken chunks with a jar of pesto and fresh grape tomatoes, or even simpler, switch white rice for brown, or white bread for whole wheat, or flavored yogurt for plain. Or add a new kind of vegetable to try.

    This is what I did, and over a 2 year period, I went from a college kid living on ramen noodles, to the "house nutritionist" that my gym-rat roommates were asking about maybe starting a "food plan for the house." I'm even better at it now than I was 20 years ago (because I've had to up my game to work around the allergies of my nephews and child's friends), but I think if I'd tried to overhaul EVERYTHING in one week, my brain would have exploded and I'd have had a nervous break down in the frozen foods section. >_< Make healthier substitutions one trip at a time, and that'll give you time to evaluate whether or not the substitution is close enough that you don't mind, or if it's TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT. (Fish is so good for you but I JUST. CAN'T. DO. IT.)

  • dawn__westbury
    dawn__westbury Posts: 46 Member
    Thank you for the responses .. It’s my daughter (16) and I at home, you’d think that’d make it easy since it’s just the 2 of us lol, 🤷🏻‍♀️! I will take the advice of buying based on the meals I plan to make .. usually I “plan” 3, other days we just kinda eat. Anyone who has a 16yr old knows they can be ok with cereal dinner (or is it just mine? Haha).
  • ElizabethKalmbach
    ElizabethKalmbach Posts: 1,416 Member
    Thank you for the responses .. It’s my daughter (16) and I at home, you’d think that’d make it easy since it’s just the 2 of us lol, 🤷🏻‍♀️! I will take the advice of buying based on the meals I plan to make .. usually I “plan” 3, other days we just kinda eat. Anyone who has a 16yr old knows they can be ok with cereal dinner (or is it just mine? Haha).

    I'm 42 and I'm delighted to have cereal for dinner, assuming I've put down enough protein to accommodate it! My weirdo kid is 9 and will eat brussels sprouts and peanut butter for dinner, so... I never make her anything - I just make sure that whatever bizarre tween concoction she puts together is moderately well balanced.

    I nixed the mayonnaise and strawberry jam sandwiches. >_< Thank goodness she went back to peanut butter and jelly. (I had suggested she add tuna to her dinner for protein, and I think she envisioned the tuna IN THE SANDWICH and decided that was a bridge too far. :P )
  • geraldaltman
    geraldaltman Posts: 1,739 Member
    If it's something I like, want and can fit within the bigger picture that is calorie and nutrient based, I buy it. Knowing that I continue to be mindful of that and stay with my exercise regimens, I won't deny myself; this keeps me happy and engaged with what I am doing and is why I have zero worries about holiday eating. I wish everyone the best for the days to come.
  • dawn__westbury
    dawn__westbury Posts: 46 Member
    Thank you for the responses .. It’s my daughter (16) and I at home, you’d think that’d make it easy since it’s just the 2 of us lol, 🤷🏻‍♀️! I will take the advice of buying based on the meals I plan to make .. usually I “plan” 3, other days we just kinda eat. Anyone who has a 16yr old knows they can be ok with cereal dinner (or is it just mine? Haha).

    I'm 42 and I'm delighted to have cereal for dinner, assuming I've put down enough protein to accommodate it! My weirdo kid is 9 and will eat brussels sprouts and peanut butter for dinner, so... I never make her anything - I just make sure that whatever bizarre tween concoction she puts together is moderately well balanced.

    I nixed the mayonnaise and strawberry jam sandwiches. >_< Thank goodness she went back to peanut butter and jelly. (I had suggested she add tuna to her dinner for protein, and I think she envisioned the tuna IN THE SANDWICH and decided that was a bridge too far. :P )

    HAHAHA OMG that’s funny, tuna will forever remind me of peanut butter now! That’s definitely too far! I’m 43, I down for cereal for dinner too sometimes!
  • MaggieGirl135
    MaggieGirl135 Posts: 947 Member
    About once a week, I will pull out a recipe that I haven’t made in awhile and add those ingredients to my grocery list. Other than that and replacement items added to the list as we use them up, I do just pick up various vegetables and fruits (whatever looks good, is on sale). I decide what to make each day. I do stock various meat and fish in my freezer.
  • ReenieHJ
    ReenieHJ Posts: 9,724 Member
    I stick to boring :) and basic foods. I eat lots of chicken, green salads with additional veggies for my dinners, oatmeal/fruit for breakfast, and either eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or peanut butter for lunches, sprucing my meals all up with whatever fruits/veggies I have.
    Keep it simple to start off with, incorporating more variety as you go along. :)
  • ellie117
    ellie117 Posts: 293 Member
    edited November 2019
    If I know what TO eat and what NOT to eat, what’s better etc etc .. why don’t I ever know what to buy at the grocery store?! Do you guys just buy random healthy things you like? Do you think of meals you want to eat & buy from that? I don’t know why it’s so hard to get started when I know what to eat and what not to eat!

    OP, if you're like me, I am not a good cook and don't know what ingredients to use or add to dishes. My husband and I started getting Blue Apron delivered, and have gotten 3 meals/week for the past 2 years. They are not always the lowest in calorie, but I plan for them and have now gotten accustomed to my dinners being the biggest meal of my day and that helps me plan out my lunch and snacks. We also have learned what veggies we like and how we like them cooked, so we deviate and sometimes just make our own thing with the ingredients delivered.

    We rarely go to the grocery store anymore, maybe 2 times per month for some extra veggies and non-food essentials. It made the stress of food shopping decrease immensely. It also has helped us from snacking on high-calorie low-nutrition food, because we don't have the temptation of buying them nearly as much as we used to.

    There are also other meal delivery options as well, varying in price and dietary preferences. Might be an idea to help you in the beginning?
  • Pamela_Sue
    Pamela_Sue Posts: 563 Member
    I use the Walmart grocery app, but you could use another grocery store app in your local area. My account includes all my favorites, so before I shop I go through my list to see what I need. This also helps me determine calories and sodium of items I am purchasing, without having to check this in the store. While the app is set up for grocery pickup service, you can still use it as a favorites list/grocery list only. And, as others have stated, pre-planning is key to my success.
  • Sharon_C
    Sharon_C Posts: 2,132 Member
    Thank you for the responses .. It’s my daughter (16) and I at home, you’d think that’d make it easy since it’s just the 2 of us lol, 🤷🏻‍♀️! I will take the advice of buying based on the meals I plan to make .. usually I “plan” 3, other days we just kinda eat. Anyone who has a 16yr old knows they can be ok with cereal dinner (or is it just mine? Haha).

    I just had cereal for dinner the other night :D
  • steph2strong
    steph2strong Posts: 426 Member
    The biggest piece fo advice I can give with grocery shopping is don't buy random products or foods without a plan of how they are going to fit into to your snacks or meals for the week, otherwise they won't get eaten. Just buying broccoli without a plan of how you are going to use it and it will just sit in your fridge until it turns to mush. Also, know yourself and your families routines, and cooking/eating styles, because these likely aren't going to change, so instead make your choices fit your life rather than trying to make your life fit your choices. I have a family of four I feed, in general we aim to have produce, lean protein and whole grains at every meal so I shop accordingly (breakfast: oatmeal, wheat bran, chia, plain greek yogurt, eggs, fruits; lunch: sliced rye bread, peanut butter, poultry, eggs, squash, broccoli...; Dinner: salad, soup, poultry, beef, beans, rice, vegetable, etc.; then random snacks for the kids: granola bars, crackers, fruits, yogurt drinks, etc.). My sister is the complete opposite and eats random small meals/snacks throughout the day. Her fridge contains eggs, sliced turkey and avocado. Her cupboards have cereal, peanut butter and english muffins. The rest she buys on the go. If I tried to make her grocery shop like me it would be a complete disaster because it doesn't fit her lifestyle at all.
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,940 Member
    I hate to admit that I’m a totally random shopper! I just walk around and pick up stuff that appeals or I’ve not seen before then I cook just as randomly!

    My cupboards are full of all sorts of basics plus lots of weird and wonderful things, as a result! It does all get used in the end though.

    Most of the time I don’t know ahead of time who I’ll be cooking for and we all have very different tastes so whilst I kind of wish I were a ‘planner’ I think it would just frustrate me!

    Times when I’ve tried to plan I find that I really don’t want to eat the thing I’ve planned. Something about knowing ahead of time puts me off, generally.