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Beginner’s Guide to Grocery Shopping



Moving into your first, big-girl apartment can be all kinds of exciting. There’s decorating that needs to be done, parties that need to be thrown, and… uh oh… grocery shopping. For many of you, this huge adult step means having to provide ALL of your meals and food yourself. There are no parents to cook for you and there isn’t a meal plan anymore. If this has made you realize that you have no f*cking clue how to grocery shop, well girl, I got you!

1. Plan weekly.

I have found that it is much easier to shop weekly for your groceries, especially when you’re first starting out. Focusing on just what you need for this upcoming week can make grocery shopping seem less daunting and more manageable. Plus, if you are like me and need to rely of public transportation to get to and from the grocery store, one week’s worth of groceries is about all that you’ll want to carry. Also, fruits and veggies often only last a week.

2. Think in terms of meals.

When you’re just getting started, you might not have any idea what you should be buying; you haven’t quite decided on what staple items you like having. What I have found to be helpful is to picks actual meals and go from there. Think about what you like to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Find some simple recipes on Pinterest that sound good to you, then look to see what ingredients you will need. You can then build your grocery list around those ingredients.

3. Buy seasonally.

If you want to be healthy with your grocery shopping, buying produce (fruits & veggies) is going to be essential. However, you are most likely on a budget so you’re only going to want to buy produce that is in season. In-season fruits and veggies will taste so much better and be way more affordable. Again, you can find lists on Pinterest like these that will tell you what’s in-season during each month.

4. Strive for more bang for your buck.

I have found that buying a few staple items that you can get multiple uses out of is the best way to shop affordably. This means carbs and starches. Don’t be afraid, carbs are your friend. Bags of potatoes, boxes of brown rice, and pasta are all great options. Also, make sure to pay attention to the prices of different brands, especially if the store is having any deals like ‘10 for $10.’

5. Find your most affordable, local grocery store.

Lastly, unless you have loads of money to waste, buying all your groceries at Whole Foods probably isn’t the best idea for your wallet. Search for grocery stores in your area and find the most affordable, like Trader Joe’s or Aldi. This might even mean going outside your immediate neighborhood, but trust me, your bank account will thank you.

There ya have it, collegiettes! You are all set to take your adulting to the next level. And don’t forget to brag because your mom will be so proud!

Bailley is a PR & Advertising major from the great state of Minnesota and will remind you every chance she gets. She is a self-proclaimed doughnut enthusiast, an avid reader, and a fan of witty comedy. You can catch Bailley caffeinating the world as a barista or desperately applying for copywriting internships.
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