One thing I struggle with is eating what I buy. I don’t know how, but I would always end up opening Uber Eats, hitting up a drive through, or picking up take out even though I have TONS of food in my fridge. I was in denial until one day, I sat down with my financial planner and faced the reality; I was spending HUNDREDS of dollars on food a month and, trust me, as a teacher, I could not afford to maintain that lifestyle.
So, I went on a mission to find out how to actually consume what I bought from the grocers. Now, I’m not perfect, and sometimes things still go to waste, but I will say since I’ve been more intentional about my food habits, I have improved. Improved enough to think my tips might be of service to you if your struggling like I was. I hope they aid you in your quest to make Everydaylicious!
Planning is Key!
- Grocery shop in meals: When I planned out my meals before I went to the grocery store, it made me be more intentional with what bought. When I am staring at my fridge, I know exactly why I decided to buy an item which meant that I was far more likely to actually use it.
- Be honest about your cravings: When I was honest about what I’m actually craving, then I could plan accordingly and keep those items, or an alternative, on hand. For example: I knew that I randomly craved sweets, so, instead of running out to get ice cream or a cookie, I made sure to keep an alternative in my home. I keep Larabars, bananas with chocolate, and agave to top rice cakes! Sometimes, I do plan to splurge, and I’ll buy Mochi ice cream, or cookies in cream. Not only does it keep me away from ordering or eating out, I also make sure that my splurge doesn’t fall into a junk food spiral because it was planned as a treat!
- Plan to ‘treat yo’ self’: One of the motives that would drive me away from my pantry and to the delivery apps was that little voice in the back of my head saying, “I deserve to treat myself! I work hard! YOLO” (Yes, that reference is old, but I love Drake lol) So, it hit me one day that I should plan to buy items from the grocery store that would satisfy that impulse. Some of my “treat yo’ self” items include mochi ice cream (yes, I love mochi haha), special cheeses to make an at home charcuterie board, hot chocolate (because I am a child), and sparkling water (because I am also an adult).
- HAVE FUN!: My last planning tip is to have fun! If I planned something new and exciting to cook, then I was far more likely to cook it because I was excited about eating the food. Whether I planned an old favorite or a new experiment, being excited about my meal made me more likely to cook and enjoy it!
Make it Visible
- Post a list on the fridge: I love to post a list of all of my meals, snacks, and sweets on the fridge, so I don’t forget what I bought and when I feel like “I don’t have anything to eat” I can remind myself that that’s a lie! It’s simple, but it works!
- Organize your fridge and pantry: Two years ago, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Yes, I read the actual book after binge watching her show Tidying Up on Netflix. Yes, I read an entire book on cleaning lol. What I learned is that if you can see your items, you are more likely to use them. So, I organized my spice racks, my pantry, and my fidge in a way that I could see and know how much of what I have. While “tidying up” I discovered that I had duplicates of SO MANY ITEMS. I didn’t need to buy canned tomatoes for weeks, and I had enough garlic salt to last me a year!
- One phrase that I like to use is, “No mistakes, only gifts.” I first heard this in Judy Holler’s book Fear is My Homeboy. (It is an impactful read, and I would definitely recommend you pick up a copy or download the audio book.) This saying is a reminder that mistakes are just data. This also applies to the kitchen! If you end up not eating what you bought and still running to take out, take a step back, evaluate what happened, and try again with a new gameplan. I am confident that eventually, you will find a system and a combination that works for you!
Again, thank you so much for reading. It fills me with deep joy and gratitude that people take the time to read my writing. I hope that this was encouraging and added value to your lives. As always, don’t forget to make Everydaylicious.