With all of today’s new options for ordering food to our homes and the general low-cost and convenience of take-out options, it’s incredibly hard for some of us to motivate ourselves to cook at home. Combined with the need to wash dishes, clean up cooking utensils, pack away or repurpose leftovers and throw away wasted ingredients, it’s no wonder so many of us have neglected our kitchens for the allure of a quick, ready-made takeaway meal.
However, most of us would probably love to cook more often at home if it was simply more convenient. A lot of people are actually opting to recreate nutritious and easy-to-make recipes through services that deliver pre-portioned ingredients with simple cooking instructions packaged alongside them.
For those who want to shop for their own ingredients and make everything from scratch, you have likely felt overwhelmed by the amount of choice you are presented with every time you walk into the supermarket. While you may have a few reliable recipes stored away in your head, they are unlikely to get you excited about cooking and experimenting with combinations of different ingredients can seem rather daunting, especially if you aren’t a very experienced cook.
Luckily, we’ve put together a few great tips to help make the supermarket dinner haul less of a hassle so that you can start showing your kitchen the love it deserves.
1: Plan ahead
While this tip may seem fairly obvious, you’d be surprised by just how many people skip this step and simply run into the grocery aisle hoping for ideas to pop into their head. If you aren’t a super passionate foodie then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to imagine beautiful flavour combinations simply by glancing around a busy aisle.
Doing some light research into some of the recipes you want to create and constructing a shopping list is a logical place to start. Many websites where you can find recipes will actually have a means of exporting the ingredients as a printable shopping list so you should take advantage of those features to make the process even simpler.
2: Start simple
Throwing yourself in the deep end and trying to shop for, let alone create advanced dishes is likely going to cause you to give up halfway, costing you time and money. It’s best to start with simple recipes that only need 3 or 4 ingredients so that both the shopping and cooking experience is as streamlined as possible.
After you successfully get into a routine of cooking simple dishes, you will have established an excellent launching point from which to experiment with more complex concoctions. It will also mean that while shopping you will already have a good idea of where to find basic pantry staples such as pasta noodles and vegetable stock, giving you more time to browse less commonplace ingredients.
3: Don’t go alone
It’s not always going to be possible or convenient to bring someone else along every time you go shopping for ingredients, but when it is you should take advantage of it. Having an extra pair of hands with you while shopping cuts the time spent in half as you can hit two aisles at the same time.
It also means you can get some extra help in examining food packaging and making informed choices between different brands. Your shopping buddy will also be able to help keep your spending on track so that you don’t go overboard and only get the things you actually need for the dish you’re planning to make.
4: Get your groceries delivered
Nowadays, many of the biggest supermarket chains have options to have your groceries home delivered to you, and if you’re willing to incur the added cost, it’s incredibly convenient. With these services, you can simply browse digital aisles and add items to a virtual shopping cart.
This obviously saves time in a lot of ways, most notably that you won’t have to travel back and forth from a physical store. It also means you can shop faster as you won’t have to physically carry items, put them in a basket or return them to a shelf if you change your mind.
5: Do your shopping outside of peak times or at smaller markets
One major annoyance factor in grocery shopping is the amount of other people you need to navigate around in a typical supermarket, especially after work or at other peak periods. Trying to weave your way past other trolleys and running children can be an ordeal that makes the entire supermarket experience less appealing.
You can avoid this hassle by simply going to the supermarket early in the morning or later in the evening so as to avoid the rush hour. Another solution is to simply take your businesses to smaller local grocers where there will naturally be less of a hustle and bustle.
Those are our tips for making grocery shopping for dinner a little more convenient. Hopefully you can use some of this advice to get more use out of your kitchen and enjoy the fulfilling experience of home cooking.
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