How to Grocery Shop Like an Adult

Grocery shopping, I have realized, is something that a lot of people don’t know how to do. No, that’s wrong. A lot of college-aged people don’t know how to grocery shop for actual life, and not just for mixers and snacks at Target. Grocery shopping for real life, and to make real meals, is a very different thing and sometimes daunting. 

Honestly, once you get to college, anything that seems like it was something your parents used to do is daunting. Taxes? Terrifying. Doing dishes without a dishwasher? Threw me for a loop. Grocery shopping wasn’t that bad, but then again I’ve worked in a grocery store for almost three years. I’ve kind of figured out what it was that I’m supposed to be doing, something that most people don’t know. Trust me, grocery shopping is not that hard.

  1. Make a list- People tend to think that they don’t actually need a list because they know what they want, but here’s what happens: they leave without the one thing that they really needed. It happens every single day, and I’ve done it too. Keep a least, and keep it in the notes on your phone, so you at least get the one thing you came in for.
  2. DO NOT GO ON A SUNDAY-It’s the busiest day at a grocery store, and no matter what it will ruin your day. If you have time in the middle of the day during the week, go then. If you have time in the morning, go then. There is no other time to be at a grocery store and not want to kill yourself. Honestly, the worst part of grocery shopping is that there are other customers so do yourself a favor and go shopping on a Tuesday.
  3. Don’t Shop Like Your Parents Did- If you’re like me, you grew up with your parents always shopping for five, and thought that buying in bulk was the only way to shop. You only buy in bulk if you’re actually buying food for a lot of people, or if it’s something that you go through very quickly. The biggest thing to learn about grocery shopping is that you should only buy what you need. Food waste is a problem and it’s just money that you are throwing down the drain. Don’t buy family sized perishable items unless you need it for a party, and when buying milk don’t buy a gallon unless you know that you’ll go through it before it expires. The worst thing in the world is buying food that you really can’t end up eating.
  4. Don’t buy Pre-Cut Fruit and vegetables-I understand that they’re easier and that they’re just sitting there and extremely tempting, but don’t waste your money. It really isn’t *that* much harder to cut it up, and unless you’re living in a dorm room or you don’t own knives or have two broken hands there really isn’t a reason to not be cutting up your own fruits and vegetables. I know the pre-cut stuff is great, but it will cost you more money, and you want to avoid that whenever possible.
  5. Sign up for membership cards- Lots of grocery stores let you sign up for a free card to get discounts in the store. Always do it. If you can get a discount for free, you want to do it.
  6. DO NOT GROCERY SHOP WHILE HUNGRY-Honestly, it’s like your asking to buy twice as many things as you need.
  7. Do not buy all of the unhealthy things- I know that you’re probably only doing it because your mom isn’t there to tell you not to, so I will. You cannot survive on chips. I know that you think you can, but you can’t. Buy some apples. Buy some bananas.

Now that you can grocery shop like an adult, please do your dishes.




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