As a busy mom, business owner, wife and human in the world there are days, sometimes weeks, that I just can't get it together; we eat out more often than I’d like, or I am scrambling around last minute trying to throw a meal together, which means dinner is later than I’d like, which leads to a late bedtime which can lead to a grumpy morning. Geez, who knew dinner could derail so many things. Once I get my wits about me and I sit back and reflect on this time I always remember that the grocery store can be my best friend in times like this.
Most grocery stores offer up a lot of options to make your life a bit more manageable when you are feeling things have just gotten out of your control.
Today I’ll give you my 5 favorite grocery store shortcuts that will get a healthy meal on the table that will help ease up the crazy, be kind to your budget and create a feeling of having done something good for yourself and your family.
- Pre Marinated Meats- Trader Joe’s is a great place to pick these up, but I have also tried them from Publix and Winn-Dixie (I just gave it away, I am a girl in the South).
I try my best to have at least one of these in the freezer at all times. Any of the options can be put in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes and it's done. Although you are not in control of the amount of sodium or the ingredients, I find that they are very flavorful and are way better than drive thru.
- Pre chopped fruits and veggies (fresh or frozen) - These are a huge time saver and assures that there is some kind of produce in my kitchen at all times. I typically opt for broccoli, butternut squash, onions, and carrots (the matchstick ones are great in salads, stir fry or just saute them to add color). I also love to pick up some fruit to have with breakfast, in a smoothie or just as a sweet snack. The great thing about frozen fruit is that you can get fruits that may be out of season.
- Pre-made Pizza Dough- The truth is I am a terrible baker. Unless it is from a box or pre-made, I just can’t get it together.
Pizza is a weekly occurrence in our house and sure, we order it out a lot, but after doing the math and being shocked at the cost of ordering out, I decided that we should have a “build your own pizza” night at least once a month. Even with the purchase of all of the toppings, we are still saving loads.
The pizza dough can be stored in the freezer for up to a month and to prepare I put it on the countertop in the morning and by the time we are ready for dinner it has thawed and risen and is ready to roll out and top. Bake for 20ish minutes and dinner is done. Get a bagged salad and you have a meal any family will love.
- Rotisserie Chicken- This is my favorite short-cut in the list. Our chickens rarely are served as they come. I will pick one up on our way home from school pick up, clean it and make a soup with frozen veg, store bought stock, egg noodles and let it simmer until dinner for a delicious chicken soup dinner. If it’s really cold out, which in Florida is a reason to celebrate, I will turn it into more of a stew by adding cream, taking out the noodles and buying some biscuits.
I’ve turned it into chicken tacos, pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, or chicken salad.
No matter what you like, rotisserie chicken is a great, quick, and easy dinner that takes very little prep and no time at all.
- Grocery Delivery Services - These are worth their weight in gold. This is a great way to take the burden of how / when am I going to get the food in the house with the crazy schedule. In my opinion, this can be the ultimate in self care, taking one more dreaded “to-do” off your list and letting someone else do the work for you.
I typically will create my usual grocery list and then go to the website and just do it all in one setting, however I have friends who use the website as their running grocery list and then place the order at one time on a specific date.
No matter how you shop online, or what service you choose, you will thank yourself for being so brilliant and efficient.
I hope that you have found these tips helpful and now you see your local grocery store as more of a friend and less foe. Life is hectic enough, why beat yourself up if dinner isn’t a multi-course affair. I always feel happy when there is a vegetable and everyone enjoys what I have made, which I assure you, the latter does not happen on a daily basis.
If anything I have said here resonates with you and you feel that I could help you in making life a little easier, either with reevaluating your schedule, meal planning, meeting a personal goal, or learning more about how to live a healthier life, please schedule a Discovery Call and lets take 30 minutes to talk.
Be kind to yourself and have a lovely week.
Let me be your guide,