TEEN SERIES: (PART 10 OF 15) GROCERY SHOPPING LIKE A PRO

As you prepare your teen to venture out into the world on their own, there’s one crucial skill that’s often overlooked but will serve them well throughout their life: grocery shopping. Knowing how to plan meals, create a shopping list, compare prices, and read nutritional labels is not only essential for their well-being but also for their budget. So, let’s dive into Grocery Shopping 101, equipping them with the knowledge they need to rock the grocery store like a pro.

1.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is the secret sauce to successful grocery shopping. It helps you save money, reduce food waste, and ensure you have nutritious meals throughout the week. Here’s how to get started:

  • Set Goals: Determine how many meals you’ll be eating at home during the week. Be realistic about your schedule and cooking skills. Don’t be so quick to grab that bag of mixed greens, knowing you have no plans to use it within the week, and you hate lettuce. Assess what you’ll actually eat, and plan from there.
  • Choose Recipes: Find simple recipes that you’d like to try. Websites and apps like Pinterest, AllRecipes, and Tasty are great resources.
  • Create a Weekly Menu: Plan your meals for the week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Don’t forget snacks. Because when your tummy starts rumbling right before dinner when you had plans to cook that pork chop, you might find yourself running out the door for fast food and mess up your big plans for cooking. Plan accordingly!
  • Check Your Pantry: Before making your shopping list, see what ingredients you already have at home to avoid buying duplicates. I’ve got a printable for that!

And guess what? I’m allowed to toot my own horn because this is my blog (muahaha). Did you know I have a downloadable printable bundle you can snag for yourself and/or your teen right now to help get them started in the meal planning process? It comes with 50+ pages of organizational helps that I created to aid in the process of meal planning. And bonus, it’s currently FREE! So grab it now in the FREEBIE VAULT

2.

making a shopping list

Creating a shopping list is your roadmap through the grocery store. It keeps you focused, prevents impulse buying, and ensures you get everything you need. Here’s how to do it:

  • Organize by Categories: Divide your list into categories like produce, dairy, meats, and pantry staples.
  • Be Specific: Write down exactly what you need and the quantity. For example, “2 pounds of chicken breasts” or “6 apples.”
  • Include Non-Food Items: Don’t forget items like paper towels, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. Including those in your budget is crucial. Nothing like feeling proud of sticking to your list and budget only to find out you forgot paper towels and need to shell out $25 you didn’t account for!

These inventory pages are included in the whole MEAL PLANNING BUNDLE download that’s currently FREE in the FREEBIE VAULT. Grab yours right now while you’re reading this! I’ll wait. 😊

3.

Comparing Prices

Being a savvy shopper means getting the most value for your money. Here’s how to compare prices effectively:

  • Unit Prices: Look at the unit price on the shelf label (e.g., price per ounce or per pound). It helps you compare similar products to see which one is a better deal. It’s normally the larger containers, but that’s not always the case. Double check!
  • Store Brands: Store-brand or generic products are often just as good as name brands but less expensive. Give them a try. Here in Texas, we have the store of all stores – HEB. Most of my groceries are HEB brand and not just because of the great deals they have, but the quality surpasses some names brands, in my opinion. If HEB has a dupe of something, you can bet my family is trying it! (No affiliate here, just a happy customer! 😊)
  • Sales and Coupons: Keep an eye out for sales and use coupons when you can. But remember, a sale isn’t a deal if you don’t need the item.
  • Buying Fresh VS. Packaged: A head of lettuce is going to be exceptionally cheaper than the already washed, chopped, packaged counterpart, so if you’re not crunched for time on that meal you’re planning to cook, opt for fresh produce/meat if possible! You’re saving the environment with less plastic and bonus, you’re saving money!

4.

Understanding Nutritional Labels

Knowing how to read nutritional labels is crucial for making healthy choices. Here’s a crash course on how to decipher those labels:

  • Serving Size: Check the serving size to see how many servings are in the package.
  • Calories: Look at the calories per serving to understand the energy content.
  • Nutrients: Pay attention to nutrients like fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and sugars. Aim for balanced choices.
  • Ingredients: The ingredients list shows what’s in the product. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. If the first ingredient listed is high fructose corn syrup, it’s probably not the healthiest choice.

Here’s a cheat sheet you can print and keep on hand for your almost-adult. Click here for an instant download of the .pdf file!

Armed with these skills, your teen should be well-prepared to conquer the grocery store with confidence. Remember that practice makes perfect, and over time, they’ll become a grocery shopping pro and they’ll thank you for taking the time to prep them for something seemingly so mundane. Diets and tastes change, but a kid’s gotta eat and while take out and fast food has a place in a newly adulting person’s life, that can get old super quick. Happy shopping!

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