European Style Grocery Shopping


I’ve spoken a number of times on this blog about food, cooking and the challenges of shopping for one.  Lately I’ve been trying a new strategy that has been working out very well.

This article explains the shopping philosophy and how it saves money, gives the best food

Basically the idea is instead of buying in bulk or cooking large quantities, you go to the grocery store every day and buy what you need for that day or perhaps for 2-3 days.

This is smart for the following reasons

1. You get the freshest ingredients

2.  It avoids waste saving money and time

3. Fresh, seasonal ingredients typically are the least expensive

4. For a single woman who eats out a lot it makes it easy to eat out without spoiling food or meal plans waiting to be made.  You can just plan on eating out instead of shopping.

5. With a grocery store in walking distance of my house it isn’t really any  more work to shop everyday.

6. Less groceries and less mess.  Today I dirtied a few pieces of silverware and 1 plate instead of tons of pots and pans.  Of course, I can plan an everyday meal that uses a lot of pots and pans but at least I know that’s what I am doing and can plan accordingly instead of just having ingredients and trying to make something good out of it.

7.  It allows you to order what you are in the mood for on a particular day.  Not stuck eating leftovers or ingredients that sounded good a month ago.

Today for example I went to the grocery store purchased a rotiserie chicken, a kale salad and twiced baked potato they make at Harmons and stuff to make easy crepes for dessert

The other day it was a tub of chili, another it is chicken and sauce.  A lot of items are hard for me to purchase because I just can’t eat them fast enough.  A loaf of bread for instance is hard for 1 person to polish off before it is either stale in the fridge or moldy outside.

With European grocery store I can  buy just what I need for that meal and be done with it.

It may seem like this type of shopping would be more expensive and while I haven’t done the math I don’t think I’ve spent much more if any.

I know that such shopping might be impossible if you have a family but if you don’t, give it a try.  I bet you will love it!

Plus, you get to sound all suave and debonaire with your European shopping trip… 🙂

How do you shop for evening meals?  What strategies work for you?


6 thoughts on “European Style Grocery Shopping

  1. I like that. I have a grocery store close to my house but it is really expensive. I go to the cheaper store (that also has way better produce) across town so that would not work for me. I like the concept though, and it makes a lot of sense when you’re cooking for one!

    I just make a meal plan every month and follow it closely so just about everything gets eaten. I have a garden this year too, so I can go get fresh lettuce, parsley, and soon tomatoes, when I need them, which also helps. I would love to try it that way though. I’d way rather do it your way though. I am naturally more of a go with the flow kind of person than a planner.

    1. It would be a lot harder with a family for sure. Just the challenges of dealing with children at the market everyday would be enough for me. With just one sometimes I wonder if it would be cheaper to just eat out. I would miss cooking but as far as expenses I’m not sure it would be much more.
      I think the European method probably is most appealing in the summer when you don’t have to go out into the cold to shop everyday. Plus, having the oven on in the winter is appealing. Not so much in the summer.

      I’m jealous of your garden. Last year I had a container garden but I haven’t had the energy to do it again this year. Too much going on with the new job and all. Those fresh tomatoes are to die for from a garden.

      When you plan for the month do you use a guide of some kind to know what’s in season and freshest or do you change plans at the store?

      1. Anymore I have a good idea of what’s in season and fresh just because I’ve been meal planning for so long. I do make minor changes sometimes at the store, but I can also check the store’s ad online to see what they have fresh (and cheap). I shop weekly for fresh stuff and just buy all the non perishables at the beginning of the month.

        I hadn’t even thought of kids. Although, it might be better because kids get bored in like 10 mins at the store, which is why shopping with them is THE WORST. If you made shorter trips, they might actually handle it better.

        If you decide to garden again next year, or plant some fall veggies, I highly recommend reading All New Square Foot Gardening. It’s basically a failproof, low maintenance way to do a raised bed or container garden. Setting it up takes time, but I’ve been amazed out how little time I spend in the garden now that it’s all set up and going. I could not be more surprised that I’m enjoying growing a garden. It is pretty cool to eat veggies I grew myself, and my little garden helper is excited to eat veggies she’s helped grow and harvest. I seriously had no interest in gardening for so long, and this year I guess I caught the bug!

        1. Cool. Thank you for that tip.
          It would be interesting to test out what is easiest with kids. One huge trip or lots of little trips. Who knows.

      2. I’m Dutch and this style of shopping is ubiquitous here, also for families. And mainly done on bikes (and one bigger haul by car in the weekend, usually, for the heavy stuff)! Yes, that’s right, mums (or dads) with small children on the front and at the back (or on a separate little kid’s bike), AND bags of groceries, in whatever weather. It’s not ideal in winter, sure, but you get used to it quickly and it’s just nice to get out, have some fresh air, chat to the kids on the way there and get some exercise, too!

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