The Minimalist Grocery Game

How much money do you spend normally on a trip to the grocery store? How many items do you purchase? How long is it until your next shopping trip?

These days I write everything down which is in my inventory, because I want to know what’s actually there. This way, I can combine stuff easily in my head, before looking for potential ingridients of my next dish.

As I’ve grown up, my father had the urge to buy lots of stuff, for all kinds of emergencies in the kitchen. Also, he felt more safe in a way I guess, knowing that he could open the drawers and have a range of groceries at his disposal. For many years I had the same attitude, but I was never truly happy with it.

  • I still needed this particular item for the dish I wanted to create at the time
  • Food went bad because I didn’t use it up; I didn’t fany it at the moment (that continued forever), stuff went bad, also because I simply overlooked it in my way too filled up fridge.
  • I was angry for spending money on stuff I couldn’t eat in the end
  • It didn’t feel organized and natural to me

Today, as I thought about buying groceries (90% of the fresh ingridients were used up), I came up with an idea for a minimalistic grocery shopping “game”.

I set up the following rules for myself:

  • Buy up to ten items (doesn’t matter if food or cleaning stuff etc.)
  • Buy organic if possible
  • Look out for the best value/ price
  • 2 fruits
  • 1 salad
  • 1 package of grains/legumes/rice/noodles etc.
  • Only spend 15 €

(Of course, I still have stuff letf from the last week, like noodles, rice, tea and other dried goods that are nice sources of calories, but are kind of bland in themselves. I am very aware that this kind of shopping is not suffcient at times, but it’s a game.)

With this mental list I try to:

  • further reduce (my dried goods) inventory in mixing it up with fresh stuff
  • keep it interesting
  • know how far 15 € can get me until the next shopping trip
  • reduce the amount of junkfood in my basket
  • really think about what I need
  • avoid impulse buying

I have to say, as a fan of making lists and trying to get the best usability, I really had fun being restricted. (As long as it’s voluntary I guess.) Limits open you up for creativity!

For my trip I bought:

  • Toilet paper (from recycled paper)
  • Organic Bananas  (Bananas are ALWAYS a good staple food!)
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Purple cabbage
  • Spring onions
  • lambs lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawbeeries, frozen
  • Lentils

It will be interesting to see when my next haul will be!

What would you buy?




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