2021 has brought on a myriad of new approaches to living. While every industry has been touched, how people seek out and secure food has changed drastically, probably forever. The 2020 pandemic brought on a wave of food insecurity; suddenly, people were struggling financially to secure food for themselves and their families. Stores and outlets were having difficulty getting shipments, meaning even if you did have the money, the grocery store might not have what you wanted or needed in stock.
Record amounts of individuals decided to learn how to grow their own produce or hunt and fish their own meals. People became more health-conscious, looking for ways to approach nutrition and, by extension, help increase their overall health and resiliency. Families were at home more often than not, eating in their own kitchens and dining rooms. The list goes on.
Given these radical changes, many of us have found ourselves looking at food and our relationship to it differently. The following will explore a few of the things you might want to keep in mind when attempting to procure groceries.
One of the best ways to improve the convenience of your grocery shopping (and usage) is to start keeping a food journal. The task is incredibly simple: you write down what you ate and when and you take note of your mood and energy levels throughout the day. If you have children, you can also keep tabs on their emotions and energy.
This might not seem like it has anything to do with grocery shopping, but it does. Very quickly, you will begin to notice patterns. Certain meals leave everyone sluggish and fighting over completing homework well past bedtime. Other meals have everyone feeling cheerful with the energy to finally change that bulb that burnt out in the bathroom two months ago.
Substitute out ingredients and keep watching. Your shopping list will be nearly perfected within a few weeks. You can skip buying the things that leave everyone feeling crappy and instead stock up on what is providing energy, mental clarity, exuberance and joy. If someone in your household struggles with a chronic illness, this is even more important as when you’re living with a chronic condition, a tiny adjustment in, let’s say, inflammation can produce drastic results in the quality of your day.
A food journal will also help you get more efficient with grocery shopping. If you know exactly how much you go through in a week, you can minimize those extra runs to the store throughout the week. You can also avoid overbuying and having things go to waste.
One of the many benefits of this reexamination of how we get our food is the alternative sources for securing food that has become available. There are meal delivery services and subscription box options that come straight from the farm or nutritionist’s kitchen. No matter where you live, in a rural or urban environment, there will be alternatives to the grocery store. As a bonus, in many cases, seeking food out from the source results in fairer prices as the charge doesn’t include the cost of running a grocery store but only the costs associated with growing and harvesting and delivering your food.
If you have specific needs like you prefer organic or non genetically modified or you want to avoid dairy or gluten or anything inflammatory, there will be options that cater specifically to you. Many of the alternative sources for groceries available today developed in recent years and so understand the importance of adhering to food restrictions.
A final bonus of this option involves not needing to travel to busy public locations as often. For many people, shopping in-store has become far more stressful. There are alternatives available if traditional grocery shopping is interfering with your comfort.
Think Ahead With Your Calendar
The above tips are excellent for your everyday shopping, but holiday meals need special mention. Birthdays, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas suppers, Halloween treats and meals on other holidays might require a bit of thinking ahead in 2021 and beyond. Stores are likely to be packed; shipping is still an issue meaning shortages are possible; shopping is likely to be slowed by the limits of how many people can be in a store at once.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to plan those extra special meals further in advance than normal. Online options are widely available, but even in those cases, you’ll need to have done your research to know that they are available. Planning bigger holiday feasts ahead of time can also help with the financial side of groceries as often the things on sale are bought up the quickest.
The above information should help you find a healthy, convenient balance in your grocery shopping in 2021. If the stress of it all feels overwhelming, know that you’re not alone. Mass isolation to this degree has never before occurred on earth and has resulted in many cases with one person being wholly responsible for every meal a household devours and less money and ingredients to complete them with. If you’re feeling low, speak to someone. This can be a trusted friend, family member, pet, work colleague, mental health professional or holistic health professional.