Fact: I love grocery shopping.

Maybe this is weird to admit, but I am a huge fan of going to the grocery store and walking down all of the aisles and imagine all of the different possibilities for cooking. In another world (a.k.a. when I lived in the United States), I went grocery shopping once a week on Sundays. It was the perfect day for grocery shopping, food prep and planning for the rest of the week.

Fast forward a few years and here I am in Groningen, a small town in the northern Netherlands. What am I doing? While I should probably be outside or biking, I’m staring at my monthly budget, trying to decide what would be best: buying groceries on a weekly or daily/more often basis. Being an obsessive meal planner, I’ve always opted for the first of the two. If I know what I’m cooking, then why not buy everything at once? It makes logistical sense. Then again, I also know I have a tendency to… overbuy… and end up with too much food for little old me in my studio apartment.

So what’s a girl to do?

The Experiment

For one month, I let myself buy groceries at will. I took random trips to the grocery store, usually two or three times each week and let myself go wild. Granted, I always ended up buying a bit more chocolate than I should. But did I go over budget? Surprisingly, NO. It wasn’t the most sparse of food shopping bills, but it also wasn’t as horrid as I had feared. I didn’t always eat the healthiest of meals, but at least I didn’t spend as much.

The real horror for me came when I decided to do weekly trips to the grocery store. I’ve always had a tendency to buy more than I thought I needed. With these once weekly shops, and with the knowledge that I wouldn’t get to go back, I maybe *kind of* overdid it. But the strange thing? I definitely ate healthier, which I can only assume is since I knew I couldn’t go back to the grocery store (not even for a chocolate bar) I had inadvertently convinced myself to eat healthier.

 

The Lesson

As a lesson, I’m concluding that there are upsides to both options. On one hand, I could eat healthier, buy once a week, and lament the lack of chocolate with many sad emojis and long drawn out stares at chocolate in the windows of stores on my way to school.

Or… or I could buy a little less, let myself buy chocolate and live a little.

It’s sort of the Bad Yogi motto, right?

 

The Moral

Be happy doing you, live your life to actually be happy and enjoy each moment, rather than depriving yourself of things that bring your joy.

 

Well friends, chocolate makes me the happiest human (and so does grocery shopping). I’m curious though, what are your grocery shopping habits? How do you handle the weekly or more-than-weekly shops?

 

pbr