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Featured Chobaniac: Megan D. of Cookies & Crunches

Three cheers for fall weather! Can you believe it’s October already? Now that you’re finally out of the blazing summer heat, you might be finding yourself getting reacquainted with the kitchen like we are. This week’s Featured Chobaniac, Megan from Cookies & Crunches, shares some of her best tips for the oft-dreaded grocery shopping trip. Use these great tips to keep your kitchen well-stocked and your belly well-fed!

Shoot us an email if you’re interested in taking part in the “Featured Chobaniac” series. We’d love to share your story with friends far and wide.

{Click Read More to meet Megan!}

Hey fellow Chobani lovers!  I’m Megan from Cookies & Crunches.  Hugely interested in food, fitness, and fun, I write about my healthy living journey and enjoy sharing my experiences on my blog.  As a CHO fanatic, I’m thrilled to be getting the chance to share with you today as well!

Let’s talk about something that’s part of all of our lives: grocery shopping.  Most of the time, I love to go grocery shopping, but occasionally it can seem like an unwelcome chore.

Sunday used to be my designated grocery shopping day, but lately I’ve been commuting further to work on Monday mornings, so I had to find a new time to get it done.   One Monday, I decided to see if I could do it on my lunch hour, and it has since become a part of my routine.

Here are some reasons why grocery shopping on your lunch break is awesome:

o    There’s no one else in the store so navigating the aisles and getting through the check-out line is a breeze.

o    You don’t have to go after work when you’re starving for dinner and more inclined to grab everything on the shelves.

o    There’s less traffic on the road and more spaces to park.

o    There’s not enough time to wander or browse, so only things on the list make it in the cart.

o    You feel accomplished before the day’s even over.

o    It doesn’t take time away from doing other fun things at night.

o    The cashiers are friendlier because it’s not “rush hour.”

Here are some of my other more general grocery shopping tips:

o    Make a meal plan.  Use it to assess what you already have and what you will need, and then write your shopping list.

o    Think about the different meal components (breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, sides, desserts, drinks) and all the different food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy) to make sure you don’t miss anything.

o    Keep a running list.  Don’t rely on making a list right before you go.  As you run out of things, add them to the list immediately and you won’t find yourself forgetting anything.

o    Write your list according to the layout of the store.  Mine always goes “fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, other (processed foods”) because that’s how I move around the store.  It saves you from having to search through your list and doubling back through the aisles over and over again.

o    Consider expiration dates and quantities.  Plan out when you’ll eat what and how long things will last to avoid over-buying and having things go to waste.  Try to remember how much of something you actually can/do use during a given week so you know how much to buy next time.

o    Stick to your list.  If you put a little time and effort into making it beforehand, you will be better off when you get to the register.  There won’t be an overflow of impulse buys in your cart and you will be better able to stick to your budget.

o    Eat before you go!  You may have heard this before, but it’s the best tip out there.  Shopping on an empty stomach is always dangerous to both your wallet and your waistline.

This is what a typical week’s grocery list might look like for me:

o    1-2 berries & 2-3 other fruits: strawberries, apples, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, peaches, plums, bananas  (I usually pick whichever ones are on sale)

o    Salad fixings & 2-3 dinner veggies: green peppers, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, spinach, iceburg lettuce, butternut squash

o    1-2 Proteins: Chicken breasts/tenders (boneless/skinless), Pork chops, Ground/sliced turkey, eggs

o    Dairy for the week:  Yogurt (Chobani, always! 0% Plain is my go-to, but Vanilla Chocolate Chunk is my absolute favorite), skim milk, cheese sticks, Parmesan/Feta/Mozzarella cheese

o    Other (whatever I’m out of): Honey, dark chocolate, whole wheat pasta, bread, oats, nut butters, spices, olive oil

Thanks for letting me share with you today; hopefully you picked up a helpful thing or two.  Please visit me over at Cookies & Crunches for more!