I’m a lover of the world and far off places who is so excited that you’re here. Looking forward to sharing more of my world with you and all the things I love. I hope this site really does feel like a wellness oasis right here on the internet.
The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our lives — everything from the way we socialize to the way we shop. For some of us, this also includes the way in which we work. Many of us have been working from home for the last year and it seems like it just might become part of the new normal. While I’ve enjoyed having the flexibility to work from home, I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t take some getting used to. One of the adjustments I’ve had to make was the way I was food shopping. Cooking my own meals has always been key to my lifestyle but having to do it all the time was different. Even though ordering in was still an option during quarantine, it became a lot more expensive and eating out at a restaurant became too much of a stressful experience.
Pre-pandemic, a lot of us probably just food shopped for the workweek — meaning, you only bought enough groceries based on meals you’d need Monday through Friday. But when you’re working from home, you’ll start to notice that you’re burning through your groceries a lot faster than before. One way that I’ve learned to combat this is by being strategic when food shopping.
Before you even leave the house to go food shopping, it’s best to figure out what you’re going to eat for the week. Planning your meals keeps you eating and buying groceries intentionally and also prevents you from binge eating or eating more food than you should during the week. Regardless if you’re eating clean or not, taking note of the meals you’ll most likely consume keeps you on track with whatever goals you’re trying to achieve. It also can be a marker for how much food you consume in a week. Pre-pandemic, you might’ve just been planning meals Monday through Friday but I would say to factor in all days of the week — Monday through Sunday.
This tip is more budget-focused but it still applies when trying to shop smart while working from home. Before the pandemic, a lot of us had morning routines that prepared us for the day ahead. Since you’re not going into the office as much, it’s important to recreate those morning rituals that got us ready for the day. Call it psychology, the placebo effect, or whatever — it works! If you need a morning cup of coffee or tea to get you started, integrate that into your shopping list. This will help save money from running to your local coffee shop and buying six-dollar lattes. It’ll also create a sense of normalcy and routine in your home-working space.
In order to keep up with your WFH-lifestyle, it’s important to be honest with yourself and know that you’re not always going to have time to cook a meal (and that’s okay). Preparing meals takes time and if you’re in back-to-back meetings, cooking a whole meal may not always be realistic. In this case, it’s best to include some snacks and quick meals that you can easily put together. Trader Joe’s has so many frozen meal options that you can just throw in the pan. This encourages you to stay full throughout the day and also helps prevent spending extra money on ordering.
After you figure out all the meals you’ll be consuming during the week, make a list that matches. This involves breaking down each meal and figuring out all the ingredients and extra items you’ll possibly need to complete it. Once you get to the grocery store, this also means that yes, you have to stick to it. I wouldn’t suggest going down every aisle as it allows you to get easily distracted by random items you may see on the shelves. Try going to the aisle that has the particular item you need. As you put items in your cart, cross them off your list so you’re keeping track of what you have and what you need. This sounds very obvious but you’d be surprised by what little habits can change.
If you have a little extra room in your budget or notice that a non-perishable or frozen item is on sale, take advantage. No need to go crazy like the world is ending but having some extra pasta or cans of beans on hand has definitely helped add to my meal if I happen to be running low on other things. Life is about being flexible and adapting to change. It’s possible that you may forget something or realize you’ve run out of an item while you’re cooking. Having some extra items in your back pocket allows you to be able to pivot and adapt.
Full disclaimer: shopping on any app can include some added fees so if you’re not okay with that, feel free to breeze past this tip. But if you truly can’t find the time in your schedule to physically go to the grocery store, a food shopping platform might be worth a try. Platforms like Instacart and FreshDirect can be convenient because just like your restaurant food delivery apps, they allow you to shop from anywhere. With scheduled delivery times, it’s easy to work around your schedule. And the best perk is you can see how much your total is while shopping. At the grocery store, you have to estimate how much you’ve racked up and hope for the best once you get to the cashier. On a platform, it’s easy to remove or add more items based on your current total.
When it comes to working from home, I’ve found that it’s all about balance and flexibility. Sticking to any type of routine involves assessing your lifestyle and finding what works best for you. Hopefully, these tips will help smooth the transition of working from home and bring ease to your life.