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By Annie Ferland, Nutritionist, PharmD

Over the past few weeks, our buying and day-to-day habits have been turned upside down by the lockdown. Since we have to limit our movements, trips to the grocery store need to be carefully planned. While some people already have good food management habits, for others it’s a real challenge! So here are my strategies for buying enough groceries to last at least seven days.

1. Before you go grocery shopping, I strongly suggest that your do an inventory of your pantry, fridge and freezer. It is really important to take the time to make a proper grocery list. First of all, make sure that you have all the staples you need (salt, sugar, flour, etc.), then decided which of the foods that you have on hand can be used to prepare the week’s meals.

2. Next, make a chart and decide on the week’s menu. Plan for three meals a day, snacks and maybe a few special desserts! When drawing up a menu, be sure to take into account any possible leftovers and try to use up the most perishable foods early in the week. You can put the week’s menu up on the fridge, or just leave it on the counter.

3. Take note of all the ingredients you will need for your recipes, and put the shopping list on your phone or a piece of paper.

4. It can be a good idea to group foods by category (produce, meat, canned goods, frozen foods, etc.), or by grocery section where you would normally find each item. This will make it easier for you once you are at the store.

5. When you get home, don’t forget to throw out or delete the list from your phone.

Once you have planned your grocery list for the week, all you need to do is go shopping. Remember to go alone, take your time and remain calm. Remember that the situation is challenging for the absolutely everyone. So keep a smile on your face and take the time to thank all those who are working on front lines to keep us fed.