Glass of Sass: After the Grocery Store

Glass of SassCheck out the latest Q&A in our new Glass of Sass column. We know our sassy fans have questions, and we've already poured a glass of wine so we're ready to fire off some answers!

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Q:I've been keeping up with your articles about grocery shopping and shopping lists. Do you have any tips for what to do once you're home from the grocery store? It seems like shopping is only half the battle - by the time I get home I have all sorts of stuff I need to organize and prepare!

A:Good question! We suffer from the same thing. You go to the store, get out alive, and then still have to deal with putting everything away. What a pain! But it has to be done so here are some of our tips:

  • Unload by category. Of course you want to put frozen stuff away first, but after that how do you divide and conquer? Personally I like to place all the pantry stuff together and all the refrigerated stuff together, then put each category away all at once. Some people like to put the items away as they go, but to me it seems like I'm opening and closing the fridge every few seconds when I do it that way. The refrigerated items can handle a few more minutes on the counter - take the time to separate stuff out then out it away all at the same time.
  • Wash up. Wash your fruit and veggies right away so they'll be ready to eat throughout the week. Even though you may not feel like doing it right after getting back from the store, force yourself to spend a few minutes now and it will save time in the long run. Plus you're less likely to let it go bad if it's ready and waiting for you.
  • Prep your meat. I like to buy ground beef in bulk and then divvy it up according to how I'll be using it during the week. For example, I might use 1 lb. of it that night for chili, so I'll portion that out and leave it in the fridge. Then I'll divvy the rest of the meat up into 1 lb. sections and put them in freezer bags. That way I can move them from the freezer to the fridge in the morning of the day I need them. Saves money by buying in bulk, saves time by organizing it up front. And if you really have it in you, prepare your chicken by cutting off the fat and nasty bits, then storing in an airtight container, either in the fridge if the meal is in the next day or two, or in the freezer if it's later in the week. Sucks now, but you'll be so glad later that it's done!
  • Recycle (or trash it) now. One tip for neat and organized storage is to remove all excess packaging and recycle it (or trash it if your local recycling doesn't take it) right away. Then when you're ready for, say, your pudding snack, just grab one out of the fridge instead of wrestling with the packaging. Bonus: they look so pretty lined up nicely in the fridge!
What tips do you have to get the kitchen in order after shopping? How do you save time throughout the week when making dinner? Share in the comments!

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