Has the grocery store become a source of stress in your weekly routine? It’s understandable to feel stressed when what you usually buy at the grocery is unavailable.

Depending on the day of the week and time of day, there may be slimmer pickings. Grocery stores receive items daily throughout the week. At my local grocery store, many foods have rations like meats, eggs, dairy, canned foods, flour and sugar and at one point have been unavailable, but all have been back in stock when I returned shopping the following week.

At this point during the COVID19 crisis, we have to make the most with the groceries available. We’re here to help with creating a flexible grocery list so you feel more prepared at the store and don’t go WTF?! once you get home and unpack your haul.

A grocery list should serve as a checklist and reminder of what you need. Flexible grocery lists can be helpful to make your trip shorter, more efficient and less stressful. Your grocery list also helps with your meal plan. This is the time to use a grocery list.

The key is creating a list with flexible ingredients so once you are out shopping, you can substitute ingredients in the same category like veggies, fruits, meats, grains, beans, etc.

Here’s how to get started with your next grocery list.

Keep a pen and notepad on the kitchen counter. You can also download the flexible grocery list template included in this post. As you use ingredients or plan for next week’s meals, add foods to your list.

Pick recipes that are versatile like stir fry or enchiladas, so you can substitute ingredients. For example, have the general ingredients to make enchiladas like meat, cheese, tortillas and enchilada sauce, then substitute and buy what is available.

Some ingredients like fresh garlic have been out of stock at my grocery for a few weeks, but I have found frozen garlic. Score! Make substitutions at the store and add unavailable foods to the next grocery list.

Examples of how to make a flexible grocery list, include items like: Green vegetables for dinners
Aromatics: lemon, lime, herbs, ginger
Fruit for snacking
Salad greens for lunch
Meat for crockpot
Frozen fruits
Frozen vegetables
Cheese for sandwiches, Mexican and Italian dinners


Here is a look at my last grocery list:

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