9 Tips To Efficiently Buy Groceries While RVing
The least favorite part of full-time RVing is grocery shopping, at least for many RVers. It feels like a full-time day job!
Of course, if you love shopping, and walking down the grocery store aisles, then grocery shopping isn’t a big deal for you.
But for most RVers, it’s not an enjoyable experience. However, it’s easy to turn it into a seamless shopping experience.
Want to know how? In the guide below, I’ll share the top tips I use for grocery shopping when full-time RVing.
9 Tips for Shopping for your RV Groceries
Grocery shopping when RVing is relatively simple, but many things can go wrong if you don’t plan. My rule is to make a shopping list based on the meals I want, typically for a few days or one week.
I suggest you make a list of your top 10 meals, ensuring you include breakfast. Think of what you and your family love eating while on the road. Alternatively, you could look for online inspiration if you’re just starting.
Once you create a list, consider which foods you can reasonably adapt and incorporate into your RV lifestyle.
My best advice when creating a list of food items is don’t just pick an item because you think they’re healthy or you think you should get them. Instead, only pick items you know you’ll eat. And once your family gets fed regularly and gets into the swing of things, you can start exploring and experimenting with other food options.
2. Stick to a List
Once you identify the food items and groceries you need, make a list of everything and stick to it. Don’t buy anything, not on that list.
But before then, raid your RV cupboard to see what you already have and cross it from the list.
I advise keeping a mini-whiteboard in the kitchen so you can always note down anything that runs out and suddenly anything of getting so you don’t forget.
Sticking to a grocery list helps to save money and is a solid tactic for running a tally of all the stuff you’re out of or about to use up. It also stops you from buying things you don’t need.
And after a few weeks, you’ll have a general idea of how much your weekly food costs are, which helps with budgeting.
3. Don’t Grocery Shop While Hungry
Shopping hungry is my toxic trait; you must never make this mistake.
See, when you go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, you tend to make the mistake of buying things that look appealing at the time but aren’t necessities.
I usually buy far too many snacks and go over my budget. I rarely focus on important items such as veggies and health-filling foods, but instead go for chocolates, biscuits, and cheese.
So, my great advice here is you should never go grocery shopping when hungry unless you want to f**k yourself up and end up with meals that will piss you off. It seems silly, but you’ll probably buy lots of unhealthy fast foods you could avoid.
4. Learn the Seasons
It’s also important that you learn what’s in season and what’s local where your RV adventures take you.
For example, most fruits and veggies are seasonal- and if they’re in season, they’ll be cheaper.
Here’s a breakdown of the seasonal fruits and corresponding seasons:
- Winter- Apples & pear
- Spring- Grapes, berries, grapes, & cherries
- All-year-round- pineapples, oranges & melons
Learn what’s in season in your area, and see if there’s a farmer’s market. You can buy fresh produce and a good price.
5. Consider the Pricing
While still in the same vein, finding affordable grocery deals takes a lot of practice. Remember, food prices go up and down all of the time.
However, there’re a couple of tips I use to get the best deals for my grocery:
- I shop around if I can; sometimes, some grocery stores are cheaper than others.
- I usually decide what to eat weekly and check the store’s deals online or when I get there.
- I like to enough for my family and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day or freeze them for another day.
- I like to go with low-cost stapes such as rice and pasta. These can be used to extend and stagger my meals. I simply modify them for different meals.
6. List Items in Store Order
When heading to the grocery store, you must write your grocery list in “store order”. It’s important to follow your store order so that you’re less likely to miss any items as you walk from one end to the other. It also helps to cut down on time spent in the store.
7. Don’t Be Wasteful
The best thing you can do to avoid waste is to plan your meals for a couple of days and a week maximum.
If you’re RVing alone, you’ll need to shop more; you can’t do a big shop and make it last because most of it will go to waste before you’ve had a chance to eat it.
Aim to shop for groceries that will run for a max of one week for every run. More than that, storing your stuff and ensuring it doesn’t go out of date becomes harder. However, if you stock less amounts, you’ll feel like you’re constantly restocking.
When shopping, look for versatile foods stretching into other nights for less waste. Also, learn to cook in batches, like stews and soups; you only get to use lots of ingredients once and freeze and store them for later use.
Finally, don’t overbuy stuff. Only get the essentials; think about what you need versus want. For example, you don’t need plenty of soda and juice. They’re tasty, but what you need is more water. It’s much cheaper and healthier.
8. Checking Out
You must learn to group your items chronologically when checking out a grocery store. For example, I like to bag all my cold items together to keep each other cold on my way to my RV.
Storing boxed pantry items together also makes unloading your groceries easier, while putting the “fragile” and sensitive items such as eggs and bread up last ensure they’re not squished.
9. Learn Proper Food Storage
Finally, it would help if you learned how to store your groceries properly. Invest in green grocery bags and store your produce in them. I’m a big fan of Ziplock.
And when you’re grabbing your commodities from your RV fridge, start with those that are starting to look iffy. Also, buy fresh groceries you can use in a few days, and use the ones likely to spoil first.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying groceries WHILE RVing. The process isn’t arduous as many people tend to put it.
It’s not much different from shopping for groceries for your home. The most important thing to remember is to be reasonable in your purchase and not wasteful.