I was at a recent seminar in the beautiful Airfield Estate in Dundrum where the topic up for discussion was “The Consumer - Your Food, Your Choice”. It is part of their Food Series and I was lucky enough to be invited along. Speakers included Conor Pope from the Irish Times, Sarah Keogh from eatwell.ie and the event was moderated by Philip Boucher-Hayes.
Philip summed up the day by saying that the most significant thing he’d taken from the day was that we need to write shopping lists before we go shopping for a whole host of reasons. I won’t say I didn’t know this but quite frankly, I like living on the edge (a little). And I’m too lazy/disorganized/busy to write a list generally.
And I’ve always thought I didn’t need one - sure I’ll remember everything. The reality is that this is in fact not the case and I have become quite a creative cook as a result of forgetting something key to what I’m cooking. So what was once going to be chilli is magically turned into savoury mince as I forgot the kidney beans. And don’t get me started on bin bags - we did spend a week putting all our household waste into shopping bags as I kept forgetting the bin bags!
However, on hearing what the speakers had to say in Airfield I will be rethinking my list writing strategy for the future. Here’s the reasons why:
1. Minimise waste
Writing a list ensures that I don’t buy things I already have. Obvious I know, but do we ever think of the wider consequences of buying too much and the waste this creates? Half-eaten bags of lettuce, bread left to go mouldy, rotten fruit.
2. Save money
If I am disciplined enough to stick to my list, I might even save some money in the process. Writing a list means I will buy only what I need and not what I want - or what the supermarket wants me to buy!
3. Health reasons
My list will (should!) tie in with my (vague) cooking plan meaning that I’ll be able to cook healthy meals instead of reaching for something quick and easy. Also, I won’t be tempted to buy unhealthy items not on the list - seriously!
4. Save time
When I have a plan such as a shopping list, it saves me time wandering around like a headless chicken, trying to figure out what I need or googling recipes on my phone.
Have I convinced you? Let me know!