Men's Shopping for Dummies -- Don't Fear the Grocery Store

By Guest Blogger Frank

Ever wonder why it seems that the single guy has his problems in the kitchen? There are guys that can dazzle you with their cooking, but those guys tend to be few and far between. For most of us of the male gender, our fridge usually consists of the four basic food groups. They are:

- Liquids (beer, water, soda, juice)
- Sauce Packets (ketchup, mustard, soy sauce)
- Frozen Foods (pizza, hot pockets, TV dinners)
- Desserts (chocolate, cookies, ice cream ).

Why do we have sauce packets you ask? Well to put it quite simply, they come with the fast food that we grab on the run. See for an average guy, we want our food quick and we want it yesterday. If the preparation and cooking time for a recipe is more than 10 minutes, generally we are not interested. This leads to us males falling back onto the old standby of the frozen dinner, fast food, or the pasta/rice concoction we can just whip up in about 9 minutes.

Is this the healthiest way to live? No, but it is the quickest so we deal and then later complain about the weight we have gained or the money we have wasted.

What we never learned was that we can get by with less money than it would take to order out all the time. We can actually eat healthier and have more food for less money than the extra value meal at the local McDonald’s. The only problem is that it entails spending a little more time getting to know your local grocer. This can be particularly daunting for a guy, if the only reasons we go to the grocery store in the first place is to restock on the four basic groups defined above.

Before we begin a few ground rules should be set;
#1 – Ramen Noodles are a soup not a healthy meal
#2 – Hot dogs and Mac and cheese are not a healthy meal either
#3 – We can no longer eat like we did in college, our bodies are different

If you remember these three simple facts, shopping for groceries should not be as scary as you think. Today we are only go over a few things ‘cause let’s face it…. we are guys and trips to the grocery store are already information overload, right? So today we will cover desserts and meat. Two things we guys love best.

First off we need fruit, yes fruit, because chocolate and cookies don’t really count as a healthy dessert. There are also added benefits to eating fruits. One of these is the prevention of diseases. An apple a day keeps the doctor away is not just an old time adage. The fiber contained in that apple, for example, is an excellent way to prevent colon cancer, as well as other conditions including diverticulitis and constipation. Fruit can also help you to feel fuller while eating lesser amounts of food, which can help you lose weight.

Second, rather than settle for that one great piece of steak that you really want, it’s really time to consider some alternatives. In most grocery stores, meat sections have daily specials. Although these specials are not front and center they are easy to find in the meat cases off to the side of those juicy steaks. Usually these deals will be, buy one get one free or they may already come marinated thereby saving you that step in your cooking process. Most of meat can even be grilled and as anyone knows, men love their grills.

Guys love to grill, it’s in our inherent nature and it’s part of our DNA. We are manly men! We grill! Unfortunately what goes along with that is our DNA requires us to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. Why you ask? Well simply put we can buy more meat if we choose hamburgers and hot dogs. So, break the mold, honesty, there’s more to meat than what can be put on a bun and drowned in condiments. These meats in your grocer’s meat case might even spice up the next Sunday afternoon football event you have.

Now that we covered the essentials of fruit and meat, next time we’ll tackle veggies and starches. Until then remember this, grocery shopping is not as bad as you think; you just need to adjust your perspective, and that’s the base of any great masterpiece you create in the kitchen.

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