I've adopted a new way of shopping. I just estimate how much we eat during the week, and buy that much. We buy a lot of fruit. My general goal with shopping is to avoid all packaging, and not to waste any food at the end of the week. So as we come near to shopping day, I try to finish all produce except root vegetables before getting anything more. I buy carbs- flour, pasta, rice in bulk from Macro and the nearby Korean store.
I've been on a food journey with you these last few years, and some things have stuck, others not. While theoretically I want to eat only unprocessed oats, the reality is I need both whole oats and rolled oats, both brown rice and white rice, because I don't always remember to soak foods.
So for this stage in our lives, where I'm trying to be part of a home that's pretty peaceful, a few things are working well: The food I buy from the grocery should have just one, preferably unprocessed ingredient, and I should know that ingredient. This idea is from Michael Pollan. My exceptions are cheese, which I don't yet make myself, chocolate (sometimes), and occasionally bakery bread.
I no longer have a grocery budget. I used to try to keep my grocery spending low, but I'm beginning to think abundance in food- good, healthy, plentiful food- is surely as important as anything imaginable. Maybe even as important as giving or showing our kids the world! So as we gradually find better sources of foods I try to extricate myself from all guilt associated with buying better, more expensive food- often in smaller quantities- so we're not buying much meat or cheese. I acknowledge this is a luxury, and my goal here in Cape Town is, over the course of five years or so, to get to know the producers of all of our family's food. Join me in the journey if you can!