When you get home after a huge grocery haul and put everything away, the last thing you have the energy for is cooking. Yet, you’re usually starving which brings out the temptation to order a mea so you don’t have to cook. Then, you feel guilty for ordering food when there’s a fridge full of newly purchased food meant to steer you away from ordering out. It becomes a never-ending cycle of completing your to-do list and feeling like you deserve a reward but at the same time not wanting to undo your own accomplishments.
But you do deserve a little treat for getting your grocery shopping done. Between inflation making you have to think a lot harder about how far you can stretch your budget and the general flood of people you have to navigate through to get to what you need in an aisle, grocery shopping has become more than just a quick stop, and you deserve a reward for surviving it.
Get a fresh meal at the grocery store and take it home to be enjoyed right after you finish putting away your haul. Grocery stores have some surprising perks you may not be taking advantage of, and this one is right in front of you. For example, Costco is king when it comes to the already prepped meals. The chicken taco kit at Costco comes with pre-seasoned and cooked chicken, corn tortillas, salsa, cilantro lime crema, lime slices, shredded cheese, and lettuce. All you have to so is heat it up, and, boom! Dinner is served.
At Whole Foods and Mariano’s you can get something even more fresh. Whole Foods offers everything from Chicken Tikka Masala to a variety of sushi. You can also order sandwiches, salads, and some will even cook a filet of fish for you right there in the store. Similarly, Mariano’s also offers house made sushi, poke bowls, lobster mac and cheese, and many other premade ready-to-eat meals. Depending on what you grab, especially if it’s from behind the meat counter, be sure to make it your last stop before checkout so that the food stays warm and fresh the whole way home.
Even if you’re not near a store that has these sorts of fresh meal perks, you have the option of letting yourself splurge on a more expensive ready-to-eat meal like a jumbo frozen pizza or the premade lasagna from the frozen section at Costco.
Yes, some of these items might be a splurge compared to the rest of your groceries, but often not as much as ordering a meal for delivery. Just be sure to make this little occasional reward meal part of your food budget and you won’t have to feel any remorse for treating yourself. It may sound obvious, but we can all use the reminder that eating a freshly made burrito after putting away your groceries is a simple way to treat yourself for a job well done.