I learned how to grocery shop sometime around age 22 or 23. By this time I'd probably been to dozens of grocery stores over the course of my life on over a thousand food-buying expeditions, tossing items in my cart willy nilly as they called out to me from the shelves. I'd come home with the staples -- ramen, Hamburger Helper and sweet tea, which I drank by the gallon -- and stock my kitchen cabinets weekly. (True story: I vididly remember being so broke in college that my roommate and I couldn't afford the ground beef for our beloved Hamburger Helper, so we decided to switch to Tuna Helper instead. Boom, problem solved. We were gonna have Helper by any means necessary!)
It wasn't until my father took me grocery shopping in my first post-college apartment that I ever gave any thought to the strategy of shopping. I was just dropping things in the cart, as I was wont to do, when he skeptically asked me, "but what are you going to make with that?" I looked back at him, perplexed, and repeated back dumbly, "make?"
"Candy, Candy Candy," he started off, exasperatedly, as he usually does before there is about to be a lecture. "You gotta have a plan." Seems silly in retrospect, but that really was a light bulb moment for me. He taught me quite a few grocery shopping tricks that day, and in the years since, I've taught him a few more. And now, Glow Getters, I'll share them with you.