"I think it's really important to shop [while] hungry," the host of Sandwich King and The Kitchen says. "That way you are more likely to buy things you wouldn't normally buy. Maybe you'll be more adventurous, willing to explore different flavors and different foods. But also you're gonna look at that pork chop or that whole chicken like, 'Oh, that sounds so good, I'm starving!' And then you're going to make it if you have it in your fridge, right? You're not going to not waste that $9 chicken."
Mauro is the chef of Chicago's Pork and Mindy's and the winner of the seventh season of The Next Food Network Star, and his grocery shopping advice might be unconventional, but it sure sounds fun, right? Going to the store when full is the boring, responsible grown-up thing to do.
Jeff Mauro on Grocery Shopping While Hungry
Going to the grocery store hungry is probably the closest a human being will ever get to knowing what it feels like to be the Tasmanian Devil, spinning around like, I need pork rinds, and steak, and that new flavor of kale chips, and asparagus and — oh look, there's cheese on sale!
Sure, we all probably spend more at the grocery store when we're hungry, but Mauro thinks that if we go to the store hungry, we'll actually save money in the long run.
"Because you were hungry, you bought enough for three days for cooking, and then you're going to cook it because you don't want it to go to waste, and then not spend the money on takeout," he says. "Any time I shop while full, we don't buy enough and I end up ordering out a night later. You might spend more money at the store, but ultimately you save more money in the long run by cooking at home."
The Groceries Jeff Mauro Is Shopping for This Week
- Marich Chocolate-Covered Nuts, $7.50 for 4.2 ounces: We love nuts. Dark chocolate, salted, chocolate-covered cashews — that's a must.
- Coppola Director's Cut Wine, from $19 at The Family Coppola: I'm a firm believer in a nice $14.99 bottle of red wine to have during the week. In case you don't cook with the rest of it or don't get to drinking it, you don't feel terrible … Oh! It's closer to $20. Well, there you go, $20. I guess we've made it. And that's still not bad, you know.
- Pork and Mindy's Sauces, $5 for 20 ounces at Pork and Mindy's: We have a lot of sauces, of course. We've got Sweet Heat, Chicago Smokehouse; I'm a big fan of smoking meats, so those always go on that. I also use them for quick stir-fries. We have an Apricot Habanero sauce, which is great with shrimp or any type of salmon. I'll put some of that on the salmon tonight and pan-sear it then glaze it under the broiler, which is a good preparation with a little sweet heat in there. So I love those, obviously. And it's got my face on it, so I've gotta love that.
- Epic Maple Bacon Pork Cracklings, $14 for four, 2.5-ounce bags: We're always stocked up on Epic cracklings, with the skin attached. It's a must. The maple flavor are the greatest things.
- Banza Chickpea Pasta Mac and Cheese, $23 for six, 7.7-ounce boxes: We love chickpea pasta for my son, and it now comes in some handy mac and cheese options. They have higher protein, a lot more fiber. They have a very, very similar texture [to regular mac and cheese]. It makes for a nice little side, and because your kid is getting a lot more protein, you won't feel as bad if they just eat some mac and cheese and some veggies.
- Pro-Bar Chocolate and Peanut Butter Blend, $36 for 12 at Pro Bar: I love these; I eat almost one of these every day. They come in these little squeezy packs and you have to knead the hell out of them to make them edible. It's sweetened with a little bit of date paste, and it's got a little bit of coconut oil with a little cocoa. It's just a wild little flavor thing. I love it. It's a good little dessert.