That's what grocery shopping takes on when you live on your boat.
I am one of those girls who comes from a family where the pantry is stocked with junk food, cans of Cream of (fill in the blank), at least 7 boxes of cereal, 5 big bags of chips, and tons of things that you may never eat. At least 3 square feet of the bottom of the pantry is filled with ingredients for Fruit Cake that my mother makes around the holidays. Growing up we had 2 extra large deep freezers in the garage, an extra refrigerator in the garage, and a normal refrigerator in the kitchen. My father hunts, fishes, and we raised animals that kept all of the freezers full of fresh meat.
Well that just isn't going to work on a boat. Our canned goods storage space is behind one of the settee backs. My hubby has an entire storage space behind another settee filled with Ramen and Mac n Cheese. Kraft Original only, he won't do with any of that fancy Velveeta Shells n Cheese stuff. Another is filled with box dinner fixins.....without the boxes because our diligent prevention of a roach invasion cardboard is not allowed on board. Our cupboard with plastic glasses is halfway full of spices and our cupboards above the galley sink are filled with dry goods - pounds upon pounds of rice because the hubby has a slight addiction. Yes.....to rice.
Our freezer is a couple of square feet and we pack in the meat as tight as we can near the cold plate so we can use the far side as a refrigerator. So that addresses space.
Now the actual process of shopping and getting the groceries on board...... Before making a grocery list, I made a "meal" list. Enough meals to cover us until we be "provisioning" again. Then my grocery list is made to specifically and only buy the ingredients needed to make the meals. Ok, ok, sometimes I'm nice and will buy crackers, chips, or even some salsa. But most of the time it's very bare bones due to the aforementioned space issue.
Groceries are bought. Before any groceries even make it to the dinghy, all cardboard boxes are thrown away. Being careful to snip away the instructions, and what the dish is actually supposed to be, before placing it in a plastic container. Any items that are contained in paper like containers, such as koolaid, are double bagged in Ziplock baggies. I make sure to only buy the instant mashed potatoes in the plastic like bag. All rices, beans, bread crumbs, pancake mix, etc are also poured and stored into larger plastic containers.
I've had to get in the habit of buying boxed milk that doesn't require refrigeration until storage. And I've learned a very, very important lesson. Almond Milk is tasty. Vanilla in particular and I have a soft spot for chocolate. But do not ever, ever try the unsweetened. The Almond Milk/Coconut Milk mixture is nice. But I repeat DO NOT try the unsweetened Almond Milk. I "may" have thought that my breakfast powder had gone bad because the taste was so gross.