I have been looking forward to this weekend all week, matter of fact, all month! Its my big grocery shopping weekend!!! You know how most every woman has a dream of a shopping spree for fashion, I dream of a shopping spree at a grocery store and William and Sonoma…. hmmmm a girl can dream. I just love to eat and love to cook. So, my big grocery shopping weekends are the next best thing.
I break this time up into different parts and two stores, Publix and Costco. One, depending on who all is going with me and two, the time of day. I have learned the hard way that doing this trip all in one day never turns out well. You see I am so tired after a day of grocery shopping that I buy more food for lunch/dinner that day since I don’t have the energy to cook. To me that seems counter productive, all I could do at that point is think of more items I could have bought with the money I just spent.
Take note my friends, this is another answer to the “How do you do it” question I am always asked. Tia, this post and the next few will be for you and your college friends. How to shop for a month of food in just one trip!
What I learned about my grocery shopping behavior, prior to the “Monthly Shopping Trips (MST)”, was that I was spending so much more at the store when I went weekly and often throwing food away from forgetting I bought it. As a result, I needed to take a deep dive into my shopping pattern to yield more cost effective results. This is the method I came up with that works for me:
- Use a blank calendar and plan out your meals for the month. I am visual so this was perfect. Get creative with this, once a week or twice a month throw in a meal that’s new for you. Need inspiration, look on Pinterest or watch The Food Network. I love The Pioneer Woman.
- Breakfast meals- alternating easy, medium and long prep based on the day
- Dinner – based on the work and activity schedule
- Snack- these kiddies are always wanting a snack, try homemade snack recipes
- Lunch- but only for the weekends
- Make your grocery list based off the ingredients needed for your calendar meals. You should see a lot of ingredients are the same. This is your goal!
- Which ever store your shop, look at what they have on sale. Use those items as the main items for your month. More bang for your buck.
- Use the fresh produce that’s in season. Not only is it more cost effective, it provides great variety at meal time and it forces you to venture outside your normal meal routine!
- Coupons- need I say more!
- Rotate your meat- if you make spaghetti and meatballs for Monday, make extra meatballs for that meal and have a meatball sub on Thursday. This makes your meat shopping easier and cost effective.
- Shop for meat in bulk- Sam’s, Costco, etc. It really works out cheaper that way. Use freezer bags and break the meat apart for your meals! reeze them and you are ready to go!
- Find ways to use the same ingredients. Same tip as with the meat. For instance if three meals call for black beans, put those meals in the same week and buy the dried beans, they are usually cheaper. Make one pot and go from there.
- When time to cook, cook in this order : Fresh Foods, Frozen Foods, Canned Foods. This way you never make the mistake I did and throw away food because it went bad. Once you are out of canned foods the month is over and its time to shop again.
Lastly, a few more tips:
- Always buy a frozen pizza and some frozen meals- you will have those days trust me!
- Shop on a full stomach!
- Try to shop without kids- Ha! Funny I know, says the woman who is outnumbered.
Well, that’s basically it! That’s my road map I follow each month for grocery shopping! Now it’s time for me to get started! Come back throughout the weekend as I post more details about my trip including what’s on my month calendar!
Love- Out Numbered!