Grocery Shop Less Often

How We Grocery Shop Less Often To Spend Less

The one area of our budget that gets stretched and expanded the most often is groceries. We HAVE to feed our children. And not only that, but it should be somewhat healthy food, to boot. Because of this little fact of life, we started going to the grocery store every time we ran out of, say, yogurt. $50 later, we left with a quick meal for the evening, plus treats that sounded good to my baby-belly. Oh yeah, and yogurt! This wasn’t a sustainable practice for us.  I soon realized we had to reign in our grocery budget. The solution? Grocery shop less.

Grocery Shop Less Often

Grocery Shop Less Often: Bi-Monthly Trips

Instead of going to the grocery store several times a week, I committed to going to two stores every other week. I had to start preparing better for this by meal planning, paying attention to what we already had, and committing to make some things from scratch instead of rushing out to buy them when they run out. By preparing for two weeks, instead of rushing off to the grocery store without a plan several times a week, I would save us at least $100 a month.

Benefits

  • We use up what we have in the house
  • Towards the end of the two weeks, we practice contentedness and thankfulness since we have food- even if it’s not our top pick
  • Cutting out extra trips saves us money
  • Planning ahead allows us to use our resources wisely
  • I’m challenged to make healthier versions of food we love when our cupboards are running low
  • Meals get creative when we have to substitute ingredients for others
  • We dine out less when we have meals planned
  • I don’t have to spend every Saturday shopping

To help me get organized, I use sections of my spending freeze planning sheets to plan my meals and purchases for two weeks. Instead of one big Costco trip a month, I started making a smaller Costco trip twice a month. This has really helped.

Costco

Going to Costco bi-weekly is a smart move for us. There are some kids’ staples that we buy there that cost almost twice as much at the regular grocery store! I go in without an actual list, because sometimes Costco’s offerings change- but I have a general idea of the meats, fruits and vegetables, sides, and snacks that we get each time. By breaking the trip into these categories, I consistently spend $100 on these trips.

Grocery Store

The day after my Costco trip, I fill in the blanks with the regular grocery store.  Since we’ve been buying meat in bulk at Costco, I buy very little meat at this store. This really helps the budget! We buy fresh produce, bread, cheese, snacks, etc. during this trip.

Now, we spend about $400 a month on groceries for our family of four (which includes a pregnant, very hungry mama!) This is much less than we were spending when we weren’t as well prepared. Some months, we spent more than $600 on groceries!

Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping: not my favorite chore, but my kids’ favorite game to play!

Shopping Smarter

I have to be strategic when shopping this way because eating fruits and vegetables are important to us. I plan to use up fruits and vegetables that won’t make it to the second week right away. For the second week, I make sure we have plenty of frozen fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks. This is what we plan for produce and other perishables each week:

Week One

  • Bananas
  • Green beans, broccoli, etc.
  • Lettuce or spinach
  • Packaged yogurt
  • Apples (we buy tons of these at Costco)
  • Carrots (the 5-pound bag at Costco is cheaper per pound than the grocery store!)
  • Meat (goes into freezer after purchased)
  • Cheese (a big block from Costco lasts us two weeks. We also buy smaller packages of shredded cheese and freeze them for week two.)

Week Two

  • Apples
  • Carrots (The big bag lasts through both weeks!)
  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Meat from freezer
  • Homemade yogurt after the store bought yogurt runs out
  • Homemade fruit leather from frozen fruit
  • Cheese (slices from block, and mozzarella shreds from freezer for Italian meals)

This big change has helped our family in so many ways! I love that I get more time with them, because I spend less time at the grocery store. How do you save your family money on groceries?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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