Friday, January 3, 2014

Once a Month Grocery Shopping

You know when your refrigerator looks like this…..

… that it is time to go grocery shopping!  However, I detest going to the grocery store.  It takes too long.  I can't find what I need.  I spend too much money. The list could go on and on.  Therefore, I started doing a BIG trip once a month.  This helped so much not only with time but also with money.  Unfortunately when Adelaide was born, I did not do as well keeping up with this.  In order to have more time and money in 2014, I decided that I am going to start back doing this with a few changes in hopes to make it better for our family.  Here is what I am doing:

I sat down this morning, and I planned 20 main course meals.  The meals range from newbies that I have found on the internet to our family classics, from quick preparation crock-pot meals to ones that will take a little longer, from Italian to Southern cooking, from beef to chicken, and the list could go on and on.  I wrote down the name of the recipe, where I could find it, and what ingredients I needed to make it.  Then, I decided if I needed a side dish to go with it.  You know you have some meals that are fine without anything, but there are others that need some veggies or bread to make it complete.  I wrote down EVERYTHING!

Then I took my list and wrote a shopping list by category.  My categories were arranged by where I would find it in the grocery store such as Produce, Dairy, Frozen Foods, etc.  I wrote down not only the ingredient but also how much I needed of that ingredient.  I wrote down EVERYTHING even if I thought I had it in my kitchen.  I did not want to think I had something and not know for sure.  I took my complete list to the kitchen and checked to see what I already had.  If I had enough of something, then I marked it off.  By doing this, I was able to eliminate buying extra, and I was able to think of some other things we needed.

After I got my shopping list finalized, I sat back down and went through my coupons.  I marked on my list what I had a coupon for, what brand the coupon was for, and how much I had to buy to get that coupon.  This allows me not to have to scramble through coupons during my grocery visit which allows the trip to be a little shorter.  If I found a coupon of something that was not on my list but that I thought we would use this month, I wrote the product down on my shopping list in the appropriate category.  I designated a coupon with a C on my list.  Then, I was ready to go!

Since, I only shop once a month.  I go to Jackson to get everything.  My first stop was Sam's.  I stock up on paper products, dog food, meats, fruits, and random other things here.  I love Sam's meats!  I buy bags of frozen chicken breasts, because a lot of my recipes call for chicken. I also buy a 10 lb roll of ground beef, cut it in 1 lb segments, and freeze it so I can pull out what I need when I need it.  We do this also with a tray of steaks.  It makes life so much easier.  Anything I got at Sam's was marked off of my shopping list.

After leaving Sam's, I went to Kroger.  Since my list is arranged by sections of the grocery store, I am able to go through each section, get what I need, and make sure I don't forget anything.  I make sure to cross the item off my list when it is put in my buggy.  There are times when I have something on my list that I can't find.  Most of the times these are things that I added I had a coupon for, but that I don't really need.  When this happens, I put a box around it on my list so I know to pull it out from my coupon stash.  When I get through shopping, I pull my cart off to the side, get my coupons together, and check-out.

Try pushing this through this store.  This was on the cart at Kroger.  The one at Sam's had the 50lb. bag of dog food on the bottom.  Yes, tons of people stare at me like I am crazy, and I have had tons of people ask me questions about having so much.

Eventually, the back of my vehicle looks like this or sometimes worse…

At least this time I had some help unloading when I got home. :)  Now my refrigerator looks like this...

and I have enough stuff to make 20 meals plus. No, I won't be cooking everyday.  I know that I will have leftovers for some days and some days we may eat out (hopefully less often than we have been).  Yes, Kevin or I may have to run to the store in the middle of the month to grab a gallon of milk or something extra, but we should not have to spend more than a few bucks.

My goal is to sit down every Sunday and plan out the meals for the week.  This should not take too long since I have a master list for the month.  I think that I will not get to all 20 meals this month so I will just move the leftover meals to February's list.  This will help with the cost of February's grocery trip.

Check back Monday.  I plan on posting our week's menu.  Maybe you can get some good ideas of something that will work for your family!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, Elizabeth!!! I am impressed! You are super organized! This sounds like a great plan especially for young energetic working moms!



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