Monday, March 25, 2013

A case for once a month shopping

A few months ago I took over the grocery shopping for my hubby. He'd been doing it for six years and was due for a break. It only took a few weeks to figure out why. It was awful! I hated it! I made a menu plan, went shopping, came home and put it all away, only to find I'd forgotten stuff. Then, when Saturday rolled around I was stuck doing it all over again. Ugh.

I hate grocery shopping almost as much as I dread cooking rice. (I am a terrible cook. I can bake with the best of them...especially pie, but cook dinner? Forget about. I burn anything on the stovetop.) Read about how I got out of grocery shopping after the jump.

It wasn't long before I decided to shop for two weeks instead of one. I bought too much, it lasted us 3 weeks. Then I tried shopping for a whole month, we stretched it to 5 weeks. It was glorious. This is only my third month shopping once a month. I am by no means an expert, BUT there are some awesome benefits to a once a month shopping plan:

  • I only have to do it once a month. I just gained 3 Saturdays. Woo-woo!
  • Meal planning and prepping doesn't take that long, and I hardly have to do any work to put out a great meal, even on a hectic week night.
  • By shopping the perimeter, buying what's on sale in bulk, and minimizing impulse buys, I typically cut our grocery bill in half. This month and last month our grocery bill came out to around $53 per week!
So what am I doing that is different?
  • I am planning a month's worth of meals instead of weekly. This allows me to use ingredients more wisely and cut down on food waste.
  • I am utilizing my freezer much better. In order to enjoy fresh foods throughout the month, I am prepping meals and freezing them right away. No more accidentally using up all of the tomato sauce and having to run out for more.
  • I am shopping the perimeter. Most of the raw ingredients at the grocery store are located along the perimeter. The more expensive processed foods are in the middle aisles. Because I am prepping at home more, and am not cooking on week nights, I don't need to rely on shortcut ingredients for quick meals. We eat better and save money.
  • I don't cook on week nights. You read that correctly. I don't cook week nights and it is awesome. I pull a fully prepped, homemade meal out of my freezer in the morning, put it in the crock pot, and set the timer. Done.

It's awesome. It's easy. Come back and I'll show you how I do it, step by step.



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