Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monthly Shopping Help

This week is the backwards edition of Works For Me Wednesday. That means that we post a problem and other respond with thoughts for solutions.

This month I have decided to try out once a month shopping. Normally I go to the grocery store and plan out my menu once a week. In an effort to save myself some time and money I decided to try switching to going to the store once a month. And by that I mean I am planning to one big shopping day a month. During that day I will do ALL my shopping (groceries, household supplies, etc). Obviously I will still need to pick up things like milk and possibly bread a little more often then that so I will allow a quick trip to get any perishable necessities, but that is it. My goal is to stay out of the stores because if I’m not in the stores then I certainly can’t spend money there.

So, my question is, what tips do you have for monthly shopping or monthly menu planning? Please post your answers or links to any good posts about this in my comments.

For more Works For Me Wednesday Backwards Edition, head over to We Are THAT Family.

4 responses:

Milehimama said...

I recently posted about planning a month of food (staples, like pasta, rice, etc.)

How to Plan A Month of Food

It really helps if you have a list of dinners, etc. that you always make, so you can pick up the basics. Or even save your grocery lists/receipts for a month, and see how much you buy!

Jennifer said...

I read a tip on someone's blog (sorry I don't have the link. It was probably a WFMW post though) about this exact thing. She started with a blank calendar and filled in the days with meals off her list. If I remember, she even planned breakfasts and lunches this way.

Milehimama's link is probably more helpful than I am though!

Larissa Smith said...

When I have done monthly meal planning/shopping, I made a master list of foods that my family ate, and divided them into twice monthly/once monthly lists. If you have a less picky family than mine, you might have to cull your list further, but that was the right amount for me. Basically, if you have about 10 to have twice, you'd need 10 more to have once. You get the idea.

Then, I made a master ingredients list, and I mean I listed out EVERYTHING. How many cups of salt, butter, flour, rice...all of it. Then, when the first of the month rolled around, I printed off my master list, checked my fridge and pantry to mark off which ingredients were already covered, and there you have it. One big list that you only have to write down one time.

Other tips: redo the schedule each month, so you don't always have grilled cheese sandwiches after taco night. Also, with meals you know you will eat more than once, make a double batch the first time you have it and freeze the other half for the next time (or whatever part of the prep can be frozen). It's a time-saver, and if you end up with extra meals for the month, it's easy to apply forward to the next month without having food go bad.

Keri Ann said...

Hi there! Back in September I hit upon a dinner planning system that has worked brilliantly for me for 7 months now. It's very simple. I plan two weeks worth of dinners at the beginning of each month, then repeat them for the second half of the month. Basically, it's 28 meals. So 11 months of the year there are a couple of spare days at the beginning or end of each month, which I fill either with leftovers, sandwiches, or if the budget allows, an inexpensive meal out. This has made my life easier in sooooo many ways. I won't carry on here, but if think this might work for you and you want more details, I'd be thrilled to share them. Just email me at kallutes@yahoo.com. :-)