I was intrigued by this series of posts at Raising Arrows that describes how a large family saves money and time by making one trip to the grocery store a month.
Frankly, I don’t think we’re there yet. I find that one trip a week with my two girls is not overwhelming and suits us just fine. Nor am I sure I’ll ever be. She does say that she makes a small trip every week or two for milk and eggs. But she says nothing about fresh produce. Since I eat and cook with mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, I’m going to have to make a shopping trip about once a week anyway, that’s about the longest I can make them last. And if I’m going to the store for produce and dairy, I might as well pick up dry goods at the same time.—especially since we don’t have a lot of pantry space and so keeping canned and boxed goods for a whole month’s worth of menus would take up more space than we really have. Also, I do try to buy meat when it’s on sale, but that often means at least one type of meat is on sale every other week or so. So all in all I don’t see myself adopting once-a-month shopping.
Still, one valuable tip the series offers that I think I will adopt is the Master Grocery List, a list of all the foodstuffs you like to have regularly stocked, as well as the quantity you want to always have on hand. Right before making a trip to the store, you simply go through the pantry, fridge and freezer and check whether you have the desired quantities on hand. Write in the number needed on the blank and then check each item off as you make your way through the store.
Although I don’t have a set menu and don’t like the idea of a repeating menu, I do find myself making the same core meals over and over again and liking to have a basic set of ingredients on hand. I think having a master list could really streamline my weekly list making and help me avoid either overbuying or forgetting a necessity and then having to either change plans of run out to the store mid-week.
* Part 1: Introduction
* Part 2: The Master Meal List
* Part 3: The Master Grocery List
* Part 4: Shopping Day
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