Here is the method that works best for keeping my kitchen stocked and family feed. I have different stores available to me than you do and I am sure we have different budgets and food preferences. So some of this might interest you but it might not carry over at all to your home.
I don't much like the grocery stores in my town and prefer the stores in Oklahoma City- about an hours drive. I like to shop at Crest Foods, where the cheese came from, mostly for sales and good deals.
I really like Sprouts for very fresh produce at low prices. They have nice meat and some good bulk items too- I pretty much only buy from their weekly sale list though as their regular prices are high.
Aldis is also on the list- I like their baking items, husband loves their chips, and sometimes they have good deals on produce.
Last is Sams, a big warehouse store where everything is good and comes in huge amounts.
Once we get to Oklahoma City, these 4 stores are all pretty close together.
My husband is not perfect but he is really good sport about driving me around, loading the groceries and will even backtrack if I decide to need to re-visit a store. He knows I am spending his paychecks just as wisely as possible.
The one thing everyone asks about, when they hear someone shops once a month, is what about fresh produce? Well, I do like to do the bulk of my shopping once a month and I think we probably eat more produce than average.
First, I buy the very freshest produce I can find. From past experience, I know the produce from Sprouts and Sams is fresher and lasts longer than produce I buy in my town.
Second, we eat things in order. I know the bananas and grapes won't last all month so we eat those first and have apples and oranges later in the month.
Third, I pack the produce as air tight as possible before I put it in the fridge.
|that 6 pack of romaine heads from Sams gets put in zipper bags and sealed up with as much air as possible squeezed out.|
These will keep for up to 3 weeks like this,
|the bulk organic greens bought at Sprouts for $1.99 /pound are sealed up in a plastic container|
I know these have a shorter shelf life than the romaine so these will get eaten first.
We had half of them in last nights salad.
Eggs- can you tell their are brown, blue and white ones in that dish? They don't come from the store but from friends who have a few chickens. $2 a dozen!
Milk - one store in my town puts half gallons on sale about once a month. I buy 6 or 8 and freeze them, after I open each one and pour about an inch into a pitcher. The milk needs a little room to expand when froze.
Baked goods - I make most of those from scratch at home.
I have a smallish chest freezer. It is currently packed though it is not always this full.
I did not buy any meat this trip because I have found some great sales locally on chicken and ground beef, roasts and sausage.
I buy big bags of frozen veggies and sometimes fruit to supplement the fresh produce.
I read the local sales ads when the come out each week. If their are really good deals or things we need, I buy them locally.
I do stop at Walmart and Walgreens to use coupons maybe twice a month.
With the big shopping trip, I don't have to shop again for a month if I can't.
Normally I do supplement fresh and sale items if convenient.
If you are wondering how many people I feed - well, a lot!
Just my husband and I live here but I have grandchildren here about 3 days a week.
Their parents join us for meals often as does our single son.
My parents visit us an average of 1 week every month or so.
And when my parents are here visiting, my brothers usually come for a short time and our children visit more frequently so they can see their grandparents and uncles.
How much do I spend? It really varies.
In a very good month - maybe $400-$500 for the month.
It is usually quite a bit higher though. $700.
For all that we bought this week, I spent about $250 but that did not include any meat, milk or the eggs.
We have a pretty big stockpile and could probably live on just what we have for 3-4 months without much difficulty, maybe longer.
So, that is how we do it!
is it anything like how you plan and shop?