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Question for those who meal plan a month at a time

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Do you shop for all your ingredients at the beginning of the month?  Or do you just get all your meats and non-parishables and then shop for parishables once a week?

 

I'm trying to get our budget down and I know that the less I shop, the less I spend.  But I'm just caught up on the logistics. I'm having a hard time stepping away from the way my mother shopped (once a week, no plan) but am in a completely different situation than her (it was just me and her, but I have my hubby and three small kids with me.)

post #2 of 7

My meals are planned a month at a time (mainly because I don't like the act of meal planning much so I don't want to do it weekly). My meals involved ingredients I always have, but the veggies or what I put IN the soup or whatever changes depending on what's in my CSA box. Once in a while I plan for something that I don't normally have on hand, and in that case I will pick it up.

 

I keep a fully stocked pantry in the garage and have a big freezer, and I just shop to replace what is lower than the amount I am comfortable having. I have a lady who delivers eggs once a week, I order with a friend for bulk stuff every other month, hit Costco and Trader Joe's once a month, have a CSA delivered weekly and occasionally hit the local grocery store or the Farmer's Market.

post #3 of 7

We shop the first Sunday of every month for everything we will need except for fresh fruits and veggies (DH gets them from the farmers market near work on his lunch break).  I try and make most of our bread, and we freeze things like cheese and milk that would have otherwise spoiled before we got to it.

 

I find that we are easily saving $100 a month.  Partly because you can only have impulse purchases once a month instead of once a week, but also? The freaking cart is gets so full there isn't room for frivolous extras. 

 

I don't think I could EVER go back to weekly shopping.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpuglyRoo View Post

We shop the first Sunday of every month for everything we will need except for fresh fruits and veggies (DH gets them from the farmers market near work on his lunch break).  I try and make most of our bread, and we freeze things like cheese and milk that would have otherwise spoiled before we got to it.

 

I find that we are easily saving $100 a month.  Partly because you can only have impulse purchases once a month instead of once a week, but also? The freaking cart is gets so full there isn't room for frivolous extras. 

 

I don't think I could EVER go back to weekly shopping.


That's what I was hoping would happen, lol.  Today I went on my weekly trip and bought a box of pierogies (dh never heard of them and wanted to try them), honey roasted peanuts and a soda that weren't on my list.  And today was a good day for my impulse shopping.

 

post #5 of 7

I don't plan monthly right now (more like a few weeks at a time) but I use the same method I've always used.  I shop sales.  The only time I go to the store is if I actually need something (milk or fresh veggies, whatever) or if there's a sale on something we need, so I rarely shop more than once a week.  Since I stock up on sale items, I can plan a month's worth of meals from what's in my house.  But I never go shopping only once a month, if that makes sense.

 

 

post #6 of 7

I meal-plan and shop monthly.  In winter we use mostly frozen vegetables (more nutritious than those flown in from far away).  So once a week we stop in to get fresh fruit, maybe salad things, and perishables like orange juice or dairy products.  I don't let myself walk through the aisles or the frozen section on those trips, or I have trouble with impulse buys.  Everything perishible is on the outer edge of the store.  In summer we do the farmer's market for our fruits &  veggies, so we just use the corner store for dairy (our corner store has cheaper dairy than the supermarket, fwiw)

 

I definitely save money this way.  However, I couldn't ever do the big shop with family in tow.  DD (2.5) comes with me for the quick shops sometimes, but DP keeps the kids home for the big shop.  I have twin infants and DD, so even if the kids were perfect it'd take me six years to chat with every damn person in the whole store about the kids (we get stopped ALOT when we're out with the babies).  And the kids would not be perfect. 

post #7 of 7

I also do a big shop every 4 - 6 weeks, and go weekly for milk (price controled here), fresh fruit & veggies. I don't do the plan a whole month in advance, but I plan from what I have (so if chicken is on sale, it goes in the freezer and I will plan to use it next week). I find myself saving a lot of money that way and also time I would spend shopping. We also have a large freezer, so it's easy to stock up on meat and frozen veggies.

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