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Old 10-21-2008, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone do this? Do you find it makes your life easier as your not spending 2 +hrs a week in the grocery store?
I figure what im not going to be able to buy in bulk is fruits and milk thats it. I have a deep freezer, so I can buy pretty much buy everything eles, even lunch meant.....

One thing I dispise so very much is grocery shopping. people are rude, I feel like im always there, the place I go (b.c of prices) is always BUSY BUSY BUSY. If I went to a different grocery, I would pay about $50+ a week. I tried , thats to much more.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:00 PM
 
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Hey, you can freeze milk. I do it all the time when I go on vacation. Set it on the counter a day before you would use it. I shop 2-3 times a month though so no help there, but thought I'd tell you about freezing milk

You can freeze lots of fruit, just freeze them on a cookie sheet then put them in a ziploc afterwards so they freeze into one giant chunk. Things like apples, carrots, (hard veggies and fruits) can usually be stored in a cold, dark room (root cellar type).

So I guess it's possible, you just might have to get creative with your meals. Do you have a cheap place to buy in bulk from? I know I don't here...

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Old 10-21-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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We do the bulk of our shopping once a month because it's easier for us on food stamps. Tomorrow I will go pick up a few odds and ends and then do the rest, hopefully, tomorrow after my dr. appointment.

I pop into the grocery store once in a while for a good sale or for more produce, etc during the month.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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We do it every 2 weeks (although we went 3 weeks a couple times when our garden was producing!).
We don't buy milk at all, the soy drink lasts a long time when its not opened. Some produce lasts that long, thats the stuff we eat right before shopping once we run out of the stuff that goes bad faster.

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Old 10-21-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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I shop once a month, but quite often I make an 'oops' in meal planning and find myself running to the local grocery store (higher prices) for another item or two. Luckily though it's maybe one additional trip aside from major shopping day. It's such a pain to load all three kids up to run to the store for one item, that I've just found myself using substitutes or trying different ingredients based off of what I have on hand.

The one thing you may notice is that some food changes and has a different texture once frozen. If you don't mind, then this isn't an issue. Milk, some say becomes gritty once thawed. Honestly, our milk doesn't ever thaw completely - myh usband loves drinking milk with ice crystals in it so it gets used pretty quickly.

The best way I could think of to do this though is to shop with coupons/sales for a while and stock up on everything you'd normally be freezing - lunch meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, meats, etc, etc. can all be bought on sale, with coupons, and frozen successfully. Other pantry items I try to freeze at least 72 hrs to prevent an infestation of bugs in my pantry (if I buy something that happens to have bugs, this way they won't spread). Then I store nearly everything in canisters or airtight containers, then bags of beans/grains/etc. I store in a rubbermaid container.

I don't think you'll save much moeny just going out and buying food once a month right off the bat, but over time by buying in bulk with coupons you'll develop a great stockpile.

Also shopping at bulk stores can also be good - just be sure to make sure you're getting a good deal.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I do my big shopping twice a month & then I usually end up back there 1-2 times between dh's paydays for things that we run out of or I forgot. I tend to end up having to get more fruits as my kids eat it too fast(sometimes, other times it can sit there forever)
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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I actually find going more often makes it SOOOOOO much easier, plus we have better foods to eat.
I switched to twice-weekly trips from weekly trips, and..OMG! It is SO easy. the reason? I am only buying 3 days worth of food at once. So I only have to plan 3 days worth of meals, the trip is shorter, easier, there are fewer bags to carry, and we have fresher, healthier foods (I used to throw away so much fresh produce, for example)
I know this is in the F&F forum, so I will say that from a frugality standpoint, it wasn't quite as economical, but in all other ways, it was soooo much nicer, easier, better.
I'm not sure where you go, but I used to shop at night if possible..like...10pm-midnight. Nice empty store. but now..i like people in the store. I find shopping fun. but even if you don't/can't go to that extreme...there are always going to be busy and less busy times...like..saturday morning? Couldn't pay me to go near the store. Tuesday 9am? So much easier!

I found that simply re-framing my concept.idea of the trip.
Instead of viewing it as a "chore" to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. I look at it this way. Right now, by choice, my job, my life, is being with my kids. Sometimes we are playing in the house, sometimes we are at the park, sometimes i do laundry, sometimes we read, etc. sometimes...we go shopping.
I make it a fun family event. We go with no time pressure, and without that feeling of "i gotta get this done and get home as quickly as possible" Instead, we meander..talk abotu the foods, stop in the cafe for an ice cream cone or otehr snack...
now, i realize some situations (a colicky newborn, child who hates riding in the cart, etc) might make this more difficult for some people....but i thin most can make it work.
for thisoe 2 hours..or 1, what i am DOING is shopping. It isn't just a means to an end..it is an experience i an having during my life, one i am frequently sharing with my children, and these daily events are the things life and memories are made of.

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Old 10-22-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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I have a family of seven and I shop once a month. I buy 9 gallons of milk and freeze them. I buy cheese in bulk and break open the bags and split the cheese into multiple bags. I buy chicken from Sam's because it is always 1.99 a pound. Sometimes I find it cheaper on an add and stock up but I live 20 minutes from a grocery store so sometimes the cents in savings does not make up for the price of gas. I tend to buy the same things every month. Even if I am not out of the item I still buy it so we have it on the shelf ready for when we are out. I run a neighborhood fruit and vegetable co-op so I get fresh produce on my door every two weeks. If I realize I need something for a meal that I missed I call my husband and he picks it up on the way home from work because he passed the grocery store on his way. He is really good at only buying what I tell him too. Stocking up on meat on sale keeps my budget low so I find that I leave a little extra for stock up sales. I also shop a bread store that I get good bread for 1.00 a loaf. I buy 3 months worth and freeze.

I have found the quickest and best way to defrost milk is to fill up my sink with warm water and put the milk container in the water. 2 hours later your milk will be ready to drink.

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Old 10-22-2008, 05:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I actually find going more often makes it SOOOOOO much easier, plus we have better foods to eat.
I switched to twice-weekly trips from weekly trips, and..OMG! It is SO easy. the reason? I am only buying 3 days worth of food at once. So I only have to plan 3 days worth of meals, the trip is shorter, easier, there are fewer bags to carry, and we have fresher, healthier foods (I used to throw away so much fresh produce, for example)
I know this is in the F&F forum, so I will say that from a frugality standpoint, it wasn't quite as economical, but in all other ways, it was soooo much nicer, easier, better.
I totally agree with this! I have tried meal planning and shopping a week or more out and it just takes up too much of my time. And I have to worry about coordinating the meals with leftovers, making sure I have *everything*, etc. I found myself saying things like "Well I can't give DS those carrots as a snack because I need those for Tuesdays dinner" or "No cheese sandwiches today, because we need enough for Saturday's pizza." Just too frustrating.

I also found myself stocking up when I didn't need to or buying special items just in case we might want it later in the week "Oh, better get pumpkin in case DH wants to make his pumpkin waffles next weekend." Then it would sit there for months.

Along those lines its actually easier for me to resist temptation for treats now knowing that I be back in the store in a few days.

Another advantage is that you can plan meals around spontaneous specials. If I find meat marked down to 50% off because its at sell-by date I can plan a meal around it on the spot.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Count me in as someone who finds going to the store more often as easier. I have never done the "once a month" thing, but I have tried two weeks at a time. I just *hated* having all that food to shop for and load up.

I also feel less stressed about getting everything I need when I know I'll be back soon. When I let go of the feeling of having to get everything in the store in one trip, I relaxed more. I do meal plan, and I try to get around 4 meals in a trip. But if I forget something, I know it's ok because I can go back easily. I also shop at a farmer's market and some other places, so I can usually get what I need at places other than the grocery also.

I can see where you would save money and time if you went once a month. I live in an urban suburb, and it's very easy to go to the store. I'm sure if I lived further out, it would be a lot different.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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I'm just shopping/cooking for two so I'm sure it's easier, but shopping every couple of weeks works pretty well for me. Typically we just stock up on any staples we have run out of and get fresh produce and milk.

A lot of stuff we keep "in stock" at home, like rice, pastas, frozen meats and veggies, blocks of cheese, canned goods. These last for quite a while, so there is no need to buy them frequently in fear that they will go bad. The funny thing is that I normally mean to go shopping every week, but sometimes we have so much stuff to do (we shop on weekends) that I don't get around to it. I can make a week of meals out of stuff that we have on hand, but a week later I find I start running out of stuff. So that's how we got on a two week rotation.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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I have done it about every way imaginable and end up spending about the same amount of money either way!

When I shop for the whole month, it is a PIA because you spend this huge chunk of money and then by the end of the month, maybe you don't feel like something so you run to the store anyway.

I tend to go once a week, but sometimes we stretch it to two weeks, and sometimes we go twice a week if we forgot something. We live in suburbia and drive by two walmarts twice a day so shopping really isn't out of the way.

I grew up "shopping" nightly...my dad runs a grocery store, so we would decide what we wanted and run and get it or he would bring it home for the night.

I think you have to do whatever is best for your family. I do HATE going though on weeknights afterwork because it is SOOOOOO busy...I usually refuse and we do with out the item unless absolutely necessary!
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I actually find going more often makes it SOOOOOO much easier, plus we have better foods to eat.
I switched to twice-weekly trips from weekly trips, and..OMG! It is SO easy. the reason? I am only buying 3 days worth of food at once. So I only have to plan 3 days worth of meals, the trip is shorter, easier, there are fewer bags to carry, and we have fresher, healthier foods (I used to throw away so much fresh produce, for example).
This is my current strategy as well. The produce I was buying wasn't lasting the week and ended up being thrown out before I got to that recipe. So now I go 2x a week and I just make sure to stick to my list. I think that going once a week at first was beneficial as far as getting my head straight and focusing on meal planning and not straying from the list. But now that I've got that down, I can go twice a week and still stick to the list and stay on budget. And we're not down to a handful of grapes for our healthy snack choice after the week is up anymore.
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:21 PM
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2 hours a week in the grocery store?!
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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2 hours a week in the grocery store?! >>>>

yes thats a good week too.
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:25 AM
 
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I like the idea of shopping for produce 2x a week. For example, we went to Whole Foods today and just picked up some produce....however, by the end of the day...well granted my dad is here, my dad, son, and I had eaten the bag of grapes...so now technically we have no grapes for the week!

And I have to admitt, I am a grape snob...we all are. I started buying the organic grapes at Whole Foods and they are SOOOO GOOOOOD! But they are expensive...3.99/pound

So the other weekend they were at sale for 1 buck a pound at Target...so I bought a whole bunch and got home and we were SO dissapointed...they had a tough rubbery skin and I hate to say it, but most of them didn't get eaten.

Isn't that terrible! Sorry I felt the need to confess!
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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We live an hour drive from the grocery store and go every 2-3 weeks. We are currently getting our veggies from a CSA (ends next week, though ) so that helps, but even when we weren't, it still worked. We would just eat all the easily spoiled fruit and veggies early on and save the apples, potatoes, and carrots for the last week. Milk is the only other major issue and as pps said, you can freeze it. I find we spend way less money going infrequently--we tend to buy a lot less of the sale items that we don't really need (like chips or cereal).
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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I used to be really good at this. Then lately we are all having cravings for crazy stuff and I end up running to the store often. I only go when DH is here with the kids so it almost feels like a break, as well, when I get to go shopping without them. So, I aim for once a week but sometimes I have to run in between. Well, I don't HAVE to, but I do.

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Old 10-25-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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I have tried once a month shopping, and it didn't work well for me. By the end of the month I was trying to make due with bruised apples and canned fruits and veggies, and it just wasn't worth it. I've since gone to shopping every 2 weeks, and if I plan it right we still have fresh produce by the end of that time. I wasn't willing to make the sacrifice of giving up fresh produce just so I could skip a shopping trip.

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Old 10-25-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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We've just started doing this, and it does seem to be saving money because we have a lot of tinned stuff and just buy fresh stuff once or twice a week, which isnt a pain bc it's hardly anything to carry. We do online monthly shopping as we don't have a car - it's worth the small delivery charge, to me, to avoid all the extra expenses of running to the more expensive shops often just b'c they are closer when you've forgotten something!

It's also a very nice feeling to have stuff in the cupboards most of the month - when I shopped on an 'ad hoc' basis, I felt like we never had any food, and it was frustrating. As far as meal planning goes, I just estimate how many times we'll eat spag bol or whatever, and get the appropriate amount of tins of tomato. It isn't that complicated.
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Old 10-30-2008, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How long can potatos keep? If kept on a cold porch? its so cold out now I wonder If I can keep them on our back porch. (one of my pantries for canned food is on our back porch)
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