How do you plan trips to town? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-03-2005, 01:45 AM - Thread Starter
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We just moved to the foothills, about 45-55 minutes away from town, and I am trying to get a feel on how often we need to go to town to get groceries, do errands , etc. What do you do? Buy in bulk? bring food back in ice chests?Cook in batches and freeze? We don't have a garden yet, so are dependant on the grocery store...
Thanks for any input!
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#2 of 5 Old 05-03-2005, 12:10 PM
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We live 30mins from a grocery store and 1 hour away from the nearest health food store. So, we plan out our food shopping.

Once a month I go on a huge shopping trip. I get all my staples, basic stuff, to last the whole month. This is stuff like flour, rice, beans, sucanat, dried fruits, laundry soap, stuff like that. I get my milk and eggs from a neighbor, so I don't need to worry about that stuff.

Then, about once a week we get things that we go through pretty fast, like, fresh fruit, salad stuff, fruit leather, nuts, ect.... I usually combine these trips with going to the second hand store, library, ect.... to save on gas.

Frozen stuff usually holds out pretty good if I pack it in paper bags with other frozen stuff.

There are times when we have to run to town to get 1 thing, like when dh does plumping or stuff around here, he ALWAYS needs a part, lol. But, that's life

Good luck It takes some getting used to, but you'll get the hang of it in no time.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-03-2005, 07:49 PM
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We live 30 minutes from closest grocery--and 40-45 min to whole foods & trader joe' I tend to stock up on thiings when on sale so pantry is somewhat stocked--and once a week I go down & do the shop--buying extra when I can---and to supplement during week, we do have a local country market with great organic produce & home made breads--and in summer we garden a little. We have a health food co-op too which we can order items in bulk once a month--iI no longer do, but when we moved here I did , just to adjust from marketing everyother day to the once a week--(or in winter, sometimes once every other week.)

I think once you are used to it, it just becomes commonplace to do a big shop--and freeze if you have meats/fish.......but it does take some getting used to. Good luck!!
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#4 of 5 Old 11-02-2005, 04:00 AM
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We live 20 min from the food coop in town, sounds short but with 4 little kids it's a big trip. I've been shopping every other week lately. I have an extra freestanding freezer and separate extra fridge (soooooooooo helpful). I also have pantry shelves. And I store stuff in plastic tubs, too. It helps to stay totally on top of things make sure to stay a step ahead of what we eat - for example, I keep at least one extra of condiments, and buy a new one when I use up my spare rather than when I run out. I keep lots of staples in bulk - grains, canned stuff like beans and tomatoes, frozen veggies and fruit, etc. We buy chicken and beef in bulk from farmers and freeze.

I also meal-plan. I figure out 14 dinners and what I need for them before I shop. Usually the first week is more vegetarian and involves perishables like fresh produce, and the second week is more meat-heavy and involves more pantry staples and stuff from the freezer. It took me a little while to analyze my family's food patterns, but I have a rough idea now of how often we run out of stuff and just try to make sure we have enough of everything for two weeks.

I keep a list on my computer of everything we use on a regular basis (listed by where I find it in the store to save time when shopping!) so it's easy to scan what I have and circle what I'm out of.

So I shop in town every 2 weeks, and hope I won't have to go back the second week for something I desperately need. It's easier to make do than I used to think. I also drive about an hour every 3 months or so to shop at a Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Target. I keep a list of the things we regularly buy at those stores and do the same kind of inventory before I leave, then I buy 3 months' worth.


Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#5 of 5 Old 01-03-2006, 06:43 PM
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We are trying to go shopping less and less. We just don't like the time it takes and the hassle involved. My husband picks up things we need in a pinch, and I have been finding things like bulk herbs and a lot of our supplements online. Many places have free shipping if you spend $X, and I found a couple of places that have fixed shipping costs of around $5 to $6 on orders less than $75.

I also found a place I can order things like bio-degradable cleaners that delivers, and it costs me less than I used to pay for the name brand toxic cleaners, even when I include the shipping cost. That is once a month. I also order vitamins from that company.

I buy bulk grains and beans and things from a local health food store. They special order for me and only mark it up 10% over their cost. It would cost me more than that in shipping in most cases, so that is a deal for me.

So, I think ordering in is probably the best thing we do... when you shop around and get deals on shipping, even free shipping, it can be very worthwhile. The internet is a great resource!

Forgot to add that we do take a trip every so often to a place in the boonies about 2 1/2 hours away for some things. I plan ahead for what I need there and bring a cooler or two. Then frozen meats and things stay frozen and keep the rest of the food cold on the way home.

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