Just in case you are new here, let me tell you a not so little secret.
I hate to shop.
Especially grocery shop.
I am a hunter when it comes to shopping. Not so much a gatherer.
I've been known to sit on a bench or chair and read while I wait for my husband to shop.
Tonight I had my first monthly shopping trip. The reasons we have decided to give monthly shopping a try are:
1. I very much dislike shopping. (We aren't supposed to say hate in our house.)
2. I very much dislike planning menus, lists and doing the actual shopping four times a month. It seems like a big waste of my time.
3. We were spending way more on food and household items than we wanted.
4. I hate to shop. (I'm sorry, I had to say it.)
5. I'd rather poke my eyes out than go to Walmart.
I am very grateful to have food so plentiful and accessible to me. I am grateful to have money to buy food. I just hate feeling like my time is being wasted by repeating the same task over and over. Especially when it is one I dislike so much. I would rather scrub a bathtub, which is my other least favorite thing to do on the planet. That's why my husband cleans bathtubs in our house. Plus, he's good at it.
Since this was my first attempt at this I wanted to make things very simple. So, I planned one week's worth of meals and bought enough food to eat those meals 4 times. We probably won't really end up eating the same meals four times, but I have the ingredients to do so. It's likely I will mix some of the new with some of the old and do some different meals too.
Here is the very simple meal plan. I wanted to do our most basic meals. Nothing fancy, nothing requiring lots of ingredients. Simplicity was my main goal here.
3. Homemade muffins
4. Smoothies and waffles
5. German pancakes and fruit
6. Peanut Butter toast and fruit
7. French Toast
1. Peanut Butter sandwiches with fruit or veggie
2. Turkey sandwiches with fruit or veggie
3. Cheese quesadillas with fruit or veggie
4. BLT sandwiches with fruit or veggie
5. Mini pizzas with fruit or veggie
1. Beef tacos
2. Chicken Stir Fry
3. Spaghetti, Breadsticks and peas
4. Parmesan Chicken with veggie
5. Pork roast with potatoes and veggie
6. Crockpot Teriyaki chicken
7. Broccoli, Chicken and Rice Casserole
1. Banana Bread
3. Lemon Bars
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies
I wasn't able to buy everything I wanted at Sam's Club. Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you that part, we are going to shop as much as possible in bulk. Sam's Club is a delightful place. The aisles are sooooo wide, the carts are huge, and there aren't a zillion people. Just like I like it. I also loved coming home without a bajillion plastic bags. Since I wasn't able to get everything, that means The Mr. will probably be going to store to pick up the rest of what we need at some point.
Okay, so I'm sure there are amazing couponers and price matchers out there who can get killer deals on things. I tried the couponing thing and it wasn't for me. I have also done price matching off and on and found that I was most often not price matching, then I'd feel guilty for not doing it. So, for those of you who don't want to price match or coupon, I think buying in bulk might be a good thing to try. I think this is really going to work for us.
After I came home and put everything away, I told The Mr. some of the "deals" I got.
1. Calrose rice (sticky rice): I was buying 5 lb bags at Walmart for $5, so that's $1 a pound. At Sam's Club a 25 pound bag is $11. That's .44 a pound. HELLO! Why have I been shopping at Walmart all these years?
2. Butter: Lately butter is around $2.98 a pound. I'm sorry but I just can't buy margarine. I gave up buying it a few years ago and I'll never go back. I bought 4 pounds of butter for $7.29. That makes it $1.82 a pound.
3. 90% Lean Ground Beef: I have not seen extra lean ground beef for under $4 lately. (I'm sure I could look harder, though). I paid $2.98 a pound at Sam's Club. That price was only available in a 10-pound roll. I'm going to break it up into smaller portions and pop it in the freezer.
|My hand is in the photo just to show how massively long this thing is!|
4. Eggs: I bought 5 dozen eggs for $6.42. That makes it $1.28/dozen. Not too bad. I was happy to see the eggs at Sam's are local as well.
5. Milk: $1.98 a gallon. I believe Walmart has been $2.50ish and up lately.
6. All Purpose Flour: 25 pound bag for $7.70. A 25 pound bag at Walmart is over $11.
7. Cheese: Cheese at Walmart is around $4.28 a pound. A pound of cheese doesn't go very far either. I bought 5 pounds at Sam's for $12.09. That's $2.41 a pound.
The only item on my list that I didn't buy because of price was canned tuna fish. It worked out to be over .80 a can, which is too much.
The associates at Sam's Club were very helpful. They have employees that will take your purchase out to your car and unload if for you. There were two young men who helped me. One pushed my FLATBED of groceries out to the car and they had everything loaded into my car within minutes. I didn't buy a single thing that wasn't on my list. I would suggest if you are going to shop in bulk like this, to stick to your list or else you will end up spending a lot more. I nearly threw in a bag of $9 M & Ms at the last minute, because I was starving. But I didn't and I'm glad because I walked out of there only $1.52 over what I intended to spend. I also added everything as I went and I rounded up. Even if an item was only $7.29, I rounded it up to $8 and added it to my total.
Overall, this was a really positive experience. I keep asking myself, "Why did it take me so long to do this?" I've been managing a home for 7 1/2 years! I guess I'm a slow learner.
If you want to really get inspired, read The Prudent Homemaker Blog or The Prudent Homemaker Website. (I would start with the website.) She feeds her family of 7 or 8 (I can't remember) on $100 a month. Keep in mind she gardens year round and she also cans. It is a lifestyle commitment for her. Knowing her family does it on $100 a month gives me hope that we can reduce our monthly spending on food and household items by $200 a month eventually.