Sunday, March 13, 2011

Once A Month Shopping

Several times I have mentioned that I do the bulk of my shopping once a month. I have had some questions about how I do that.

I keep a running list on my frig of things that I have run out of or am about to run out of. Toward the end of the month I will use that list and look through my pantry and any recipes I have clipped to try. That is how I make my initial list. I also look through my coupons for those that are about to expire and the most recent sale fliers.

I go to the store with a detailed list. Marking items I have coupons for and items that I am price matching.

At one time I was shopping weekly at drugstores and chasing grocery deals. It became overwhelming and I felt like I was on the go all the time. I didn't feel like it was a good use of my time. That is when I made the decision to do my main shopping once a month at W*l-Mart.

Main pantry in the kitchen.

I buy enough milk and fresh fruits and produce to last two weeks. The things like bananas I know need to be eaten first and things like apples keep fresh longer.

Cabinet next to the stove that housing baking and spice related items.

I do have to make stops for milk and such during the month. Many times I will have Chuck stop and do that on his way home from work. If there is an exceptional deal and room in the budget I will do some stocking up during the month. I am one of those weird people that love to grocery shop! I find that the less trips I make to the store the less money that I spend.

This week with sales and coupons I was able to get cereal for less then $1.40 a box so I thought it was worth it to make a trip out for that.

With the unstable economy I have been trying to stock up each month. I will buy a few extra canned goods and watch for the great deals (like the cereal this week). In our third bedroom there is a closet that ended up being a catch all. It has been cleaned out and Chuck searched for some wood from the shed and this is what became of the closet.

Now I have a nice area to store my home canned goods and for additional food storage. I love having the extra food stored because you never know when you might need to skip a shopping trip or two. Each week I am able look through the pantry and freezer to plan my meals. I hope this was helpful and I answered all of your questions.

I hope you are taking time to enjoy the simple moments!


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Wendi! Back before I started couponing, I shopped once a month too. Loved it! Now with the gas prices, I'm thinking less grocery shopping would once again be a better use of my time and money. For right now, I'm planning to cut back to twice a month. And doing a quick trip for when the drug stores or grocery stores have an exceptional deal. Like today, I stopped at CVS on our way home from church. I've also been simplifying and doing almost all of my shopping at Aldi. I buy mostly the basics and then menu plan from my supply, so I might as well get enough when I'm out to last two weeks. I really don't care for shopping that much, although I like grocery shopping better than other shopping!

    I do the same with produce as you. Use the things that will go bad the quickest first like salad greens and bananas, then eat the other stuff the next week! I like frozen veggies for the weeks I don't shop too.

  2. Wendi,

    We are very similiar. I do my main shopping once a month too. Only I go to the commissary, much cheaper than most stores. Even Sam's and Costco seem higher. I go weekly to stock up on fresh fruits, veggies and milk. I freeze bread and just about everything I can. I do enjoy shopping when I can do it alone and I'm not rushed. I love to plan out my meals. There is something very comforting about having a plan, shopping for the menu and fixing it.

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Everything is so beautifully organized! Love it! I am working on a grocery shopping system that works for me. It is so different just shopping for myself and my almost 5 yr old since my husband passed away. Four years later, I am still trying to adjust to new circumstances and am trying to figure out what works best for us now. Lots of good advice in your post! You truly are a good steward of your home!

  4. Thanks for sharing what you do. WOW I love the room that you have to store things. You are right, with the economy (and GAS) all going up, getting stocked up is very important. We have a small freezer that we holds meat and when something goes on sale, I will make the trip to get those sale items. I so wish we had a super walmart near us but sadly we do not. Only a small one that carries some can/boxed items, snacks, soda stuff like that and no fresh foods at all! :( One of the joys living in a small town out in the woods I guess.

  5. I feel like I am buying more than necessary by doing weekly shopping. And you're right--it eats up so much time. Perhaps I need to consider 2x per month. You have quite a system for once a month shopping.

  6. Sounds like we do things pretty much the same!

  7. Pantry's look great! :-) Hope you are having a great Monday!!


  8. Great post! Thanks for sharing how you do it. I love the idea of once a month shopping - sometimes I make it work, sometimes I don't. I think I need to work harder at it! :)

  9. Thanks for posting on your grocery shopping system, Wendi. I applaud all the thought and planning you have put into it. I'm sure that all of your effort has saved your family quite a bit of money. I have never been good at couponing, menu planning, or finding grocery deals. =) I'm very inspired by all the frugal blogging mamas out there that post their savings from playing the drugstore game and the like. I don't clip coupons because we don't get the Sunday paper. We did for a while, but the papers stacked up in the garage for recycling, and the coupons I was clipping was always for brand name stuff, which we rarely buy anyway. I've also tried printing internet coupons now and then, but it seemed to be so much of a hassle because we'd either be out of ink or I wouldn't have the right software at time to even open the coupons!! Ug! I'm sure this must be much easier than my experience, though, since so many people do it! I think I just need to sit down and make the time to get it all organized one of these days. In the meantime, I just try to stock up on store bargains when I see them and try to stick to a list instead of what catches my eye. Let's just say, you inspire me!! =)

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