|August 28, 2012||Posted by Ashley under Saving Money|
This is how grocery shopping used to go at our house…
1) Make a list
2) Go to the store
3) Buy almost everything on the list, but inexplicably forget to get things clearly written on said list
4) Go home
5) Put away groceries
6) Go back to the stupid store to get what I forgot
7) Stop at a drive through to pick up dinner because who has the energy to cook now?
8) Allow half of the produce to go bad by the end of the week
9) Throw it all out
10) Proceed to step one and repeat…
Sigh. I am ashamed to admit that I followed that process for many years. It’s terrible to think about all the food that has been thrown away from my house in the last two decades. Now that it is just my daughter and I living at home, I knew that we had to come up with a better plan. An online friend mentioned that she was going to shop MORE frequently for her (quite) large family for a variety of reasons. I instantly thought about the grocery store maxims that I had been taught since I was a little girl:
Never ever ever go to the store hungry cause you will buy everything under the sun and blow your grocery budget straight to you know where,
Don’t go to the store too often because you will just spend more money…
But my friend’s logical and well thought out reasons for going to the store every two or three days smacked of truth to me! Her thinking was revolutionary – and designed to save money! Could I really do it? Could I prove that the very foundations of my grocery shopping philosophy were built on lies from the devil? (sorry mom, I’m not calling you the devil, just trying to be dramatic.)
I decided to find out. I mean really – I live within five minutes of three grocery stores. I would certainly approach this differently if I lived 30 minutes from civilization!
So, I made a menu up for two days worth of food for the two of us. I actually purchased everything on the list on the first trip! I kept the menu idea sheet on the door of the fridge and that’s what we ate for two days. Except that the food lasted for three days. In my attempts to get spending under control, we resisted any urge to go out to eat and decided not to go back to the store until we actually ran out of something and didn’t have a substitute or until there was no food left in the fridge.
So, what has been accomplished by this change?
*We no longer throw away rotten produce, because we use it before it goes bad.
*We know exactly what there is to eat and we eat it.
*Our food is fresh and we are eating more healthy than ever before.
*And perhaps most importantly, I am not bogged down with trying to remember what we are supposed to eat for the next seven days. I just have to think about 2 or 3 days at a time – what a relief for my overworked little pea brain!
There is no doubt in my mind that this has easily cut our food budget by 25%. It may not work for everyone, but it sure has for us! I absolutely love this new system!
So, what have you done to reduce your food bill and streamline your shopping process?