Grocery Shopping can be such a chore. It doesn’t matter if you are a single person shopping for one or shopping for a family. Grocery shopping is something that connects us all. For many years, grocery shopping was that once a week chore that I simply dreaded – even before kids.
I’m not exactly a master chef and let’s face it – I’d rather be doing other things with my time. (Sound like you?)
In November of 2018, my husband and I were chatting about our grocery routine. It’s hard for me to go by myself, it’s hard for us to take all three girls, and it was just such a stressful situation.
When all three girls contracted the flu, it had been days of zero sleep, take out and no groceries… That’s when I said to my husband we have to try this Walmart Grocery everyone talks about.
So, we did.
I’ve been using it ever since. In January of 2019, we started our bi-weekly grocery shopping journey and haven’t looked back. I am still fairly new on this journey, but it’s a journey nonetheless and after many requests on my instagram account, I am sharing my tips and lessons learned so far!
WHY I SHOP BI-WEEKLY
Anytime we are making a significant life change, and let’s be honest grocery shopping is a big part of our lives we should know WHY. Why am I switching the way I shop?
I find when I can attach purpose to something, I am more committed. Here are a few of our families reasons for bi-weekly grocery shopping.
- TIME SAVING
- MONEY SAVING
- SANITY SAVING
For our family, grocery shopping for the week took about 2 hours out of our weekend. Between the driving to the store, shopping and coming home it was about 2 hours. It meant that on either Saturday or Sunday I we would have to plan that time to be at the grocery store.
Since moving to bi-weekly grocery shopping, I am only spending time in the grocery store 2x a month instead of 4x.
A word of caution; the first couple of times you shop this way you might find you miscalculated your needs. We used to run out of essential items ALL.THE.TIME!
Initially, you might not see how this will save you money. However, if you stick with it you will find that the less you are in the grocery store the less often you throw additional items into your cart.
I used to get trapped by the “stock up and save” technique. Truly, all that ended up happening was me having an abundance of items I didn’t really want or need.
I promise you, I’m a much happier person know I don’t have to shop for groceries every weekend.
TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED
Now that I have established my why I challenge you to take some time to establish your why. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve clearly considered it. So, think about your personal schedule and family needs, perhaps this will work out well for you!
- USE A CALENDAR
- MEAL PLAN EVERYTHING
- BUY A LITTLE EXTRA
Use a Calendar
It does not matter what planner you use, just use a system that you know you will keep up with. My husband does literally EVERYTHING digitally, I am more of a paper and pencil type of gal. My favorite planner is the *Erin Condren but I’ve also used free ones printed from the internet and this one from *Amazon. At less than $7.00 it’s a great pocket-size option.
Once you’ve selected your calendar, use the month view to plan out your meals. Make sure you plan every single meal. This includes any snacks for your family or snacks you might need to take to a child’s sporting event or school function. Plan everything out. Visually seeing your two weeks can help you get a realistic idea of the amount of food you need. Trust me, it’s more than you realized.
I really enjoy following Amanda from The Fundamental Home. I’ve gained so many good tips and tricks for stretching my budget from her. One of the things I learned from her was making a list of everything you know how to cook. I have a very simple list on google docs. Every time I try a new recipe that works out, I just add it. Then, when I’m planning our menu, I have a list of ideas readily available. When I heard her say that on a video, my mind was literally blown. Such a simple idea and a helpful tip!
If you want to be successful with bi-weekly grocery shopping, you need to make a meal plan and stick to it. Discipline is essential to your success with this.
Buy a Little Extra
Even if you are meticulously planning out your meals, there is always room for error. The first couple of times we did our grocery shopping this way we ran out of essential ingredients such as milk, bread, and eggs. This would cause us to go to the store, see a deal and fill our carts with random things we didn’t exactly need. Buying a little extra will help your budget in the long run.
WHAT ABOUT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES?
A common question I get on my Instagram is what I do about fresh fruit and vegetables. I haven’t found a way to keep my strawberries and bananas fresh for two weeks, but I have found that there are certain items that will definitely last.
Items like; apples, carrots, and cabbage will typically last two weeks.
Items like; lettuce, berries, and bananas typically won’t last.
To decrease the amount of waste, I only purchase those types of items for one week and then for the second week we eat many frozen vegetables, frozen fruit and apples.
In November of 2018, I switched to Walmart Grocery. I was previously shopping at Aldi and found amazing deals. However, I just can’t beat the convenience of Walmart Grocery. I can take my time at home picking out my groceries, creating a meal plan and then order the groceries online. The groceries are loaded into my car and the whole process takes less than an hour. I cannot say enough good things about Walmart Grocery. Anytime I have been given an item that was poor quality, I have been refunded for the purchase (without going back into the store) and if an item I ordered is out of stock, it is substituted with an equal or better item.
STORYBOOKERIN ON YOUTUBE
If you are interested in more of what types of items I buy plus the meals I typically make, head over to this short video.
Thanks for stopping by my little piece of the internet. I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite meals to make for your family?
With Kindness, Storybook Erin