Weekly Grocery Shopping (By Myself!)

There are many different ways to do grocery shopping. There’s the “Once-a-Month” club, the “Once-a-Week” club, and the “I’m-all-out-of-Food” club. At one time or another, I think I have belonged in each one of these clubs. At this stage in life, however,  I’ve found that the “Once a Week” club works best for our family. Here’s why.

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Easy to Maintain

I plan a menu for the week while looking at the calendar. I typically menu plan on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning so  I can go to the store on Saturday or Sunday. At that point, my calendar is pretty well planned for the week ahead, barring any emergencies, so I know what I have time or the inclination to make. For example, at the moment, my husband is training for a marathon and has long (13-20 mile) runs on Saturday morning. We used to do pizza night on Fridays, but that was really messing with his stomach on his runs, so now we do a simple but carb-heavy pasta dish. But it’s on the calendar, so I plan for it. I found that when I tried to make a plan for a month at a time, I never knew what would end up being on the calendar toward the end of the month, and I wouldn’t have the right types of foods to feed us. I don’t honestly even write out an extensive grocery list; I’ve found that if I bring my menu, I can go off that. The only time I’ll write down specific items is to make sure I don’t forget something I don’t normally buy, or I’m making a new recipe and I need to ensure I have all the ingredients.

 

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Easy to Shop

While my large family eats a lot of food, it’s a lot easier to contain a week’s worth of food in the buggy at the store, in the car on the way home, and in my pantry and fridge. I have one normal-sized refrigerator/freezer and a pretty large pantry. So getting more than a week’s worth of groceries severely stretches the limits of my cold storage. And nobody looks at my weirdly with just one buggy in the store. I can also get in and out of the store in under an hour, which I consider a good thing. I shop with a pretty specific list, so I don’t have to stop and think while I’m there, which shortens my time as well.

 

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I Go By Myself

This is actually a pretty important part. With five kids, I don’t get out of the house by myself too often. But to do grocery shopping, it’s imperative. I made the mistake two weeks ago and took the entire family, minus one child. Fiasco! It took almost twice as long, was twice as frustrating, and we spent almost $50 more than I normally do. I don’t know all the why’s and wherefore’s of why this happens, but it happens every time I take children (and a husband!) with me. So I leave them home. I keep meaning to bring earbuds so I can just listen to music while I shop. Maybe next week!

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These are my reasons for shopping once a week right now. It’s not iron-clad, so I may go back to another shopping “club” later, but at this stage in my life, it’s working. I’m not saying I never forget something, and have to run back out another time, either. Last week I forgot chips for lunches and dishwasher soap, so I had to stop by the store (with ALL the kids) and grab those. But it’s not too bad if you only have to do it occasionally.

 

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