Whenever people hear that I only grocery shop once a month, the questions and comments are all the same. So here is the how and why of once a month grocery shopping.
Grocery shopping takes me about two hours once a month. If I go fortnightly or weekly, it takes an hour and a half. Over all it takes less time to shop. If you add in the 45 minutes to an hour each way that it takes to travel to a supermarket, it takes much less time to shop monthly. I really do not want to spend around 4 hours every Saturday going grocery shopping.
Shopping monthly also saves a lot of money. I find that we spend a lot less when we are in the shop less. There are less opportunities to impulse purchase.
I do stop off at the local IGA in the small town nearby for extra milk and fruit about once a week. It is impossible to keep enough milk and fruit for an entire month.
We have a huge garden which provides most our vegetables which considerably cuts down what I need to buy. We also eat a lot of pork which we grow ourselves (and also rabbit from time to time)!
I always start by writing a meal plan for the month.
Once the meal plan is written, I write up our shopping list. Country Boy made up this check list of the things we buy regularly, and I use it to go through the pantry and make sure I have everything we need. I also cross check with our meal plan.
After the list is made, it is off to the shops. Often I will shop after work to save another trip to town. Generally I need 2 trolleys to get everything. Toilet paper usually takes half a trolley on its own!
I always start with cleaning products, followed by toiletries, and then shelf stable foods. That fills the first trolley. I then take it to the checkout (just about faint when the cost is totaled), put it in the car, and then go straight back in for round two.
|Trolley 2 ( I forgot to take a photo before I paid)|
Since we moved our shopping habits have changed. We decided to get rid of juice all together (with the exception of special occasions such as birthdays) because it takes up a lot of space and is unnecessary.
We don't buy a lot of cut cold meat at the deli because it doesn't last long. Instead I will buy a bulk roll of leg ham which we then slice as we need it. It tends to last longer, and also is a lot cheaper.
If I see something on special I tend to stock up on it, knowing that it will get used in the longer run.
How do I know how much to get?
I have worked out what my family uses through trial and error. I know in an average month we will go through 60 litres of milk (which is why I don't buy it all at once), 25 loaves of bread, 30 rolls of toilet paper, 3 bottles of dish washing detergent (no dish washer here!), 3kg of flour, 1.5 kg of porridge oats, 1.5kg cheddar cheese, 2kg of yoghurt (though we have recently started making our own).
How much does it cost?
Our budget is personal, suffice to say that we value purchasing quality food for both health and taste reasons. We have made a decision to buy Australian produced brand name products where ever possible and avoid generic or store brands. We do save a large amount of money buy growing our own vegetables and a lot of our meat.
We also avoid buying a lot processed foods. We do buy some individual served packets of biscuits to throw in our bag when we are trying to get out in a hurry, but we try to (mostly) buy basic food items and make our meals and snacks from scratch. This costs a lot less than buying ready meals.
So I hope that answers some of the questions. What else do you want to know about the country life?