Joining The Club For Weekly Shoppers

Nikki was dreading the idea of the summer daycare program every day all summer. So, to relieve her a bit, I worked out where she can come to work with me some days so we’ll only put her in for 3 days a week, AND, we signed her up for 3 different week-long camps. We didn’t want Wes to feel left out just because he doesn’t mind the daycare, so we signed him up for one of the camps that he was old enough to attend. This means, basically, THAT EVERY WEEK IS A DIFFERENT SCHEDULE AND IT IS A LOGISTIC NIGHTMARE.

I mean!

Since I’m an hourly employee who likes to live on a budget, I have to adjust every day/week to make sure that I don’t short myself on my paycheck in the driving kids to/from camps. Last week Nikki’s camp was down the road from my office so she came to work with me, I took a break to take her to camp, then I would take a break later to pick her up and she’d come back to work with me. That required I work later every day which meant the evening Run By The Store On The Way Home was tricky.

Yes. I go to the store every day.

Here’s the thing: It works for me. It keeps me from having to stress out about what we need for the entire week at one time. It allows me to take advantage of sales that start mid-week. I can adjust the dinner menu based on the nightly schedule which is often times unpredictable. And it keeps me from having to carry more than 2 bags of groceries up my front stairs at a time. When I used to try to shop a whole week at a time it stressed me out SO MUCH, this? Even though it seems like so much extra work? Easy. No stress. If I run out of something? I get it the next day. Boom.

BUT – last week was so insane and this week is Wes’s camp which makes my schedule also insane so…SO…on Saturday I hit three grocery stores in an attempt to keep from having to shop every day.

I DID A WEEKLY TRIP, Y’all! For the first time in years!

And so far? So good! I didn’t go to the store Sunday or Monday! So I made it TWO WHOLE DAYS without going to the store! THAT’S AMAZING!

I’m not going to make it all week. We’re already in need of bread, but I think a trip tomorrow will cover the rest of the week and the trip will be SHORT so I should be okay. And tomorrow I don’t have anything planned in the evening…SO…for the most part I think my Saturday plan will have worked.

AND LIFE IS SO NICE WITHOUT DAILY GROCERY TRIPS!

I know most of you are like, “Yeah. Duh.” But to me it was just part of my routine and not something I ever really thought about. I pass Target and Publix on the way home every day so – depending on the sales – I just stopped and bought whatever we needed for dinner and whatever we had run out of. I fix 3 meals for 3 people every day, Donnie gets 5 lunches covered at work and makes his own breakfasts, but I cook him dinner most nights that we’re not doing leftovers. So that means I fix anywhere from 20-30 meals a week. THAT IS A LOT OF MEALS TO PREP FOR. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do an entire week without any mid-week trips so I’m not going to stress out too much. If I can get it down to one mid-week trip during the summer that would be GREAT.

Do you shop 1-week at a time? How many “refill” trips do you make a week for things you’ve run out of?

13 thoughts on “Joining The Club For Weekly Shoppers”

  1. I’m a once-a-week shopper – and very disciplined about it (it helps me control costs as well as control access to junk food). If one of the kids starts to moan about how he wanted me to fix abcd not wxyz, I state that I can make it next week, but we plan our meals a week in advance so we have food to make certain meals right now. I rarely, if ever, run out mid-week for something. I also make all the lunches for my husband and myself on Sunday afternoon to make mornings super easy all week long (kind of a pain, but so much nicer than relying upon the not-great cafeteria food at work). The kids get fresh packed lunches by their dad before heading off to day camps.

  2. One trip a week. Breakfast gear (very ritualized) for the guys all week, basically never prep lunches for anyone because we all have other routes for that, then I make 5 dinners and husband makes two during the week to round things out.

    I’ll stop and grab stuff at the store once everyother week or so. Also, liberal use of Blue Apron (which can be modified to vegan 2/3rds of the time and my kid and I eat the third meal on our own).

  3. Once a week. I spent a little time on the weekend looking at the week to come and planning meals baed on the time we will have. Sometimes I make a second stop mid week for produce items for freshness.

  4. I try to stick to once a week, because we aren’t out and about like you describe. We aren’t that close to stores we prefer to shop for groceries. However, when we lived in Europe it was common for people to shop daily because they didn’t have big fridges like we do and they would get most of their stuff locally and fresh daily. I sometimes wish we could go to that method, the quaint village life of Europe and their local shopping techniques.

  5. I shop 2-3 times a week. I’ll do one big trip on the weekend and then do a mid-week run for milk, bread, & forgotten items. Occasionally I’ll add and extra trip if I forget to defrost meat or need something quick.

  6. Once a week! I almost never make mid-week runs. If we run out of something, we make do. I roughly plan my menu in advance. I write down the meals I can make with the ingredients that I have, and then I will buy what I need to fill in and will see what meat is on sale for the following week. I keep a running list on a dry erase board in the kitchen with things I have run out of. I also use frozen vegetables a lot, since I don’t have to worry about them going bad. I think menu planning takes practice and patience. When I first started, there were many weeks that the meals I planned never worked out right–whether it was bad timing on my part (forgot to plan for something) or forgetting to thaw something, or just not feeling motivated to make what was planned, or we decide to do something spontaneous which messes up the plan. But if you keep at it, you figure out how to make it work for you. I like just having a list of dinners i can make this week, and then throughout the week, I just kind of plug them in. Anyway, good luck with the new system! I’m curious about how much $$ you spend grocery shopping every day, and if the weekly shop will save you money or not. A weekly shop might actually make you overspend as you try to anticipate for the week what you will need or want. You might end up with more waste. Only one way to find out!

  7. We typically meal plan and shop on Sundays. However, we will hit a store during the week if someone has a really good deal on something we might want. All meals for the week are prepared Sunday evening or sometimes Monday. We are always going somewhere and doing something in the evenings so this makes life much easier and we aren’t eating out all the time. But it is a little easier to do when you are only preparing meals for two people.

  8. I ABHOR shopping, so I do it once a week to save my own sanity. The key for me is some kind of meal planning. I made a list of about 15 meals that we like and numbered them on a piece of paper. Then I look at my calendar for the week and put the number of the meal that will fit that day with whatever that day brings: sports, work, gym whatever. That way I’m not locked into enchiladas on Tuesday, but enchiladas one day this week. That way I know we’ll have the stuff we need on hand and it allows me some flexibility to move enchiladas from Tuesday to Thursday and still not need a trip to the store.

    Again, all this is because I would rather do just about anything else besides shop. But you do need to plan a bit to be able to do the once a week thing.

  9. Once a week here, too, with a once a month trip to WalMart to get meat for the freezer and staples. Yeah, I know. WalMart. But I’m not rich enough to be socially correct. The weekly is stuff like bread, eggs, veggies and fruits. Meal planning is the key. Also buying meat that’s going to expire and is a manager’s special.

  10. have i asked you before why y’all don’t use blue apron? it seems like something that could really work for your family.

    xo

  11. As with Cheryl, I really dislike grocery shopping, so we stick to once/week. And, since we’re in Seattle, we use Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery. We rarely do a mid-week shop. I plan our meals on Sundays for the rest of the week. The kids (7 & 9) pack their lunches and make their own breakfasts. We do family dinner most nights, with some nights eating out and 1 or 2 with leftovers/feed yourself.

  12. Blue Apron (and Hello Fresh) meals are tasty (for the most part), and are helpful to get out of a cooking rut, but they’re SUPER expensive (less than eating out, but a lot more than home-cooked and shopped meals), and they require a LOT of time to prepare (unless you’re a pretty experienced cook). I do not recommend them for busy or working parents as weekday meals.

  13. Every two weeks since I live hundreds of miles from big stores and 50 miles from a small grocery store. Costco is our grocery store of choice and I’ve gotten really good at knowing what will last and what needs to get eaten right away. My pantry looks like a preppers because we buy pretty much EVERYTHING except specialty stuff in bulk. If we run out of something we just have to figure out alternatives or do without. Makes salads kind of hard to come by in the last few days unless I just want romaine and bell peppers!

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