A few months ago, my husband said we should try to grocery shop for the month instead of my previous weekly shopping runs. He saw that it was taking up too much of my time and I was spending more than I should. My initial reaction was that there was no way this would work. I mean we eat a LOT of fresh produce and refrigerated food!
But I decided we might as well try it, I did appreciate the idea of saving time and money along with his help for the monthly shopping run.
So we are on our fourth month of this, and I wanted to share how we have made it work. I actually am getting better each month at the plan, and LOVE the time I have saved!
Meals for the month
I worked out that we need 6 dinners a week. We generally eat at a restaurant or at someone else's home at least once per week. We needed breakfasts for the month for the kids, and only a few easy lunches because we eat leftovers and at school.
So 24 dinners, which really meant 12 because we can repeat them once.
- Texas Oven Brisket - Recipe HERE
- Healthy Texas Chili - Recipe HERE
- Crockpot Spaghetti and Meatballs - Recipe HERE
- Hamburgers and the best sweet potato fries EVER - Recipe HERE
- Clean Texas meatloaf - Recipe HERE
- Taco salad / burrito night with taco beef and fit refried beans - Recipe HERE
- Crockpot chicken enchilada soup - Recipe HERE
- Healthy hibachi chicken stir fried rice and vegetables - Recipe HERE
- Healthy German hash - Recipe HERE or Green Bean Hash - Recipe HERE
- Shrimp scampi and roasted vegetables
- Healthy hibachi shrimp stir fried rice and vegetables - Recipe HERE
- Cabbage and turkey stir fry - Recipe HERE (been using ground beef instead)
*** for the meals without a recipe hyperlink above, I will write it up in the next few weeks!
And when we get tired of X or Y meal, I have just been rotating them off for something else. If you do not see a side listed, basically I plan a few veggies sides that I buy fresh like roasted squash or sauteed broccoli. I plan that for about 2 weeks worth because they will start to go bad, then I swap to frozen vegetables as the side. My kids and husband like Hawaiian dinner rolls on the side.
We buy the 10 pound chubs of 90% lean ground beef. When we get home, we cut it into 1 pound portions and freeze it this way. We also buy a HUGE brisket and divide it into 2-3 portions to freeze.
My husband and I eat leftovers for lunch. The kids eat at school during the week. So it is really just Saturday lunches for the kids because we eat out after church on Sundays, so we let them pick out a quick frozen favorite that I am not a fan of but is okay in moderation. They have picked Pizza Rolls or mini corn dogs out at each trip. I keep the supplies on hand for Protein Pancakes and almond butter (Recipe HERE) in case we do not have leftovers.
My husband and I generally only want coffee for breakfast during the week. We pick up bacon and eggs for weekend brunches. The kids like cereal, peanut butter sandwiches, or frozen breakfast sandwiches for their breakfast during the week.
Snacks and dessert
We let the kids pick out enough snacks to have one each day after school- they like granola bars, fruit snacks, and apple sauce. The adults like protein bars for snacks.
We buy a case of ice cream treats for dessert. I still enjoy Greek yogurt with fruit as my treat so I get a few containers for that. I buy a container of fresh fruit, but then I also buy a bag of frozen fruit. You can defrost a cup of fruit for about 1 minute and it is just right in your yogurt. I have gotten away from using the Jello pudding flavors in my yogurt like the hyperlink above, and just use a little sweetener and sometimes cocoa powder.
If you have to bring things to luncheons and dinners, you still have to make random trips to the store. I try to sign up for things we happen to have though, if it is possible. We drink more wine than we thought LOL so you learn as you go. Sometimes you forget random things like trash bags on your monthly trip too. But that is all we needed to grab this past month.
I am not sure if we save that much money, I think my husband realized that food is expensive! But the money that we have recouped of my time is priceless. I mean at least 6 hours a month back! I will say we buy less unplanned things which means less junk and waste.
Give it a shot, monthly shopping is the bomb.