How do you buy your groceries?

Grocery Cart - A grocery cart for wanting to buy groceries.
Canada
September 2, 2007 9:21pm CST
Do you go once a week or once a month? Do you plan menus before? And if you do how do you do it? I am looking at really tightening up since our rent has went up like crazy.
5 people like this
20 responses
@twilight021 (2060)
• United States
4 Sep 07
My boyfriend and I shop once every two weeks. So far it's workred ok for us, though soemtimes I need to go out and get a few additional things during the week. We Have also found a supermarket where the prices are a bit lower. If you like in the North East, Market Basket has prices that are much lower than Shaws or Stop and Shop. Also I try to plan out menus and make sure we have a few staples to always fall back on like rice and pasta. These items aren't expensive but are filling and are great in a pinch.
1 person likes this
• Canada
5 Sep 07
Sometimes you can't tell the difference in name brands and no name brands.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 07
I have a bit of a complicated system it seems compaired to most. We feed a family of 4. My Hubby, me and my 2 kids 5 and 2. I shop once a month and then if I need to a do a $10 stop two weeks later for milk. We have a list of things we get every month and then I shop by what is on sale or what we need. I buy in bulk as much as possible and it really helps keep the cost down. I have a monthly ammount I can spend and that is wat controls what we buy. I have a good supply of extras to go to if we need then and as sales come we add to it. We rotate canned good so we are always using the oldest on the shelf. I spend $250 a month and that includes all cleaning supplys, diapers and othre items we need from the grocier. I dont make up a menu exactly but we check to see what we have that we can use and buy the stuff to make that into a meal. I also do a lot of freezing dinners when we get home from the store. I know I alaways have at least a months worth of dinners at all times. This has saved me a few times. When I got pregnant with my daughter I got really sick and had trouble leaving the house. I was in bed for a lot of it. My parents delivered milk and bread and I didnt need shop for 6 months. We didnt have fancy meals but we ate healthy and survived. After I had the baby we just restocked the pantry and began rotating as normal.
1 person likes this
• Canada
5 Sep 07
That seems like you really have it worked out...
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Sep 07
We go shopping every week, normally. If nothing else, we always need a gallon of milk (I go through one every week!), so we always need to make a trip to the store. We usually do plan the menus in advance, but we don't always follow them perfectly well. We had to buy extra groceries yesterday, though, because our car goes into the shop today for 2 weeks! I think we will be okay (we can take the bus to the store if we really need something), since we stocked up on all of the heavy stuff like soda and juice! :)
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• Canada
4 Sep 07
We go through at least a 4L jug of milk a week too. I'm glad that you got all the heavy stuff...I know how that is to carry them...even if it even across the road for me.
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@Malyck (3428)
• Australia
4 Sep 07
My home is only 2 streets away from the local shopping centre, so we normally end up going there every day to buy little extras. For the 'real'/'big' shop, that's normally fortnightly, and I plan ahead for the meals that I will be making, and write an accumulative list. I always make a balanced meal with some sort of meat, mixed vegetables, eggs and so on, so all these things, as well as milk, bread, fruit and cheese are bought in bulk, along with toilet paper and the other little necessities. But yeah.. I'd say my boyfriend and I do the groceries every 3 days or so, on top of this. =D
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Sep 07
It's bad eh when it's just near you. Our grocery store...that is kinda expensive is right across the road from us. NOw I only shop there for things on special...and try to leave the rest for the weekend. We have started buying in bulk too...it seems to be saving us money too! (WHat's fortnightly??)
1 person likes this
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
4 Sep 07
We shop every two weeks and budget 200-250 every pay. Sometimes we go under and sometimes we go a little bit over, it all depends what we feel like eating for that week. I don't actually plan a menu but we do have a rough idea of what we like to eat and also buy the usual stuff like bread, milk, butter, meats, pasta, etc.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Sep 07
I find it so hard to plan...during the week its just me and the kids for suppers and on the weekends its all of us. I just kinda make little meals during the week and the big ones on the weekend.
1 person likes this
3 Sep 07
once per week... we just decide what we need when we get in there!
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• Canada
3 Sep 07
That's not what I wanted to hear...so do you get enough for the week or do you have to run and get things during the week?
1 person likes this
@Calais (10900)
• Australia
3 Sep 07
I go every 2 weeks, the shops are a fair distance so i have to stock up and do a big shop...I usually dont plan meals, just grab whatever...lol.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Sep 07
Every two weeks...holy cow...you are in the middle of nowhere aren't you?
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
6 Sep 07
We go once a week. I do not exactly plan meals, I decide that one day we will have pork, another day ground beef, another day, sausages or weiners, and another day, chicken, or another day pork and beans. I usually have a salad everyday, and depending on what meat, it will either be spaghetti (usually with tomato sauce and either lean ground beef mixed in with it, or meatballs and spaghetti or macaroni if it is hot spaghetti sauce.) With pork, it may either be rice at which I will cook stir fry vegetables or potatoes. Chicken can be either french fries or biscuits, but not that often since there is just two of us. When I was single, I lived with a family who cooked a lot of macaroni or tuna casseroles. I also made shepherd's pie, meat stew and made a meat pie out of the leftovers.
@cikedo (3487)
• United States
5 Sep 07
I don't really plan a menu for what I want to make during the two weeks I am shopping for. I just try to get a good balance of veggies, fruit and meat.
1 person likes this
@lightningMD (5932)
• United States
4 Sep 07
We usually go shopping every two weeks. We shop at a discount grocery store called Aldis their prices are much cheaper. I do make menus. I survey our food supply at home and plan them around what we have and then shop for the missing items. We also try and buy a unit from Angelfood ministries every month. It really helps stretch our food budget.
1 person likes this
@raychill (6530)
• United States
4 Sep 07
I got once a month. But I also go about every other week for cheese and bread and milk. but the bulk i buy once a month. I'll suggest to you what I suggest to everyone (I admit I haven't read your comments yet so I hope no one else said it) Kraftfoods.com They have this thing called "express checkout". It's a whole weeks worth of dinner in just one grocery bag. It's pretty nice. http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/EverydayDinner/ShoppingListSplashPage&sa_campaign=internalad/EverydayHomePage/ShoppingListSplash That might help you save some money.
• Canada
4 Sep 07
Thanks so much for this link...I just wish there were more selections there! Do you know of any other places like this out there?
@raychill (6530)
• United States
5 Sep 07
That's the only place I know of unfortunately. But they add stuff every so often, so I'd say keep checking.
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
3 Sep 07
I grocery shop about every other week. Sometimes I plan a few meals before I go to the grocery store and sometimes I just go and shop. Always with a list of things we need, of course. But some of it's generalized, like "meat" and "produce" instead of listing specific things. I usually only buy meat and produce that's on sale (or a really good value at the regular price).
• Canada
4 Sep 07
I try not to buy meat at all...my husband works at a place that is a distributor of meat products so we finally bought an apartment sized freezer so he can buy what he can discounted. I know it saves us a fortune...
@Laurla98 (786)
• United States
3 Sep 07
I shop every two weeks. I make a list & plan menus. Otherwise I find that we spend more if we buy on a whim.
• Canada
4 Sep 07
I go to the grocery store like everyday...that is way too much. I am trying to break that habit.
• Canada
3 Sep 07
When I am almost out of food, I head to the groccery store and see what looks good, and what I can afford. If I can afford it and I like it, then I buy it and put it in the fridge, living on that until it's time for me to go shopping once again.
• Canada
4 Sep 07
Wow...I wish I could be so relaxed about it.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
28 Jan 08
Usually twice a month and then if I need milk or bread I'll just ask my Mom or Brother to grab it while they are out. I really don't like going shopping but that's b/c I'm always rushed and I can't ever remember what's been recalled. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
• United States
9 Sep 07
I grocery shop once a month. I do so at two stores. Fry's has great produce prices and lots of 2 for 1 specials. Safeway has great meats. I generally buy a turkey, veggies, rice, lots of crock pot fodder every month. You can't beat a roast turkey for economy. * The larger the amounts you purchase at one time, the bigger your savings. The store loyalty cards are also big savers.
• United States
9 Sep 07
Dear Taylor, Yesterday i attempted twice to respond to your discussion. MyLot ate both of them, so I figured to wait and try another time. So here, for the third time are some of my best grocery tips, lol. I highly recommend buying a freezer, even a small chest freezer like mine will save you lots of money by enabling you to take advantage of sales. If you do not have space in your kitchen, perhaps keep it in another room covered with a cloth and use it as a table. Mine sat in my living room at my last place with books, games, vcr tape, etc, on top. I also have a dehydrator and a food saver machine which packages food in vacuum sealed plastic bags. I saved for all three by putting $2-3 a week in a jar until I could buy them. I got my freezer used in a local papaer for about half the cost of a new one. Now on to the tips. My grocery list does not have a meal by meal listing, instead it reads for the week something like 5 meats, 6 vegetables, 4 fruits, 4 breads, 4 desserts, eggs, milk, paper products, etc. About every third day is leftover day. Food should be eaten if kept in the fridge within 3-4 days for safety. This way I can take advantage of any sales I find. I stockpile food and paper products, I keep the noncooled stuff in cutoff boxes under furniture and on the closet floors. Anything that can be frozen or dried, I do that. Check online, many universities have gobs of info on freezing and drying foods as does the USDA website. Once I have my list I check off those things I already have on hand in stock. This lets me rotate my stockpile (very important) and frees up money to take advantage of current sales. I allot $5-10 for sale stuff each week, I choose an item and buy that much worth of it. I take all the flyers from our local Sunday paper. Unknown to many people, WalMart will honor ANY flyer prices from a store local to them. This lets me take advantage of EVERY sale with one stop (saves gas too). My other stops for groceries are a once a month trip to a local grocery supplier (found in the yellow pages, call to make sure they are open to the public) where I buy stuff in big bulk without needing a membership such as at Sams Club and such places. Once home, I repackage the grocery things into meal size containers. stuff like sugar and flour will attract little bugs. Repackage them into plastic pails with tight lids. You can often get these at restaurants that have buffet, perfect because they are food grade pastic and big with really tight lids. Toss in a couple of bay leaves. they won't change the taste but will deter bugs. Simply ask the manager nicely what day and time he throws a bunch of them out, then show up when they aren't rushed and take them away with a smile and a sweet thank you. I have some 20 or so I have gotten this way, no cost except time and gas for pickup, and cleaning. Next stop, the dollar store, paper and cleaning products and some grocery items are cheaper there. Once you start shopping you will get used to what the prices are of the stuff you buy regularly so you can spot a bargain over the grocery store. Next stop, our local Dollar General or Family Dollar store. Same thing, lots of stuff is less there. One note, do not overlook the lesser known brands they sell, many are just as good or even better than the higher priced major brands. For instance, our Dollar General carries a shells and cheese dinner which we like mich more than Kraft and it's $1.50 regular price. Hambuerger Helper there is $1.65 versus $2.25 at our grocery. A marketing tools used by grocers is to carry higher priced items at eye level, so look up and down when at the grocer, lower priced items will be on bottom and top shelves. I also use coupons and rebates. the internet has bazillions of sites with coupons and rebates, be sure to check the websites of the brand you like also. They often have great coupons. If you have kids let them help you clip and sort. I organize mine by month, since I am not brand conscious and it helps me use them before they expire. Many stores now have little books of rebates which will offer deals where you send in upc codes from packages and receipts and get back checks for cash. I take these and paperclip any matching coupons to the pages so I use the coupons to get the products then send in the receipts and upcs to get the rebates. These stops take me more than one trip, but all but the grocery supplier and walMart are done one or two per day on my way home from work. Groceries are a high budget item today, but with a little planning and a few tricks you can really cut it down a lot. My two favorite deals are a recent one at Walgreens. I bought ten boxes of Kellogg's cereals. They did not have to be purchased at Walgreens, it was a Kellogs offer. I bought all 10 at Food Lion when they were buy one box get one box free. I had five $1 coupons for the five I paid for AND I got a check for $10 rebate from Kellog's. Net price? $17.28 for TEN boxes. That's $1.73 per box. Not bad for Kellogg's cereal. My favaorite was a couple of years ago at a kroger. I bought about $70 worth of groceries. I had coupons for almost every item many for buy 1 get 1. I had a free gallon of milk coupon for buying a box of cereal. And I had rebate checks in hand. After all was totalled up the store OWED ME $2.14 :-) the register locked up and the manager had to be called. He admitted he was astounded and I was overrun by folks wanting to know how I did it lol. Time is a factor for many of us, so my tricks for keeping up with much of this is to sort coupons while waiting at stoplights or for appointments (now the stoplights seems to SHORT lol) and while watching tv or waiting for anything, and we all know we spend a lot of time waiting a few minutes here and there for all sorts of things. I hope these hints help you, as they have me. Whenever I get lazy and don't do these things I can see the big increase in my grocery bill. So here I am about to hit the post response key for the thrid time lol. hopefully, this time it won't get eaten. Good luck.
• Canada
9 Sep 07
Thanks for the great ideas...and thanks for not giving up on me. These are just wonderful ideas!
• United States
3 Sep 07
When my car was running we would go to the store at least once a week and maybe hit three or more during this trip. Now with my car out of commission we have to take the bus to the grocery store so we make the trip about once a week, any longer and we would not be able to carry the groceries on the bus (I have a two wheel cart that gets loaded up). And we both take back packs to load up with what does not go on the cart. During the week there is a store that carries milk and a pet shop that one of the employees brings in organic eggs that we buy. Now that someone has rented the downstairs I am hoping that we will be able to get a car that is dependable so that it will be easier to go shopping and not have to worry about if we can find someone to take us to other places.
• Canada
4 Sep 07
We moved right across the road from the grocery store so we didn't have to get people to drive us. And that is why we got in such bad habits by going everyday because we couldn't carry a weeks worth. I hope you find a way to get your groceries better soon.
• Portugal
3 Sep 07
well i normally go every week!! but if u want to save money i would recommend u to go monthly, make ur list of essential things to buy and stick with it!! what i notice about my weekly visits to the supermakets is that i always end up buying more things then i need and some of them r pretty useless u hv no idea, so whenever im short on money ill go monthly and believe me it makes a huge difference!
• Canada
4 Sep 07
monthly...i would for sure have a hard time with that! I used to do that when I lived alone but not since I moved here!
@Geminigirl (1909)
• United States
3 Sep 07
I used to go a lot more often than I do now. But I found that when I went more often, we ate more, and gained weight! WE were also spending more, and more stuff got thrown out that went bad. Now, I go for one big trip more like once a month. I'm not on a rigid schedule, though. I just go whenever I see that we are running low on lots of things, not just a few. This has saved us money.
• Canada
4 Sep 07
We have never really been like that...my husband hates going to resturaunts. So we really never had that problem..