Friday, February 12, 2010

Market day...

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate going to the grocery store? Yes, I'm sure I have.

Today I psyched myself up and overcame my dread of meal planning and the big looming grocery store. I went back to my two-week menu, shopping list, and grocery shop method. I have my master grocery shopping list on the computer (photo above) in checklist form, with sections of the list corresponding to the departments of my grocery store, so I can get in and out as quickly as possible, and with minimal backtracking across the store.

I start by printing out a list. Then I turn it over and on the back of the shopping list (blank side) I write out the menu, keeping in mind what I think I have on hand. Then I go to the cupboard and fridge to see what needs to be purchased to complete the meals on the menu, and mark them on the checklist side of the page. Then after the shopping trip, I post the menu on the fridge door so I remember what I'm supposed to be cooking.

I'm pretty good about sticking to the list, but I'm flexible if I come across a good special. The nearest grocery is almost fifteen miles away. So I don't want to make unnecessary trips for forgotten items. I keep the pantry full of staples.

So here's the damage. I didn't feel great about the total. But I felt a lot better about it after I divided it out per person per week. Notes From the Frugal Trenches sets a great example with her £20 per week shop, so I had that in the back of my mind. After a little division, I figure that my bill equals barely over $28 per person per week...I felt even better after consulting a currency converter and found that my shop equaled just under £18 per adult per week. Woohoo!

I may need a few items of fresh produce and maybe some milk before the two weeks is up. But after the actual shopping, and unloading, and putting away, and washing some of the produce and packaging it for longer freshness, and even cooking some of the meat before putting in the freezer ready to use in soups and casseroles...well I am feeling pretty footloose and fancy free for the immediate future.

Now, if you're still reading ( I know this is a pretty boring post) kindly do me a favor. I'm wondering if anybody else hates grocery shopping as much as I do, and if so, why do you think that is? I'm just curious.


  1. Wow, you are super-organised. And very frugal. I'm impressed! Re your eBay query, I find a seven day listing ending on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday evening between 7.30 and 9 pm to be the best for me. Hope that helps. x

  2. I both love and hate grocery shopping. I hate it because I usually have a kid or 2 in tow when I go. And, the store I shop at is very inefficient. I love to go (when I don't have to take any kids) because sometimes it is my only trip out of the house.

  3. Oh Caroline, have you read my 'About Me'? My pendulum swings wildly! lol

    And thank you so much for the ebay advice. That is exactly what I wanted to know. You're the best!

  4. Hi Julie. I understand that completely. When my kids were little, I would pretty regularly wait till Carey got home from work to go to the store, because it was actually relaxing leaving the kids home with him. LOL

    Now I'm thinking the end of the workday is the times when the store is a madhouse. Just shows how stressful being home with the kiddos can be if we can find the 5:3o rush at the market relaxing!

    Nice to have you here, by the way. :)

  5. WOO HOO!! Well done you. I too have a super duper list, with costs, needs, recipes etc. It keeps me sane :0)

  6. Great idea you have there! As newly-single, I am finding it a challenge to "down size" shopping and meals. My son and I find ourselves eating leftovers from the freezer often and are finding that it is a great budget help! C

  7. Good on you for menu planning. Erk, I'm one of those people who pretty much shops daily for food and dinner supplies. I just hate having dinner plans laid out for the week before me. I usually decide by lunchtime what we will eat at dinner then shop accordingly. The stupid-market is on my way home. Hmmm...yeah, chicken breasts baked in the oven with vegies - get chicken, top up on vegies and I'm good to go. Next day, let's have steak on the barbecue so I buy steak.
    I actually like food shopping better than clothes shopping and my wardrobe, unfortunately, reflects this!
    I would hate to think that I had to have a certain dish on Friday even if I don't feel like it. I guess I just like spontaneity. Works for us but not everyone.

    Cheers - Joolz

  8. Hi FT...high praise...thanks. :)

    Howdy is very difficult to retrain serving wise. I'm on my own about half the time, so am constantly having to vary from one to two or three servings. Luckily we enjoy leftovers too.

    Hi Joolz...I hate being tied into a menu that has specific meals for specific days. My 2-week menu is basically just a list of meals we like, to be prepared in any order I feel hungry for or able to prepare on any given day.

    My real issue is that lately I just HATE going to the market...hate the parking lot...hate the crowds...hate the energy spent. If I win the lottery, I want a personal shopper. :)

  9. Actually I hand grocery lists to my husband when he goes to the mainland... I only set foot in a grocery store once every couple of months... Really cuts down on the impulse shopping too!

    Noticed the avocados on your grocery list... that is the only food that I'm allergic too... the rest of the food all lives in my kitchen however I am not super organized!

    Is that ebay listing ending time Pacific....? 9 pm is 1 am for me

    PS my husband lied... 4 miles north of me puts you right in the middle of Passamaquoddy Bay 1 mile from land in any direction... Not a good place to be any time of year!

  10. Hi, Islandgirl. Sometimes I risk sending my husband. But only if I need something of a no-brainer or where specifics are not essential. If I ask for tomato sauce, he might bring catsup...if I ask for wide noodles, he might bring anything from lasagna noodles to macaroni. :) He doesn't cook, so he doesn't understand the concepts of a lot of do's and don'ts in the kitchen.

    I took Caroline's answer about ebay to be whatever would be somewhat 'local' to your time/mailing zone.

    I'm not a strong swimmer, so I guess I'm happy I'm where I am.


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