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Grocery shopping schedules

January 24th, 2015 at 01:00 pm

Thursday night after supper I commented our fridge looked bare. It usually does and by Friday, it is almost scary. Friday lunches around here (I take mine to work and DH fixes his at home) are normally what we haven't eaten so far and we are finishing up. During the summer Friday lunches often look like a poor buffet...a little of this and a little of that. I hate to waste food and I try to plan carefully so that we use what we have.

That being said (or written in this case), I posted on Facebook the query of when do you grocery shop...a schedule or when you run out of things. The answers were all over the place. A couple said before retirement they planned and scheduled it every week. A few said they go weekly and shop by what's on sale. Then there were a few who go when they run out of things.

I am not a spontaneous person. I'm not sure whether that is good or bad. For me, I have to know what I'm doing and what we are eating and I look at the sales and plan my grocery lists by what is available, what we need, and what is on sale that we can stock up on. I then make my menu plan based on that list or lists. This week was a three grocery store shopping spree.

Every week DH hits Aldi for the basics...eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and chicken and pork roast. I supplement with the other two stores, County Market and Kroger. Well, between these two days, we bought something at all three, due to sales and need. I think I shop on a schedule for two reasons...I like to plan and know what we are eating and I like to save money by watching sales.

The late Mike Royko wrote in his Chicago newspaper column that he used to go the store and buy the same things each week, and he and the kids would fix the easy stuff and leave the harder stuff. He claimed he decided they wouldn't go to the store until all the frozen chicken was eaten, the flour used, and the eggs and onions were devoured. He said there were some creative, but strange meals, but he felt like he taught his kids something -- be creative or marry someone who can cook.

So, do you shop on a schedule or go when you run out of everything?

8 Responses to “Grocery shopping schedules”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    On a schedule. And since we only buy what we think we're going to need for that week (unless it's a store cupboard thing like a big bag or rice or container of onion powder), our pantry looks pretty empty by Saturday morning, right before we go shopping. Today, my daughter wanted something after her breakfast. The only fruit we had was 2 apples and some overripe bananas. But I said we had leftover tomato soup, and she wanted that with carrot sticks. Unusual morning snack but she was happy!

    I was shopping next to a youngish couple at the store today, and inwardly cracking up because they were just like I was about 10 years ago. "What vegetables should we get? Carrots? Oh, I think we need onions." Now I wouldn't dream of going grocery shopping without a list based on a meal plan!

  2. PNWMom Says:

    I usually grocery shop on Sunday mornings...sometimes I make a quick stop on my way home early Friday afternoons (I work 1/2 day) if we are out of fruit...otherwise it's always Sundays.

  3. Tightwad Kitty Says:

    How true that if you have a routine of doing things which should include frugal routines also. Shopping to a pattern is one way of staying on top of running out of items that you have buy at full price which in a frugal household should be a BIG NO NO.

    I shop about every three weeks whether I am doing any challenges or not. I have a grocery store only 1/2 mile away so I pick up on any super specials for that chain any day of the week. I can now just shop for special and leave all the other goodies that they are trying to sell us behind.

  4. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    The whole fridge being bare or having random stuff left is exactly why I switched to bento box style weekday lunches. I do not grocery shop on a schedule so sometimes my fridge is a mix of nearly empty takeout containers, a few things I've cooked, and other odds and ends. Since bento boxing is all about small bits of this and that this lunch method works very well for me. When I can no longer group enough stuff together to make a meal is usually when I figure its time to get groceries for a week or two. Otherwise I just run to the store for one or two items whenever.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Generally I do grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes I will go out during the week as well if I really need/want something.

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I grocery shop every weekend but make sure we pretty much have bare cupboards by then. We don't live far away from a supermarket so there's no real need to overstock. I read about a Fijian ideal of shopping which is you only buy pretty much exactly what you need because to have more creates waste not only for you but organisations overproduce in order for you to buy stuff you don't really need. I liked the ideal of that so stick by it. Oh and I get the basic staples from Aldi anda butcher that does bulk meat (they are nice too) and shop on a budget for the other name brands things we like (because there ae certain things we like to have a better quality of).

  7. frugalredhead Says:

    I go once a week, not necessarily on a set day but usually at the beginning of the week. It depends what day I am working my evening job. I make a weekly meal plan, which has saved me a TON of money on my grocery budget, but also have some money put aside that I can use to stock up when there is a great sale on something.

  8. CB in the City Says:

    Ha! I read the same Mike Royko article, and I think I've quoted it here, too! I really do try to use things up -- I'm definitely not much of a stockpiler, but I hardly ever throw any food away!

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