According to USDA statistics for food plan costs, the average price to feed a family of four with two children between the ages of 6-11, spends $1057.10 per month at the grocery store.
That is $244 per week spent on grocery shopping. If you were to search on Pinterest or even Google, you would find a BAZILLION results for saving money on groceries. A moderate cost for groceries is STILL over one thousand dollars per month!!!
How can you save money on groceries without compromising the nutrient-rich diet you and your family need? Try once a month grocery shopping.
It hurts to spend so much money on food, especially if you are struggling with finances. Or even when you are frugal at heart and struggle with letting go of your family’s hard-earned money.
Yes, I know. Food is super important. That doesn’t mean it is easy. After housing, food is the next significant expense for many families.
I am always on the hunt for the best way to cut this expense without jeopardizing the health and happiness of my family. There are ways to cut down on these expenses.
Once a month grocery shopping takes a lot more planning than once a week shopping.
How Often Do You Grocery Shop?
Do you grocery shop once a week, once a month, multiple times a week, every other week?
A few months ago, I was watching Brittany from Pennies Into Pearls on Youtube, and she was explaining how she grocery shops once a month for her family. I thought that this might be an excellent idea for me because of where I live.
You see, as I have explained in previous blog posts, I live in a small town in Upstate NY (Adirondack Mountain Region) and for me to get to any shopping district takes me at least 20 – 30 minutes. So to grocery shop every week would be a lot of time spent in the car.
The idea that I could take one day and get all my shopping done for the ENTIRE MONTH sounded quite appealing. Here is the link to the post I wrote on the benefits of once a month shopping.
Once A Month Meal Plan.
- Make up a menu plan for the entire month.
- Make your list and shop til you drop.
- Hold back about $50 for weekly fruits, veggies, and dairy that would otherwise go bad and pick those up weekly.
Why I Stopped Once A Month Grocery Shopping.
I was spending too much money!!!
Conceptually speaking, it seemed like a solid plan. Except for me, it was not.
I just cannot go to the grocery store every week. I. Just. Cannot. My line of thinking was to grab milk and produce from our little local grocery store here in town, but milk is twice as much money, and the produce is not the freshest.
Also, the organic selection of groceries is sparse. So, I would not only have to drive 20-30 minutes each way every week, but I would not have the self-control to just stick to my list!!
How is your self-control when you are faced with a bag of Skinny Pop Cheddar Popcorn on sale right there as you round the corner after the bananas? Me, not so good.
The $50 budget would be gone the week after the biggest grocery haul. I would then have to try the next week again. It just wasn’t worth it.
How To Avoid Food Waste.
I was overbuying. I was making a menu plan with only a couple of days worth of planned leftovers, a couple of days for date night, and a couple of days for pizza delivery.
We were just not eating all the foods I was buying. Not that we didn’t eventually use them, but it seems to be too much for the time frame and didn’t need to be purchased at that time.
Maybe it was poor planning on my part, and maybe I could have gotten better with time, but after three months, I decided to throw in the towel.
So, I am going back to grocery shopping twice a month. We (and by we, I mean my husband) get paid twice a month – every other week on Friday.
That is my day to go to the bank and go grocery shopping. It has worked for years, and I really should not have messed with a perfectly good system. If it ain’t broke, right?!?
What Did I learn About Once A Month Grocery Shopping?
What I did get out of this little once-a-month grocery shopping experiment is that there are stores I CAN stick to visiting just once a month to save some time.
Places like Target and BJ’s Warehouse need to be limited to once per month. We all know how Target can really suck you in! I know you know what I am talking about!
Do you think that grocery shopping once a month would benefit you? It could make your life easier, or it could add more stress and cost to something that is already working for you.
Grocery shopping every two weeks is where my ‘success in saving valuable money’ part comes in. This is where the title of this post is explained.
Every two weeks when I grocery shop, I save my family money. This works for me. I shop on one day and get everything I need for two weeks.
Fruits, veggies, dairy, meat, and snacks are all purchased on this trip to the store. I do not step foot into the grocery store again until the next scheduled shopping trip. No matter what.
If we run out of milk, we don’t have milk until my next trip. I am pretty sure nobody will perish from three or five days without milk.
What I Do Instead.
As we know, the cost of living in different areas varies. in our area, we are lucky to have an Aldi. The regular higher-end grocery store in our area is 58% higher. I did the research and math. It’s convenient to go there.
They have free grocery pick-up. However, it’s not really free. It’s 58% higher.
I shop every two weeks at Aldi where I rent a cart and I bag my own groceries. But the savings is VERY worth it.