Friday, January 24, 2014

Two Week Shopping--Things I've Learned

I did it!!! We went 2 weeks without going back to the grocery store or Walmart for any groceries or toiletries/household items.  I will admit I ended the 2 week period yesterday afternoon, instead of this morning.  It was just too cold to get out in the freezing weather! 

Things I learned:

  • This is not impossible!  It can be done!
  • Limiting how many visits to stores I make saves money! I know I saved money by staying out of stores. It helped me break the cycle of spending that is sometimes created around the holiday times. 
  • Planning is essential--Menu planning with quantities listed for each individual item keeps you on track.  If you just say carrots on your list, but use carrots in 5 recipes and for snacks--you will run out.  I made tally marks beside each item for each time it would be used in a recipe. I failed to do that for tortilla chips...see below. 
  • Honor and respect your spouse's wishes.  Okay, I didn't plan accordingly when it came to tortilla chips last shopping trip.  I had on the menu a dish that is my family's all time favorite that HAS to be served with tortilla chips.  We ran out!  My daughter suggested we put the crumbs we had left on top and just have it like a casserole.  This bothered my husband.  He wanted us to enjoy our meal instead of having to sacrifice just to prove a point.  So, I compromised and just put off having that meal until I went shopping again.  
  • Substitute and get creative  If I ran out of something, I just substituted something else.  I knew I would cut it close on milk, so I started using evaporated milk (which I had multiple cans of in the pantry) for cooking instead.  
  • Go shopping alone.  For this next two weeks, I went shopping yesterday afternoon.  I had all 3 kids with me.  We squeezed in 2 stops before chess club and 2 stops after in the freezing cold!  I'm sure I won't be able to stick to not going back, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.  I spent more money with the kids with me, too.  Not because they were asking for things, but because I limited how many stores we went to.  It was way more stressful, too!  Gloves, coats, sub-freezing weather...not a great combination.
  • I realized that I could go on one big trip a month and a smaller trip to get dairy and produce.  I had almost a week's worth of dinners left at the end of the two weeks.  So, I just rolled those over into the next two weeks, but I still spent a bit more money this time.  Not sure how that worked for me, but I'll just blame it on having the kids with me.  

I was pleased with how things went these past two weeks.  We ate things we had on hand and didn't waste our time running to stores for misc. items.   I don't feel like I planned as well for these next two weeks, but we shall see! 


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