Preparing for the Monthly Grocery Trip

I’ve noticed from the comments that several of you grocery shop once a month too. For our family, it’s become a huge time saver and a huge money saver. And I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoy filling the fridge, freezer and pantry to overflowing at the beginning of each month. There’s just something so simple yet so beautiful in seeing those shelves abundantly filled.

Our first trip is always to Sam’s Club so that we can stock up on the big quantity stuff. Then the Kroger trip becomes the fill-in for everything else – things we don’t need to buy in bulk or things that are just cheaper there, which are usually store brand products.

I love the set up of the Sam’s Club website because I can go through almost all of the food items and write out my list, including prices. That way when we get to the store, I already have an almost exact total of what we’ll be spending. And the few items that aren’t listed on their site are easy enough to estimate. I’m not sure if the other warehouse clubs have similar features on their sites, but I bet they do.Once I’ve finished the list for Sam’s, it’s easy to go through and write my list for Kroger. Lists are definitely the key to monthly shopping success for me. They keep me organized, on track and help me stick to the budget. Lists also mean we are able to get each trip done in about an hour, although the Sam’s trip tends to become more of an event than a chore.

Like many of you, our largest monthly expense is meat. That’s followed by produce, then dairy. (We eat a lot of cheese!) And can I just say that I’m immensely jealous of those of you who are able to purchase your meat in bulk once a year? That is definitely something I think is worth looking into for anyone that has the room to store it.

Our trips each month look very similar. I could probably just use the lists from month to month. Although we do swap out snacks and produce each month so that we don’t get tired of those same things all the time. But 12 pounds of frozen chicken breasts, 20 pounds of ground beef and 5 lb. bags of pasta are always standard.

So, that’s the basics, at least for how it looks in our house. Do you purchase the same general things each month too? What is your experience with warehouse club shopping?

Pictures to follow…after the shopping is done!

And don’t forget to visit The Happy Housewife and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam to see what Toni and Jen are up to.