Occasionally we are asked logistical questions about life with a large family, I thought I’d share one of our tips. For the last four years we have been shopping monthly. Let me hasten to assure you that we still visit the green grocer weekly where we purchase, fruit, vegetables, bread and milk; but the supermarkets are visited monthly.
Why do we do it? Mainly we save time, to me that is the biggest factor. We also find it more economical. I am not a shopper by nature and love the fact that I only have to go monthly. At first it was like planning a major expedition. But after four years it is now natural.
First we went from weekly to fortnightly, then we trialled every three weeks for a time until we graduated to monthly. This gave us time to adjust our savings, learn which items were perhaps needed more and to simply give ourselves time to adjust to the sheer volume.
PC who is more organised than I has designed an excel spreadsheet. One column has the grocery items and another has blank boxes. I simply check my pantry the night before, note how many items I need or not, and mark the amount in the box. I love this as it reduces the amount of planning and thinking I need to do. (Vital that;) Recently I have updated the items to correspond with the grocery aisles. This makes for a far quicker smoother shop.
We shop at two supermarkets as the bulk, no frills, little service, supermarket, does save money and at the bigger supermarket. The best time to shop is either first thing in the morning at 7.30am or after 6pm when there are no crowds. This also ensures a much faster shop.
Unpacking when we get home is a major feat but with ‘all hands on deck’ it makes the task easier. The pantry and freezer are organised with items grouped together. The best part is it is another month until we shop again.