Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shop, Stock and Save...the grocery store project!

As many of you know, grocery shopping and meal planning can be an arduous process. Mix in a couple of kids, a crazy schedule and voila, you are looking at the same empty pantry or freezer of rock hard chicken cutlets and slimy lettuce! In this post, I am going to share with you some information on how I am making the change to simplify the process for myself. I hope you can take away some good information that can make life a bit easier for you!

This week I attended my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group where there were a panel of speakers who talked about meal planning to couponing. It was a bit overwhelming, however, I left with a golden nugget of good advice and that was to take one bit of information from each person on the panel and apply it to my life in a way that I think would benefit my family and me.

A few days after the meeting, I was finally able to sift through all of the information I was given from the panelists and I started asking questions to different people. One of those somebody's being my good old mother! I questioned her about a once-a-month shopping trip to the grocery store (ShopRite, Pathmark, Publix) for gathering all of the basics that I would need to stock my pantry and fill up for an entire month of cooking. This was one of the suggestions of the panelists and I wanted to cross-check it with someone with A LOT more experience than me--MOM! She told me that was what she does! Where have I been all of these years? Her pantry is always full of whatever (really, whatever) one would need to make practically anything at any time!

She started rattling off all of the basics and I was like "ahhh, I need to write this down!" So, last night, I got my pen and paper and started listing all that I could remember and then checked it out with her this morning. I was finally off to the store for my basics. I put together a list, organized by aisle, that I will be using each month. As I run out of the item, I will simply put a check mark next to it and bring it to the store as I prepare to restock my pantry each month. Feel free to use the list I have prepared below.

Prior to this Shopping Project, I would plan out weekly meals for my family and shop weekly according to the list, however, I was truly inspired by the monthly shopping trip (that means less time in the food store for me, less impulse buys and more time at home with my little man!) I can still plan out my weekly meals if I want but this time, I am sure to have everything in my pantry! All together I spent $202.63, which added up to 14 full bags of groceries! I hope to cut the cost of this by couponing, which is my next endeavor!

Now, I am going to try and implement the trendy art of couponing into all of this. How? You ask? With the advice from the panelists, I found out that I can pick up a Sunday paper at the Dollar Store! Perhaps, I will make it an after church trip each week and file away all of my coupons for four weeks. As I look at my shopping list and take note of what I need, I can dig into my coupons, compare what is on sale with what coupons I have and clip away. Hopefully, this trick will reap some rewards! I will keep you posted on this end of it.

Now, for the rest....what about the meats and fresh produce...the milk and eggs? Well, you already know that I am going to make one monthly trip to my grocery store (ShopRite). In addition, I will pay a weekly visit to my local farmer's market, where I will gather all of my fresh fruits and veggies along with milk and eggs. Then, I will hit up BJ's (which is just like a Costco or Sam's club for those of you not in the area) for my chicken breasts, meatloaf mix, ground turkey, ground beef, tilapia and other miscellaneous items. Here is my BJs list that you may feel free to use as well.

I will let you know how this goes as time goes by. I hope this post can inspire you to shop, stock and save!



Anonymous said...

This is awesome!! Matt and I were just talking about making a list like this. Now I don't have to!!!

Valerie said...

Yay! I am so glad that I could help you out! Print away!!!

Kristi McInerney said...

Great Job Valerie!!! I was super inspired at mops as well this past week!!!

Marian said...

Val, this sounds so organized and effective. I can't wait to hear about your progress. Thanks for the inspiration.

yestheyareallmine said...

Hi, I am stopping by from the blog hop and am new here. I am now following your blog and look forward to reading more. You can find me at

Valerie said...

Thank you! I just made my first trip of the month to the farmers market. I am going to try and go there every 10 days rather than each week. Today I bought tons of fruits and veggies for a total of $35.00. So my running total for this month so far is $237.00. I will keep all of you updated as I progress. Keep in mind that I am going to try and lower the cost of shopping at ShopRite with coupons next month. Thanks for reading!

GJT said...

Hi! New follower here. I might just have to try this - I'm sick of going to the store every week! We don't have an official "pantry" though, just cabinets over our counter. BTW, if you like blog hops, perhaps you should check us out over at voiceBoks! It's a great community of mommy bloggers.



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