My friend asked me to write a post about my food shopping habits. Kel, this post is for you. 😉
Chris and I have pretty odd food shopping habits. We tend to only do one large food shopping trip once a month. How is this possible? Let me breakdown our food shopping routine:
1X Monthly: Chris and stock up on dry goods and home necessities once a month at Target. During this trip, we pick up rice, couscous, oatmeal, soups, beans, cereal, Crystal Light mix, and the extras like dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips. Basically, we get anything non-perishable that will still be as tasty at the end of the month as it was at the beginning of the month. We also stock up on home goods, such as toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, cleaning supplies, dog supplies, etc. Going to Target for these products is helpful, because their dry goods are much cheaper than anywhere else nearby. By stocking up for an entire month, it also forces us to prioritize what we really need to buy, since we have to carry all our purchases during a 25 minute walk back home.
1X Weekly: Every Sunday, I have gotten into the habit of visiting my local produce market. It is a fabulous place that allows me to eat fresh daily. There, I pick out my veggies for the week. Every week, I try to plan my “big cooking” meals ahead of going and then also pick up my always-used fruits and veggies and anything else that speaks to me. The best part about this place, is no matter how much produce I buy, it always comes out to approximately $11. This week I picked up the following goodies: romaine lettuce, a tomato, a Spanish onion, sliced eggplant, a butternut squash, green grapes, and gala apples. Buying fresh produce weekly is wonderful because it is healthy and delicious. It also allows me to stay excited about cooking, because I feel incentivized to use up all my produce weekly and try out new recipes.
As Needed: Chris and I live right next to a nice supermarket. The only issue with it is that it is usually overpriced. Still, we get items there that cannot last a month, on an as needed basis. This includes cheese (their feta is surprisingly cheap, so we usually have feta), milk, eggs, fish, bread or whenever we simply need something extra on the spur of the moment. Though not cheap, it is wonderful to be able to pick up whatever we need quickly.
As Needed: There is also a nice health food store nearby. I will stop there every once in a while when I have a craving for some veggie meat or need to restock on my Annie’s soups or ½ naked popcorn. They have the best prices for both products. Stopping by a special health food store is always a fun adventure, because it is loaded up with new products I always want to try out.
So why do we shop around so much? Simple, to save money. It would be easiest to just go to the local supermarket, but we save so much money by breaking up our trips in this manner. My recommendation is get to know your neighborhood markets and keep an eye on the different prices for the products you usually buy. If going to two stores instead of just one can save you money monthly then it’s worth the extra trip. Plus, if you live in a city, it’s extra walking time, so you can rack up bonus exercise.
What is your food shopping strategy?