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Old 10-17-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

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Originally Posted by Marianna1988 View Post
Find the stores in your area and watch the sales (couponing blogs will tell you the best deals, and where to find coupons to match up if any are available). We only live about 10 miles from post, and I rarely ever shop there. I have a grocery store one block away that always has great deals. In my state, there is no tax on most food (some junk foods do have tax, like soda). So any money saving I would get at the commissary is negated with the 5% surcharge they have and the gas for a round trip.
Thanks for telling me to do that, I had just ASSumed it was cheaper.

NO. The fish and chicken were the same price, only natural and not frozen. Talk about irritating, I've been spending too much time in traffic, stuck dealing with irritating military wives, and not saving a penny! GAH!

>.< the only actual savings was the ground beef, but the $$ I save in gas and surcharge (not to mention the bagger tip) more than makes up for it.

Again, thanks for that advice! I'm so mad I didn't think about that before hand.

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:30 PM   #12
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

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When you buy your produce, make sure you get a large variety. Then order them for eating in terms of how long they last. Eat the berries first, the bananas second, the apples and oranges will last the longest, and when those are gone you go for your frozen/canned fruit. I have found that it works extremely well in making it a month that way. Fall is a great time for once a month shopping for veggies as squashes tend to last for a VERY long time. I will buy corn, green beans, cucumbers, tomatos, avocados, lettuce, and then a buttload of different squashes. I eat the cukes, tomatos, and avocados first, then the green beans, then the corn, and finally the squashes before going to the frozen/canned. It works really well. As for dairy, just freeze the milk (make sure you drink some off the top as it will expand) and when it thaws, just shake it really well. Tastes just the same.
You said "a buttload of different squashes". That was really funny. I have a really inappropriate visual. I love this thread. I shop weekly, but am interested in stretching it out.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:37 PM   #13
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Anyone do this? Does it save money?

How do you keep fresh fruits or veggies to snack on? Or how do you keep them from spoiling?

I'm looking into it, as we drive 26 miles to shop on post which is cheaper, and gas is over $4.50...

Also how do you stick to and make a month long menu?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
I do, and yes I think it saves money, mostly because I think you just aren't in store so often being tempted with things to buy!

As far as fresh produce I've sort of learned how much we'll eat in a month, and so we rarely have stuff go bad or spoil, we always use it up before the month is up. I've found that things like potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, etc can last 6 and sometimes 8 weeks as long as they are kept in a cool, dark place. We do sometimes run OUT of fresh produce, but as I said I've learned how much we need in a month so I can usually gauge it pretty well. In winter we can buy a LOT of apples and keep them in the garage, it's like cold storage. Things like pasta, rice, and beans can last for ages as well. I freeze things like bread, tortillas, and meat.

I don't do a month long menu of 30 different meals. My DH has a handful of certain meals that he loves and wants to eat all the time, so I make those all month long. He will eat whatever I make but really he is happiest if I just stick to the old favorites, so I know what to buy. On Sundays I like to experiment and make 'new' meals, but other than that I don't really have to do much planning. I always double recipes so we have left overs.

So I think it's fairly easy to shop once per month once you know how much you need for your family, so that you aren't buying too much or too little. I think it's actually way easier than going to the store every week, because I think food shopping is a pain and the less I have to go do it the better!
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:48 PM   #14
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

Hubby and I did this in college- budget was so tight we used a calculator for every item we placed in the cart... he isn't a veggie eater, so I would use canned or frozen veggies for me. We did do more pre-packaged foods meals- like getting the Pasta Roni when on sale for under a $1 then add a chopped up chicken breast, or use a bag of egg noodles, mix in a bit of butter, garlic and the chicken, with a side of veggies for me.

I did have some meals that made a lot (like Taziki sauce, chili, etc) so I would make and freeze portions for other meals.

I worked at a daycare that provided lunch so I ate lunch with the kids, and DH had been used to two meals a day from being single. Breakfast would be muffins from the freezer (reheated in microwave) when we had class, eggs/toast on days we were home later in the morning.

We also ate more from "cans" like soups.

Snacks were fruit (until it ran out ) mostly bananas and apples, cheese slices, trail mix, chips (tortilla style), left over dinners, yogurt, flavored crackers.

Once a month we would have steak, rice, and share a Thomas Kemper rootbeer .
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:22 AM   #15
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

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this is a great thread! Would anyone be willing to share your grocery list/how many you were feeding/ and how much you spent each month doing this??

tia!!
I can't right now, but I'll come back later. We're right in the middle of our month so my old list is already gone and i haven't started the new. But I can look at my menu and post it after I get dd to school.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:59 AM   #16
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We do once a month shopping for the most part. Even with freezing milk, I can't freeze how much we drink and have room for anything else (currently six of us), not to mention four of us are in WIC, and doing once a month with that is a pain. So we shop once a month, then each week go in and use a couple WIC checks.

I do a meal plan for the month. It's never 30 different meals, though. Most meals we eat at least twice, some four times. We also have found making a list of meals and deciding each morning works best to keep us sticking to it. We just cross off as we go.

I'm not really sure how much money this saves us, but it helps us stick to the menu knowing we can't run out for something, and more importantly, it makes for more time as a family and less time at the store.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:11 AM   #17
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We shop every 2 weeks. I make out a menu with 14 meals and make sure we have the ingredients for those. As well as snacks, stuff for lunches, etc. we drink mostly silk and lactose free milk so those have longer expiration dates. I do buy 1 gallon of regular milk every 2 weeks but if it is gone it is no big deal. I freeze loaves of bread and pull them out as needed. Overall it works for is. You can definitely tell when it is getting close to grocery time because the pickings get slim

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Old 10-18-2012, 09:06 AM   #18
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

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Originally Posted by threekstrio View Post
this is a great thread! Would anyone be willing to share your grocery list/how many you were feeding/ and how much you spent each month doing this??

tia!!
We have finally gotten on track with a regular store's sale cycle so we are now saving money this way.

Ok here we go: family of 4 plus 2 large dogs. DD has a dairy sensitivity, peanut, coconut and cantaloupe allergies. House is completely free of peanut, tree nuts and coconut. We occasionally have cantaloupe for dh. I am the only one that likes most squash so you'll see a lot of repeat veggies for us. Roasted veggies is usually turnips, potatoes, green beans, carrots and onions or broc, cauli and carrots.

Meal plan:
Breakfast- oatmeal, cereal, eggs with toast and fruit, different pancakes, waffles, eggs and sausage, eggs and potatoes, french toast

Lunches- sandwiches, different homemade rice mixes w/chicken or fish and veggie, both homemade and store bought soups, homemade spaghetti o's, ramen (we love ramen) with veggies mixed in, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets and baked fries, wowbutter and jelly sandwiches

snacks- fruit, yogurt, applesauce, graham crackers, home made granola bars, home made snack bars, pretzels, olives

Dinners-
1. buttermilk baked chicken, roasted cauli and roasted carrots 2. Grilled chicken sandwiches, carrot sticks, baked fries 3. sweet and sour veggies with rice pilaf and broccoli 4. lasagna with garlic bread 5. pork chops with roasted potatoes and roasted carrots 6.egg noodle stir fry (this is stir fry beef cooked with fresh or frozen green beans, tomatoes and green onions, salt and pepper in olive oil then toss with egg noodles, can add sour cream to make it stroganoff) 7.fajitas w/guac and mexican rice 8. irish hand pies 9. salsbury steak, mashed potatoes and green beans 10. open faced sandwiches with left over salsbury steak and potatoes, broc 11. Sweet and sour pork with rice pilaf and green beans 12. hamburgers and baked sweet potato fries 13. barb chicken with potato wedges and baked beans 14. left over frozen lasagna (I bake mine in 2 8x8 pans and freeze 1 before baking) 15. Spaghetti and meatballs 16. Sweet meatballs, green beans, carrots 17. Roast chicken w/roasted veggies 18. chicken n'dumplings (made with left over chicken) 19. chicken pot pie (made with left over chicken and dumplings) 20. pot roast with roasted veggies 21. enchiladas with left over roast 22. pulled barb beef with left over roast, baked sweet potato fries and baked beans 23. pork chops, sweet potato casserole (this is mashed sweet potatoes topped with sliced bananas and sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar), broc 24. Beef roast (like the good kind not cheaper pot roast), roasted potatoes mixed veggie 25. steak tips (cheaper the buying steak, but dh gets his steak needs met) with mushrooms, onions, baked potato, green beans 26. Pork chops, cinnamon apples, stuffing, carrots 27. pepperoni pizza 28. veggie pizza 29. spaghetti 30. Papa Murphys (first Friday every month).

this is just one month and we do not repeat this exact menu every month. We have other meals that you don't see on here, but you will see ingredients reflected in the Sam's list. other stuff- we have a garden so we have meals that require produce that you won't see on the list or you won't see enough of it on the list. We also make our jam and fruit syrups.

Sams List- its almost always the same, there are some as needed items that aren't always on the list. This list is usually gets us almost 2 months- so after getting some stock up stuff we can now only shop Sam's every 2 months.

-5-10 pounds ground beef- depends on the menu, it comes in 5 pound packages
-pack of raw hamburgers- think it has 12 burgers
-pork loin- the really big full length of a pig pork loin. Its about 10 meals worth after I cut it into chops
-2 chickens (how its sold)
-2 flank steaks (how its sold)
-2 chuck roasts (how its sold)
-1 nice beef roast
-1 bag frozen chicken breast (?? 5 pounds I think)
-whatever is on sell by sale- I can usually get a 2 pack of the small seasoned pork loins and/or small seasoned beef roasts
-tub of salami (3 pounds I think, only lasts about a week and a half though)
-25 pounds of flour (as needed)
-10 pounds rice (as needed)
-pretzels
-gogurt (think its a 24 pack)
-oatmeal (I think its 2 pounds)
-yeast (as needed)
-honey 5 to 10 pounds, we keep an extra 5 pounds of honey on hand at all time- we use a lot of honey
-cinnamon toast crunch (2 bag box only lasts 2 weeks, but I don't buy more because they would just eat more- they love it)
-Wholly Molly Guacamole 100 cal packs (freezes well)
- 2 pack of bread (only 2 weeks, if I am feeling industrious I make our bread for the rest of the month, if not I buy it when I buy weekly produce)
-1 to 2 bags of frozen steamable broc- 4 of the regular sized steam broc in each bag
-1 bag frozen whole green beans (5lbs i think)
-1 bag frozen mixed soup veggies
-1 bag of 4 pack steam bags of broc, cauli, carrots
-large bag of dried cranberries
-veggie oil as needed

Monthly grocery list- Most of the stuff on sale usually lasts more then a month but we buy almost every month when it goes on sale then skip a month and resume.

7 gallons of milk, 3 gallons of soy milk, regular butter (2), dd's butter (1), olive oil, cooking spray, sugars as needed, 5 lbs whole wheat flour and 5 lbs white wheat flour (as needed), 5lbs corn meal (as needed- not needed this month because we aren't making anything using it), 2 bags turkey pepperoni, ritz style crackers (as needed), 10-20 pounds of potatoes, 6 pounds of fresh carrots, a couple heads of garlic, 3 to 6 pounds of onion, raisins, 1 box of ramen noodles, everything after this are monthly sales- dog food (5), eggs (5), canned fruit (11 as needed), canned olives (11 as needed), Tyson chicken nuggets (3 as needed), fish fillets (2 as needed), Turkey sausage (4 packs), spaghetti sauce (11 as needed- this is something we get every few months when its on the monthly sale. the sale is 11 for $10), whatever pasta (11). end of sale stuff, but stuff we still buy every month- 2 jars applesauce, 1 box graham crackers, canned soup, tortillas (1 pack), 1 larger package american cheese, 1 pack sergento sliced cheese, barb sauce, 1 jar chicken bullion granules. Specific for this month- 1 can enchilada sauce, mexi shredded cheese, mozz cheese, stuffing, 1 bag dry navy beans, 6 sweet potatoes, 3 baking potatoes, 8 oz tomato sauce, 28 oz can tomatoes (both for mexi rice).

Weekly list obviously based on what we are eating that week and we buy almost all our fruit weekly. So according to the week we are having the item- mushrooms, spinach (for lasagna and pizza, could buy frozen but I'd rather use fresh), green onions, sour cream, celery (for rice pilaf). Every week- Apples (we usually go 2 weeks on this, but I don't push it more then that because apple season was bad this year- if I do 2 weeks we need 2 bags so 6 pounds I think), 3 pounds of pears (this is a week and half), 2 bunches of bananas (sadly this is one week), then a pound of whatever is on sale. During the winter: 1 container of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries- during the summer we grow all these.

think I got everything- I make french bread, pancakes and waffles for freezer, pie crusts, hmm think thats everything.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #19
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

I did forget some stuff. 1 head of cabbage (for tomato and cabbage rice and cabbage soup), 1 pack of bacon and small thing of half and half (for backed potato soup) and 11 cans of pumpkin (11 for $10 sale- half the regular price) this is 6 months of pumpkin for us. I am hoping they go on sale again before Thanksgiving so I can get another 11 cans since this is a once or twice a year sale. And yes we really use that much pumpkin- pancakes, bread, donuts and pie. 3 pounds of roma tomatoes for homemade spaghetti o's.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:16 AM   #20
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Re: Once a Month groceries?

I mostly shop weekly. I spend more money shopping weekly, than at 2-3 weeks or even monthly.
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