Saturday, October 6, 2012

Little bit of time and a whole lotta savings

In an effort to spend less at the grocery and to spend less in time, I have devised a plan for my grocery shopping and storage that I think might help you, too.

First, we utilize our Sam's membership.  I don't buy ALL of my groceries at Sam's, I prefer to buy fresh produce when I need it, and obviously milk and bread as needed, as well.

So what I am about to show you is for our monthly staples.

For example, this shopping trip will cover us for pretty much the whole month.  I spent $184.00, minus $22.00 for non-grocery items, leaving my grocery total at $162.00 for most of the month's staples.

Upon arriving home, I get to work separating and organizing the meat, veggies, breads and other food items purchased that day.  I buy Ziptop bags in freezer quart and freezer gallon size -- in bulk!  I never want to run out of these food savers!

First Step: Separate all veggies into meals. 
In this case I have 6 meals of peas, 6 meals of corn, 5 meals of broccoli and 5 meals of green beans.  I make sure each baggie holds 3 cups of veggies -- for a family of 4 -- and left overs for lunch.

Step Two: Separate other food items
In this case I have 3 meals of Three cheese tortillini, 8 bags of shredded cheese, and 6 bags of dinner rolls.

Step Three: Begin packaging the meats - saving chicken til last.
This time I have 2 turkey breast tenderloin (one is marinating in the fridge), 6 lbs of ground chuck, 4 pks of 4 pork chops, 2 pks of tilapia filets, 2 beef roasts, 4 beef steaks, and 5 packages of 4 chicken breasts each.

Step Four: Organization is key!
This is the key to not wasting money when buying in bulk.  Know what you have and what you have used.  Here's how I do it.

My chest freezer is used as a dry erase white board.  You'll see that in a moment.

I also use color coded bins inside the freezer.  Orange bin is for poultry, the pink bin is for beef, and the blue bin is for pork.

Into the freezer they go. They jut stack right on top of each other.  When I need chicken, I know it's in the orange bin.  No more digging through the whole freezer for one bag of chicken.

Then I fill in the side bins, the slider basket and the empty spaces at the bottom with veggies, pasta and fish.

Step Five: Write it all down.
here's where the chest freezer works like a white board.  I use a dry erase marker and go to town.  As I use something, I mark it off the list and recalculate the total.

Along with all of this, I bought a gallon of milk, 5 lbs of grapes, 2 lbs of pecans and 5 lb bag of sweet potatoes.   The grand total?  $184.21 (minus $22.00 for non grocery items)  bringing all this to $162.00 and 1.5 hours of time.

Worth it?  I think so!

Until next time... I provide for my family....

Only By His Grace,


How do YOU plan meals for your family?  Do you shop all at once or week by week?
Let me know.  I'm always willing to grow!

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