Trying out Once a Month Grocery Shopping

In a never ending quest to save money, I’m doing an experiment this month with Once a Month Grocery Shopping.

A while back I shared my Top 10 Tips for Saving Money at the Grocery Store. Since writing that post, I have been ordering more food from Azure Standard and I also added Costco to my list of beloved grocery stores because a Costco finally opened up in my area. Needless to say, I can drop a lot of money at both of those places in one fell swoop. So, I decided to see if once a month shopping might be valuable for me.

Last week when I was in Missouri, my mom and I went to to an Amish Bulk food store. I bought 50 lbs of hard white wheat, 50 lbs of rolled oats, 50 lbs of raw sugar and a few miscellaneous items that I thought might come in handy in school lunches. I spent just at $100. The oats and sugar will last a really long time. I go through the wheat pretty quickly because I use hard white wheat for just about everything except my sandwich bread (I use hard red wheat for it). I didn’t need the hard white wheat, but it was a good price and I am convinced prices are going to go up because of the drought the Midwest is having this year. I like having a nice stockpile in my pantry and this will certainly be eaten, eventually.

Yesterday I made the rounds. First I picked up my Azure Standard order. I got 20 lbs of organic apricots, 38 pounds of organic oranges, 14 heads of organic broccoli, 5 lbs of raw sunflower seeds, 1 gallon of Biokleen dish detergent, and a thing of shampoo.

I spent $117 at Azure Standard. I try to spend around $100 there each month. Last month I only spent $80, though, so I had a little extra to work with this month.

After I picked up my Azure Standard order, I made my way over to my new found friend, Costco. I love their selection of nitrate free meats, rgbh free cheeses, and organics.

I picked up a bunch of cheese, meat, yogurt, chips, and a watermelon and spent right at $100 there too.

And that leaves me with {hopefully} enough money to pick up a few dairy products and a few more fruits and veg to get me through the month. I don’t need a lot of that stuff right now because my garden is in full swing and I’m busy preserving the bounty. I also have a freezer full of meat because we make our yearly beef and pork purchase in the spring. I also am waiting on chickens that I ordered from a local farmer. They’ll be ready in a couple of months, I think, so I don’t have to buy meat either.

The key to making Once a Month Grocery Shopping work for me will be good meal planning, using up what we have at home, and staying out of stores. I know, profound statements, eh? I’m curious to see if it will work out in the end.

I’ll report back at the end of the month and let you know how it worked out for me! How often do you grocery shop? I’d love to hear.

If you’re curious about what I’m doing with all of that organic produce, stay tuned!

Linking up: Frugal Tuesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; WFMW;

 

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Comments

  1. I definatly do weekly grocery shopping. I need the weekly break from the kids!! It has actually become a bit of a fun game doing my weekly deal hunting and meal planning. I always look forward to Tuesdays when my store flyers are delivered... Gosh... I have become one heck of a geek. :)
  2. Tell me about the sandwich bread you make. Ive been trying to find a recipe where i could make a bunch and freeze it but i seem to find the recipes are VERY labor intensive.
    • Caciona, I buy wheat berries and grind my own flour. I have a wonderful mixer (a Bosch) that allows me to mix and knead 5 loaves in 5 minutes. The grinder and the mixer were expensive upfront, but they have been wonderful tools. My grocery budget has increased since I wrote this post, but here is the jist of it: https://simplifylivelove.com/2011/01/100-wholewheat-everyday-bread.html
  3. I just posted on my blog my month long menu for August. This is the first time I have done this. I think I may have to back to the grocery store towards the end of the month for milk and produce but that should be about it. I totally agree with you that the meal planning is a must to make this work!
  4. This is a great experiment. I can't wait to see how it goes. This would be good for me because we joined a CSA this summer, so I get fresh produce every week. Unfortunately I am not so organized. Maybe this could be a goal for me for next summer though. I think one hard thing would be parties. We have a pool so we have pool parties throughout the summer. How would you deal with those events?
    • Hmmm...I guess that depends on what you're responsible for. Do you cook the whole meal or just a portion of it? I'd probably have ingredients on hand for an awesome pasta salad, and fruit - like a watermelon. Otherwise, I'd just try to figure out how many pool parties we were likely to have and make sure I had enough to get through.
  5. I've been doing a monthly grocery trip for a while now. It does take some time to adjust to it, for awhile I kept running out of the basics and not making a very good shopping list. I always do a produce run in the middle of the month. Good luck with your month, can't wait to hear how it goes.
  6. One of my favorite things to do is to go food shopping so I NEED to go once a week! It's too much fun, AND I don't think I could plan enough to only shop once a month. Good for you! You definitely bought a bounty of supplies! It will be interesting to see how it works for you.
    • I know, MJ. I'm kind of in the same boat and I always find some recipe that I'd love to make and just don't have the supplies for. We'll seeee.... ;-)
  7. That's fantastic that you have found so many ways to buy in bulk. That Azure Standard sounds great but it doesn't look like they go anywhere near the east coast. I'll have to look into one closer. I found your post on Frugally Sustainable.
    • I'm not sure how far East Azure Standard goes - but I'm pretty sure it's not all the way to the East Coast just yet. Keep checking on them though! They are growing my leaps and bounds and adding new routes. :-)
      • I actually looked in to one closer, just pouring through their catalog and trying to figure it all out. thanks for the inspiration. I hope by next year, I'll only have to go to the store for my staples that will never be local
  8. Thanks for linking to our first Eat Make Grow Blog Hop! I like the idea of once a month grocery shopping. I live in Amish/plain folk country in Indiana and I think we have a bulk food store near by too. (We are new to the area and I have yet to check it out.) Especially when we have a lot of fresh produce coming out of the garden there isn't any reason we couldn't cut down our every 10 days trip to every 30. Something to consider. I am sure it would help the bottom line. Although the up front cost would be a little scary. I'm sure meal planning would be key! We are already on to Blog Hop #2. I hope you'll come and link to that one as well. Feel free to link to any older posts if you think they are timely and pertinent. - Foy http://foyupdate.blogspot.com/2012/08/eat-make-grow-thursday-blog-hop-2.html
  9. I've been meal planning once a month and it has been working out well for us and I'm flexible with it, especially at the end of the month. We do a produce pick-up every other week and hit Costco or a grocery store about once a week. I usually do one big Costco trip each month and take advantage of the coupon offers for the month during that trip. I would love to shop once a month but our fridge, freezer and pantry space is limited. It might be time to get a huge fridge for our big family. :)
  10. Save more money by becoming "poo-free." No shampoo. In the shower, first wet and rinse your hair. Then mix 1 T baking soda in 1 cup of water. Pour over your hair, massage through, and rinse. Then mix 1T plain vinegar with 1 cup of water. Pour over your hair, massage through, and rinse. THAT'S IT! Your hair will be soft and chemical free. Baking soda and white vinegar are so CHEAP!
    • I've seen blogs about poo-free the last few months. I've been thinking about it, but I'm just not sure. I should probably give it a shot. Baking soda and white vinegar are staples in my house! Thanks for your comment.
  11. I've been doing once-a-month shopping for a few months now, and it DEFINITELY saves me money. My DH and I make a "date" of it (how pathetic, right?) and have breakfast out together, then shop at one or two stores about 30 miles away from our very rural home. During our garden season, fresh produce wasn't a problem -- I'm already planning on Fall/Winter once-a-month options. Since it's just 2 of us, meal planning isnt as big an issue as it would be for a large family, but I find that I use most things in all my recipes, so I just make sure I always have a good stock of the most-used items, and buy a few special things every month for some variety. I cook simpler, healthier meals now, and am SO glad to be off the once-a-week grocery game. Love your blog!
  12. I'm curious with alot of these blogs I am reading is saying to buy bulk with grains. This I am all about however I have been recently dealing with "pantry" moths so I'm hesitant. Any suggestions on buying bulk and keeping it critter free?
    • That's a great question, Carly!! It's very important to keep your grain critter-free. I either store my bulk grains in 5 gallon food-grade plastic buckets or I put it in my freezer. Viola! Bug free grains!! :-) You can buy food-grade plastic buckets at Pleasant Hill Grains (or probably Amazon) or I have heard of people getting them for free from Wal-Mart's bakery or other restaurants.

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